I am a firm believer that—especially given the day and age we live in—any coach who agrees to take on the head coaching duties for a big-time college football program is automatically thrust upon the proverbial “Hot Seat”.
Why do I feel this way? The answer is quite simple really.
College football is a “here and now” kind of entity.
Patience is not tolerated around campuses nationwide like it once was because there is way too much money involved.
Fans and–perhaps more importantly—boosters don’t care about a coach’s track record for graduating his players. They don’t care if the coach runs a “clean” program or that his players are rarely (if ever) found in the police blotter more often that the stat sheet.
So—in essence–unless a coach is a living legend (yes…you are safe Nick Saban), he is technically already “fired” the day he is hired. It just becomes a matter of when.
Unless—of course—you are the University of Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, that is.
Personally, I think Ferentz is a heck of a coach. After finishing his first two seasons with a combined record of 4-19 back in 1999 and 2000, the Iowa head coach has led the Hawkeyes to winning seasons in ten of the past twelve years, shared a portion of two Big Ten Championships (2002 & 2004), won six of his 10 bowl appearances (including a victory in the 2010 Orange Bowl over Georgia Tech), and has finished fourth or higher in the Big Ten in 10 of his 14 seasons while compiling a 100-74 overall record.
But for all of Captain Kirk’s accomplishments in Iowa City, many of the natives have gotten restless with the once infallible coach. The Hawkeyes are coming off their worst season since 2000 (Iowa finished 3-9 that year) and many believe things won’t be much better in 2013.
Iowa is fortunate to get Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Michigan at Kinnick Stadium this season, but they do have a tough road slate with games at Iowa State, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Nebraska.
Couple that with last season’s record and the program’s string of off the field problems in recent years, and it is easy to see why there are grumblings of a wanted change at the top amongst some of the fans.
But I have news for Hawkeye Nation: Ferentz isn’t going anywhere.
Not with that buyout.
If it came down to it—and Iowa Athletics Director even wanted to replace Ferentz after this season should Iowa fall flat—the head coach would still be due 75% of the remainder of his deal that expires in 2020.
How much would that be, exactly? Oh…somewhere in the ballpark of $17 million.
So while many coaches are constantly keeping their resume freshly updated on a year-to-year basis, Kirk Ferentz has nothing to worry about. Like it or not, he has the Iowa athletics department by the bootstraps for years to come.