UVA kicker Ian Frye knew father had suffered heart attack at BYU game

Frye_Ian_07(jd)_9Ian Frye was named the ACC Specialist of the Week today after kicking four field goals in the Cavs’ 41-33 loss at BYU. Today we can confirm that Frye kicked the fourth field goal, a 46-yarder in the fourth quarter that cut the Virginia deficit to 27-19, knowing that his father, Mark, had suffered a heart attack.

“It was one of the hardest kicks of my life,” Frye told reporters Monday.

Frye had just kicked his third field goal of the game on the final play of the first half to give Virginia a 16-13 lead. On his way to the locker room, he saw his father just outside the locker room being treated for chest pains.

The kicker said his father told him to stay with the team, and on the sidelines in the third quarter he was informed that his father had been taken to the hospital.

By the time Ian Frye had reached the hospital after the game, his father was already out of surgery, watching college football on TV, “and upset that he missed my last kick,” Frye said.

Mark’s brother, and Ian’s uncle, Stuart Frye first contacted me by email at 9:34 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, about two and a half hours after the game, to tell me the story of how Ian had played the second half knowing that his father had suffered a heart attack, and that Mark was fine.

Stuart Frye praised UVA coach Mike London for sending Ian to the hospital immediately after the game with a grief counselor in tow, and also praised BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe for checking on the family.

“Class acts both,” Stuart Frye wrote in one of a series of emails that we traded Saturday evening.

We decided to hold off on reporting on the story until we could confirm the details with UVA athletics. I also wanted to make sure that Ian Frye was OK with the story getting out considering the personal nature of what had happened.

From communicating with his uncle, it is clear that Ian Frye’s relationship with his father is very important to him.

“He really does have the gift of focus. I think he gets it from having to take every soccer penalty kick in every game he played in from age 3 on,” Stuart Frye wrote to me. “His father played semi-pro soccer in Germany and really worked with him since he was old enough to kick a ball.”

– Column by Chris Graham


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