The writer who penned more than a century’s worth of Washington State University’s sports stories has turned 100 himself. Richard B. “Dick” Fry was WSU’s sports information director from 1957 to 1970, then became the university’s director of news and information services until his retirement in 1985. He celebrated his hundredth birthday February 12.
Fry wrote the book on Cougar sports. His tome, The Crimson and the Gray: 100 Years with the WSU Cougars, details the history of Cougar student-athletes, coaches, and teams through 1989, thanks to Fry’s meticulous research and eye for a dramatic tale. It remains a popular and definitive account of Coug sports stories as one of three volumes produced for WSU’s centennial.
Even after the book, he continued to write stories for Cougar football game-day programs well into the 2000s. Fry also stayed active in the Pullman community, his home for 70 years. After the California native served in the US Army Air Corps in World War II and then worked as a journalist, he moved to the college town in 1952 to write alumni stories for the Washington State College information office.
The WSU athletics department honored Fry in 2009 with an induction to the WSU Sports Hall of Fame. He was presented with an Honorary Alumnus distinction from the WSU Alumni Association in 1984. Fry was also inducted into the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame and has a star on the Pullman Walk of Fame.
During his 33 years working at WSU, and many years supporting the university after retirement, Fry made a huge impact as a storyteller for the Cougar nation. Yet he always says he was the lucky one.
As he told his friend Pat Caraher (’62 Comm., Soc. Stu.), former editor of Washington State Magazine, in an interview: “My mom used to come up from California and visit. Every time she’d come up here, she would say ‘Aren’t you grateful that you had an opportunity to come here and work here?’ And all I can say is, ‘Mom, you’re so right, so right.’”
More stories by and about Dick Fry—including a profile for his hundredth birthday by Greg Witter (’84 Comm.)