IOWA CITY, Iowa – Hayden Fry’s impact still is being felt nearly 20 years after he retired as the Iowa football coach in 1998.
We felt it on Wednesday while interviewing Connecticut head coach Bob Diaco, who played linebacker under Fry at Iowa from 1992-95.
Diaco credits Fry and former Iowa defensive coordinator Bill Brashier for having a huge influence on his development as a young man and as a football coach. Diaco led Iowa in tackles as a junior and senior, and his 26 tackles against Indiana in 1995 is the second highest single-game total in school history.
Diaco talks for 30 minutes with conviction and passion about being a Hawkeye, about his rise as a coach and about coaching at a school known mostly for its dynasty in women’s basketball. He is entering his third season as the UCONN head coach.
Expectations are on the rise at UCONN in the wake of Diaco leading the Huskies to a bowl game in his second season as head coach.
The New Jersey native also talks about how he got into a coaching thanks to Fry. Diaco wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after graduating from Iowa in 1996. He considered being a lawyer and a chef before Fry made him an offer that would change the course of his life.
Diaco, 43, now considers it a privilege to be a college head coach and to be a part of Fry’s expansive coaching tree that also includes Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, who played football at UCONN, Barry Alvarez, Bob Stoops, Bret Bielama and Dan McCarney among others.
So give it a listen. We think you’ll enjoy hearing from this former Hawkeye.