Kirk Ferentz has coached the Iowa Hawkeyes for a very long time — since the 1999 season, to be exact — and he’s going to continue coaching Iowa for a very long time.
The university announced Tuesday that a deal has been struck to extend Ferentz’s contract through the 2025 season — his previous contract tied Ferentz to the Hawkeyes through 2019.
Six more seasons for one of the most consistent coaches — not to mention one of the best people — in college football? That’s no big deal for Iowa and Athletic Director Gary Barta.
“I’ve said it many times, I would like Kirk to retire as a Hawkeye, and this contract is a strong statement toward that commitment,” said Barta, via the school press release. “Kirk’s dedication to the football program and the University of Iowa has brought national attention and recognition to the Hawkeyes for nearly 20 years.
“Kirk is one of the top coaches in country. His commitment to winning, graduating student-athletes, and doing things the right way is unmatched by any program or coach,” added Barta. “There is strong momentum surrounding the Hawkeye football program. Whether it’s on the field, recruiting, academics, facilities, or with his staff, we’re achieving at a high level today, and are well positioned for continued success for years to come.”
Long-term success is really the key when discussing Ferentz and his presence at Iowa. The Hawkeyes haven’t always been great, but they’ve always been relevant — even dominant in the Big Ten, at times. Overall, the program comes across as one of the few that still does things “the right way.”
Ferentz is an “old school” type of coach who believes in family values and runs his football program like a family. Ask any recruit who has ever signed to play for Ferentz and they’ll tell you that’s the case. Parents and family of recruits feel the same way. It really is an all-inclusive deal when you sign up to play with the Hawkeyes.
“It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility to lead the Iowa football program,” said Ferentz. “I am extraordinarily proud of our program, our players, and our supportive fans. I appreciate the trust and confidence demonstrated by Athletic Director Gary Barta and President Bruce Harreld – and I look forward to continuing our winning tradition.”
College football is still a bottom-line business, though, and that’s not something the Hawkeyes, nor Ferentz, ignore.
Iowa built a multi-million dollar football facility that’s among the best in the nation. Ferentz changed his ways on the recruiting trail and the Hawkeyes have been one of the better recruiting teams in the Big Ten as a result. Ferentz has also changed his coaching style a bit, spawning the creation of the “New Kirk” moniker Iowa fans bring up whenever their coach does something aggressive or “out of character” in his play-calling.
Somehow, Ferentz has remained consistent yet has tweaked himself and his team over the years, and Iowa’s 12-2 season last year was a direct result. The Hawkeyes’ success on the recruiting trail should keep the team relevant, if not quietly dominant. Looking at the road ahead, if Iowa keeps building momentum on the field, perhaps “consistent” won’t be a strong enough word to describe Ferentz.