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CONTACT: ANN RHODES
307 E College
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0293
email : ann-rhodes@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Kirk Ferentz named University of Iowa head football coach

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A media conference has been scheduled for 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, at which time representatives of the University of Iowa will officially announce Kirk Ferentz as the head football coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The media conference will be held in the team meeting room inside the Richard O. Jacobson Athletic Building.

Ferentz, 43, is currently the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. He has been a member of the Baltimore staff for six seasons.

Ferentz was a member of Hayden Fry's staff at the University of Iowa for nine seasons. He was hired in 1981 and departed after the 1989 season to become the head football coach at the University of Maine. Ferentz was hired by Fry as Iowa's offensive line coach. During his tenure at the UI his responsibilities expanded to include responsibilities for coordinating Iowa's running game.

Four of Iowa's highest scoring offenses were anchored by offensive lines under the direction of Ferentz; five of Iowa's top offensive teams in terms of yards gained per game were anchored by offensive lines under the direction of Ferentz, and seven of Iowa's top 10 passing teams of all-time, in terms of yards gained per game, were anchored by offensive lines coached by Ferentz.

Iowa appeared in eight bowl games during the nine years Ferentz was a member of the UI staff, including two Rose Bowl games (1982 and 1986) and two Holiday Bowl games (1986, 1987). Iowa's record during that same period was 73-33-4 and included two 10-win and two 9-win seasons.

"Kirk is an exceptional football coach and a terrific person. He is a real players' coach and he has had success at every level of his career," said UI Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby.

"Many of the greatest achievements in the Hayden Fry years at Iowa were while Kirk was developing and leading our offensive line.

"Kirk is a composite of the best qualities of all the candidates interviewed. He is bright, articulate, innovative, hard-working, and committed to excellence. We will field outstanding football teams under Kirk's guidance," Bowlsby added.

"Kirk is widely regarded as one of the best offensive scheme people in the National Football League. He will bring some outstanding experience to the Iowa Football family.

"I have been consistently impressed by Kirk's energy and insightfulness. He will be an excellent recruiter and will be well liked by his student-athletes and our prospective student-athletes," Bowlsby said.

Ferentz's coaching career spans 22 years and includes stints at his alma mater, Connecticut (1977), Worcester Academy (1978-79), Pittsburgh (1980), Iowa (1981-89), Maine (1990-92) and the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens (1993-1998).

"I am simply elated that one of my former coaches and a member of the Hawkeye family will be coming on board," said Hayden Fry.

"Kirk is very intelligent, knowledgeable, an outstanding teacher, and an individual who will be an outstanding representative of Iowa Football and the University of Iowa. Kirk has been here, seen how special Iowa, Iowans, and the University of Iowa is. I truly believe he will do an outstanding job."

Ferentz will be the 26th head coach in the history of Iowa football, succeeding Fry, Iowa's all-time winningest head football coach.

Ferentz graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in English education. He and his wife, Mary, have five children: Brian (15), Kelly (13), Joanne (11), James (9) and Steven (4).

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT KIRK FERENTZ

"I am delighted to welcome Kirk Ferentz back to Iowa. I truly enjoyed talking with him and I think he will be highly successful. I have heard wonderful things about him from former Iowa student-athletes and he is a person of skill, experience and integrity."

MARY SUE COLEMAN

University of Iowa President

 

"I'm thrilled to have Kirk Ferentz as our new head football coach. I feel good about the search process and the quality of the candidates for the position. I think we have one of the most talented people in football coming back to Iowa City to carry on the winning tradition established by Hayden Fry."

ANN M. RHODES

University of Iowa Vice President for University Relations

 

"I am simply elated that one of my former coaches and a member of the Hawkeye family will be coming on board.

 

"Kirk is very intelligent, very knowledgeable, an outstanding teacher, and an individual who will be an outstanding representative of Iowa Football and the University of Iowa. Kirk has been here, seen how special Iowa, Iowans, and the University of Iowa is. I truly believe he will do an outstanding job."

HAYDEN FRY

 

"An absolutely great guy. I highly, highly recommend him. He's knowledgeable, personable, and solid in every way. In my mind, he's always been a top candidate.

 

"Kirk was intimately involved in the Iowa football program during some of our most successful seasons. You can't win if you don't score and you can't score if you don't have what it takes up front in the line.

 

"I can't say enough about Hayden Fry for proving me the opportunity and Kirk Ferentz for molding me into the student-athlete that I became. He made what I am today. And, I know in my heart that I speak for a lot of Hawkeyes who were fortunate enough to learn and grow under Kirk."

MIKE HAIGHT

Iowa Football Letterwinner, 1983, 84, 85

 

"There's just three guys who had in impact on me as a football player and a person: My junior college coach, Kirk Ferentz and Hayden Fry. Kirk is a straight shooter and a players' coach, and I think you need to be both of those to be successful today at this particular level of athletic competition./ He's a great selection."

RON HALLSTROM

Iowa Football Letterwinner, 1981

 

"Kirk always had us motivated and ready to play. He was very tight with us and that resulted in the offensive line really being a tight, close-knit group. Kirk's a good, strong, solid individual who did a lot for me. He always knew what he was doing. I'm 100 percent confident he will do a great job."

JOEL HILGENBERG

Iowa Football Letterwinner, 1980, 81, 82, 83

 

 

"I had a great experience playing and learning under Kirk. I owe all of my success at the University of Iowa and in the NFL to Kirk and Coach Fry. Kirk was an excellent technician, teacher and motivator. From what I could tell, he was also an excellent recruiter. He knows the Iowa program and certainly played a critical role in all those years of success. I am very excited for Kirk and the Hawkeyes."

JOHN ALT

Iowa Football Letterwinner, 1980, 81, 82, 83