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Francis Stroup, composer of “Fight, North Texas”

Francis Stroup obitFrancis Edwin Stroup, 101, died Dec. 1 in DeKalb, Ill.

Stroup was the author of the UNT fight song, which he wrote in 1939. He wrote Fight, North Texas as an entry in a contest for a new marching song. He also was a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame. Left, Stroup in 2008; below, as a student.

Stroup composed songs for Northern Illinois University, Drake University, University of Wyoming and University of Chicago. In 2000, the Northern Illinois song was named one of the Top 25 fight songs in an ESPN national poll. The song also was frequently performed to help the campus recover from a 2008 shooting incident.

Francis Stoup athlete obitHe was a member of the UNT basketball team, played football and was a swimmer and diver. He was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.

Stroup earned a bachelor’s degree from UNT in 1929 and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Southern California. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Stroup was a faculty member at the University of Wyoming, Arkansas’ Southern State College and Northern Illinois, where he was the first swimming and diving coach. Stroup-coached teams won 13 NCAA championships. He retired as a professor of physical education.  

Survivors include three sons, five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and hundreds of friends and former students.

Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center, DeKalb, Ill.


Posted on: Tue 18 January 2011

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