The Iowa Hawkeyes and Kirk Ferentz are Inseparable

By Derek Helling
kirk ferentz
Byron Hetzler – USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Ferentz has been maligned at times for being too conservative, outdated in his offensive scheme and in last year’s 4-8 season, questions began to arise in Iowa City about whether or not it was time for a change at the head coaching position after 13 seasons.  As Ferentz is about to start his 14th season at Iowa, despite the low projections of the current roster, the answer to whether the University of Iowa needs a new head football coach couldn’t be a more emphatic negative.  Ferentz is the biggest reason why Iowa has any shot at a bowl game this year.

Consider Ferentz’s accomplishments in his 13 seasons.  He is 26 games over .500, has taken the Hawkeyes to a bowl game 10 of those years and won six of them.  He is an AP Coach of the Year and three time Big Ten Coach of the Year.  He has produced six consensus All-Americans and numerous first round NFL draft picks.  Actually, the odds are that if a player starts for Ferentz for four years, that player will be drafted into the NFL.  The Green Bay Packers have a BHA policy on draft day.  After they fill their needs, they take the Best Hawkeye Available.

Further consider that Ferentz is under contract until 2020 and that if the university were to fire him “without cause” they would have to pay him 75 percent of the remaining value. Firing Ferentz right now would cost Iowa over $16 million and then of course, there would be the cost of finding and hiring a new coach and the staff he would bring with him. Costs would be furthered by all the merchandise that would have to be disposed of and replaced with the new coach’s name and image on it.  Iowa simply can’t afford to part ways with Ferentz economically.

Let’s also be realistic about the situation, Hawkeye fans.  We are Iowa.  It’s not like national championship winning coaches are chomping at the bit hoping Ferentz retires so they can get at his job.  What other former AP Coach of the Year with a career winning percentage of .575 that has won six bowl games in 10 years and produced multiple All-Americans and first round draft picks are we going to get to come to Iowa City?  The reality is that if Iowa was to try to replace Ferentz, it would be with a much less accomplished coach.

The truth is that Hawkeye fans are like the nagging wife that gets annoyed when her husband leaves his laundry laying around and leaves a mess.  There are certainly things he could do better, but making a new life completely without him would be costly and may be even worse than living with him.

Derek Helling is a University of Iowa football writer for Follow him on Twitter @DRokSH, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.

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