Hayden Fry Statue Likely Coming to Corridor, But Not Where You Think
He coached 20 years at the University of Iowa and there are now plans to build a statue in his honor. It won't be built outside Kinnick Stadium, though. It actually won't even reside in Iowa City.
The city of Coralville wants to place a bronze statue of the winningest coach in Iowa football history at a spot along First Avenue. It's been well documented that Hayden Fry drove down First Avenue in Coralville every day on his way to the University of Iowa campus and the Iowa football offices. Seven years ago, Coralville hosted the first-ever FryFest outside the Coralville Marriott, less than a half-mile from First Avenue. That portion of the roadway was renamed "First Avenue Hayden Fry Way" at that time.
Now, the city is asking the City Council to approve $36,000 for the construction of a life-size bronze statue which would be built by Max-Cast from Kalona. The vote will come today at the City Council's meeting. I would be astounded if the vote wasn't a resounding yes. The statue would likely be revealed during this year's FryFest on September 2. Steve Maxon, the owner of Max-Cast, spoke to Hayden Fry last year during FryFest. Maxon says Hayden was alright with a statue but had two concerns.
Maxon told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that Hayden, "... wanted to make sure it was high enough that dogs didn't pee on it. And he didn't want to look like Humphrey Bogart or Elvis Presley--he wanted it to look like him." Comments like that and obviously his winning ways are why people in this state fell in love with Hayden Fry and still admire him today.
The Fry statue will likely show Hayden from the early 1980's with the aviator sunglasses and mustache.
I love the idea of a Hayden Fry statue but wonder two things: What took so long and wouldn't it be fitting to have Hayden near one of the entrances to Kinnick Stadium? After all, he resurrected Iowa football from, mediocrity doesn't even begin to describe the struggles when he arrived. His 20-year career provided so many moments that will last forever in our minds and hearts. And, at least for now, Fry is the all-time winningest coach in school history.
I still cry when I watch him say goodbye.
Hayden is now 86 and living in Nevada, but you can bet he'll be there for the unveiling this September. He'll have a joke or two at the ready and Hawkeye fans will smile and remember the great ride he took us on. A wonderful ride that Kirk Ferentz has continued. We should all be very grateful to them both.
[via Des Moines Register]