Athletics News hawkeyesports.com
Wine Online: A Numbers Game and Another Hall for Fry

Hayden Fry, shown here with his wife Shirley at the inaugural FryFest event, will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on Dec. 30.

Hayden Fry, shown here with his wife Shirley at the inaugural FryFest event, will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on Dec. 30.

Dec. 12, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa --Hey, Hawkeye fans, here's a question for you. Who was the greatest Iowa football or men's basketball player to wear No. 5 on his jersey? Was it Drew Tate, Sedrick Shaw or Andre Woolridge?

Who was the best to wear No. 15? Was it Don Nelson, Willie Fleming or Duke Slater? How about No. 44? Dallas Clark, Glenn Vidnovic, Greg Bruner or Kevin Kunnert?


You'll find the answer to those questions in a new book titled "Hawkeye Greats, by the Numbers" by Lyle Hammes, Neal Rosendaal and Kevin Hammes. The authors list jersey Nos. 1 through 50 and select the most outstanding Hawkeye to wear each number, along with honorable mentions for each.

The authors don't claim to be the last word. They published the book to have some fun and provoke discussion, and they hit the bulls-eye.

Each of the 50 Hawkeyes chosen as the greatest gets several pages in the book, those who made honorable mention get shorter summaries. Each chapter is loaded with interesting anecdotes, facts , figures, photos and illustrations.

For instance, I did not know that Fred "Duke" Slater, Iowa's first consensus black All-American in 1921, was the son of a Methodist minister. I did not know he got his nickname as a youngster from his beloved dog Duke.

It won't surprise you to learn the book says Nile Kinnick was the greatest Hawkeye to wear No. 24 and Chuck Long to wear No. 16. But how about No. 7 -- Brad Banks, Reggie Roby or Rob Houghtlin? That's a tough one.





Coincidentally, the Rose Bowl is honoring Hayden in a year when one of his many proteges is coaching in the game. Bret Bielema, who played and coached for Fry, will be on the Rose Bowl sideline as the Wisconsin head coach. Five others who played and/or coached for Hayden also have teams in bowl games: Head coaches Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Mike Stoops (Arizona) and Bo Pelini (Nebraska).


The authors say this book took several years to research and write, and they are working on a sequel that will list the best Hawkeyes for numbers 51 through 99. "Hawkeye Greats, by the Numbers" can be ordered online at singlewingpress.com.

CONGRATULATIONS TO HAYDEN FRY, who will be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on Dec. 30. He led the Hawkeyes to three Rose Bowls (1982, 1986 and 1991) while coaching at Iowa for 20 years. He retired following the 1998 season as the winnngest Iowa football coach of all time.

Coincidentally, the Rose Bowl is honoring Hayden in a year when one of his many proteges is coaching in the game. Bret Bielema, who played and coached for Fry, will be on the Rose Bowl sideline as the Wisconsin head coach. Five others who played and/or coached for Hayden also have teams in bowl games: Head coaches Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Bill Snyder (Kansas State), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Mike Stoops (Arizona) and Bo Pelini (Nebraska).

Fry's 1981 and 1990 teams were surprise Rose Bowl entries. Neither was expected to finish high in the Big Ten standings. His 1985 team was the pre-season favorite and ranked No. 1 in the nation for several weeks.

"This honor is a tribute to all the players and coaches on my Rose Bowl teams," said Hayden. Then he joked, "Look for me in the Rose Bowl Parade. I'll be the one wearing a cowboy hat."

Fans over 40 years old remember Hayden as the savior of Iowa football. When he arrived in 1979 the Hawkeyes hadn't had a winning season in nearly two decades. His third team got to the Rose Bowl, and for seven seasons (1981-1987) Iowa had the best record in the Big Ten.

Fry is the fourth man with an Iowa connection to be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. The others are Bump Elliott, who played and coached in the game while at Michigan and was later Iowa's athletic director, plus Kenny Ploen and Bob Jeter, who played for Iowa in the 1957 and 1959 games, respectively.