CORALVILLE — Bob Stoops would have been the Iowa football team’s honorary captain this weekend, but family comes first.
Stoops’ son, freshman walk-on Drake Stoops, is on the depth chart at wide receiver for Oklahoma, and the Sooners play Florida Atlantic Saturday at 11 a.m. in Norman.
“I was anticipating us having a night game,” Bob Stoops told The Oklahoman, “and I would be able to participate in (the Iowa game) and then still get back for our game, but that didn’t happen.”
But Stoops did make it to Iowa City/Coralville to be part of the FRYfest reunion of Iowa’s 1983 football coaching staff Friday at the Coralville Marriott. After completing his Hawkeyes playing career in 1982, he was a graduate assistant or volunteer coach on Hayden Fry’s staff from 1983-87.
Stoops was Oklahoma’s head coach from the 1999 through 2016 seasons, going 190-48 with 10 Big 12 Conference titles and a national-championship.
The FRYfest panel session Friday included six assistant coaches from that 1983 staff: Bill Brashier, Carl Jackson, Dan McCarney, Del Miller, Don Patterson and Bernie Wyatt. Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder and Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, also on that staff, couldn’t attend.
Stoops was asked what he took away from coaching with College Football Hall of Famer Fry at Iowa.
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“As much as anything, swagger,” said Stoops. “I have natural swagger, but there were plenty of times I gave myself a talking to before a staff meeting or a talk with my team. I better project what I want.
“I’m sure Hayden had times where he had to put it on, but he had swagger and he projected confidence. That’s what we needed at Iowa. Hayden gave us that kind of swagger and attitude.”
On Thursday night at a private dinner, all the aforementioned coaches and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, the offensive line coach for Fry from 1981-89, saw and spoke to Fry via FaceTime on a cellphone.
Fry, 89 and living in Texas, said he couldn’t make it here this year because of a recent surgery. He said he’ll be back here next year.
Those six former assistants here Friday will gather at Kinnick Stadium Saturday for the Northern Illinois-Iowa game to see Ferentz’s bid to break his tie with Fry for most wins by an Iowa coach, 143. Among those who will root hardest for it from afar is Stoops’ wife, Carol.
“My wife’s an Iowa girl,” Stoops said. “We might be playing Texas, but she wakes up every Saturday and says ‘Go Hawks!’ ”
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