The North Texas football program will wear throwback uniforms for Saturday’s game against SMU in honor of legendary coach Hayden Fry, who led the Mean Green from 1973-78.
Fry – who died last December at the age of 90 – is best known for his time at Iowa (1979-98), where he guided the Hawkeyes to three Big Ten titles, painted the visiting locker room pink and commissioned the university’s Tigerhawk logo. But before that, he was the head coach at SMU from 1962-72 and North Texas – known then as North Texas State.
The all-white throwback uniforms are rather simple, but feature lime green numbers and the “Flying Worm,” another logo Fry helped create, on the helmet. The logo is actually a stylized eagle, but became affectionately known as the “Flying Worm” because of its thick body and wings coming off its back.
Introduced upon Fry’s arrival in Denton, Texas, the “Flying Worm” and lime green uniforms were retired by the Mean Green following the 1982-83 school year. It remains a popular retro logo to this day, however.
Fry – who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 – compiled a career record of 232-178-10. His coaching tree is equally impressive and includes the likes of former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder; former Wisconsin coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez; former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops; former Arkansas and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema; and current Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, among others.
“His Hall of Fame career is well known, but personally, he will always be the man who took a chance on me at the start of my coaching career,” Ferentz said in a press release after Fry’s passing. “I was proud to coach with him and honored to succeed him when he retired. He’s been a great mentor and a true friend. I am forever grateful to him.”
Kickoff for North Texas’ game against SMU is set for 6 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
Photos courtesy of @MeanGreenFB on Twitter.