July 20, 2024

Kirk Ferentz down about run with son Brian coming to an end

Iowa Hawkeyes Football

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz and Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz watch their players run drills before game against Purdue Saturday October 7, 2023 at Kinnick Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa’s Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz sent shockwaves throughout the College football landscape Monday afternoon, when she released a statement in regards to Brian Ferentz.

The Hawkeyes’ embattled Offensive Coordinator was notified that he won’t be back with the team in 2024, but will remain on the job through the bowl game. Thousands of Iowa fans celebrated the news, while others remained on the fence about the entire ordeal.

Coach Kirk Ferentz addressed the issue at his weekly press conference in front a room full of reporters. The longest-tenured coach in College football appeared confused by Goetz’s decision because it’s unprecedented at the program.

Regardless of the matter, the news has to somewhat affect him personally. After all, the days of  him working alongside his son now has an expiration date. Ferentz expressed how he learned a different way under the late great Hayden Fry, and would’ve handled everything differently.

“I would just say my policy has typically been to evaluate everything — players, coaches, all that — postseason because in season we have a lot on our plates,” Ferentz said. “That’s kind of been the nature of it, and it’s been that way probably since I got started full-time in ’81.”

Over the years Ferentz has become the epitome of nepotism. Fans criticize him for being old school, stubborn and his refusal to evolve with the times. At the end of the day Ferentz continues to stockpile winning seasons, despite a lackluster offense. Brian had a stipulated contract, and hasn’t held up his side of the bargain.

Iowa is currently dead last in the FBS in total offense. So the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Ferentz has to face the inevitable, and despite his personal feelings, the show must go on. At this point he’s just trying to keep the drama from being a team distraction. However, that’s nearly impossible in today’s world of social media, so Ferentz has to face the music now.

“Everything you do is precious in terms of time relations, so to me, it’s a better time,” he said. “It’s a less emotional time.”

With great power comes great responsibility, and the decision Goetz handed down could potentially divide the locker room. Now everyone is waiting to see how the players respond. There’s no denying the situation is awkward, but the Hawkeyes could rally around Brian.

It gives some clarity on the situation, and the direction the program is headed. The Hawkeyes have so much to play for too, with the Big Ten West still up for grabs. Iowa (6-2) has four remaining games and no margin for error. It should help that the Hawkeyes are coming off a bye-week, but the vibe around the locker room will be put to the test due to Goetz’s untimely decision. Pulling the trigger on Brian wouldn’t have happened until the end of the season in Ferentz’s perfect world though.

“I can give you a lot of reasons why I’ve done it that way, but it really doesn’t matter,” the 69-year old coach said. “It’s really not significant right now because we’re dealing with something that we have to deal with, and we will.”

Iowa’s offense realistically can’t get any worse over the final five games, plus there’s no longer any pressure to score at least 25 points per contest. Which is why Ferentz plans on sending his son off with a blast. He believes it’s a shame the Brian hoopla has dominated the headlines, when Iowa is playing Northwestern at the legendary Wrigley Field in Chicago this Saturday. Ferentz understands it’s a business, and now that the smoke has cleared, he’s ready to roll with the punches.

“So this is just one more of those things that you have to try to compartmentalize and put it in the right position.”