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Peterson: Addressing Iowa’s Ferentz and Parker; also Stoops

[ 27 ] December 13, 2011 |

Kirk Ferentz to the Chiefs.

Phil Parker moving up to defensive coordinator.

One sounds more plausible than another as speculation again swirls around the Iowa football program.

If Ferentz’s buddy, Scott Pioli, wasn’t in charge of hiring Todd Haley’s replacement, would the Iowa coach be on the list?

And who says the Chiefs even want a college coach with consecutive 7-5 regular seasons?

Ferentz has always said he wants to coach his sons from start to finish. Well, James is a junior this season.

And wasn’t it just last week that Ferentz said “I’ll be coaching at Iowa next year. Year 14 coming up — as long as Iowa will have me here.”
Professional journalists make lists whenever there’s a coaching change, and the Ferentz-Chiefs situation is no different.

The Des Moines Register had Paul Rhoads on the initial list of candidates when Gene Chizik sneaked out Iowa State’s back door.And we had Ferentz on the initial list when Hayden Fry retired after the 1998 season. Here’s some of that story from the Nov. 24, 1998 paper:

Headline: Daunting task for Iowa: Find another winner

By TOM WITOSKY and RANDY PETERSON Register Staff Writers

Kirk Ferentz would be flattered to be interviewed. As would Chuck Long.

Bobby Stoops won’t talk about it; neither will Terry Allen.

Just who will replace Hayden Fry as Iowa’s football coach? That will be the hottest topic of sports discussion throughout the state over the next several weeks.

Fry announced his retirement Monday after 20 years at the helm of the Iowa football program which he rebuilt from a loser into a perennial winner.

Now, a successor must be found and Iowa Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby said Monday that it won’t be the easiest thing he’s done in his eight years at Iowa.

“I am certainly daunted by the task to find someone to step into the certainly cold and large shadow of Hayden Fry. It won’t be an easy task because the standard he has set is a very high standard, indeed,” Bowlsby said.

Bowlsby said Iowa officials can choose from a broad spectrum of the nation’s football coaches.

Who’s Next? Here is a list of possible successors in alphabetical order:

* TERRY ALLEN, head coach, Kansas – Allen, 41, has been hired by Bowlsby as football coach once before, when the two were at Northern Iowa. Allen has been at Kansas for two years and was a close second for the job at Minnesota in 1996. An Iowa City native, Allen’s Jayhawk teams have posted 5-6 and 4-7 records. At Northern Iowa, Allen’s teams posted an overall 75-26 record over eight years. A likely interview.

* MIKE BELLOTTI, head coach, Oregon – In four years, Bellotti, 47, has been just about as successful as any Ducks coach. Since succeeding former coach Rich Brooks in 1995, the Ducks have played in two bowl games in three years and likely will qualify again his year with an 8-3 record. Bellotti, who has coached wide-open, passing offenses with Danny O’Neil and Bill Musgrave at quarterback for Oregon, has a 51-41-2 record.

* DANA DIMEL, head coach, Wyoming – In his second year at the helm of Cowboys football, Dimel’s team compiled an 8-3 overall record and a 6-2 record in the WAC Mountain Division. At 36, Dimel was the youngest coach in Division I-A when he was hired in 1996 to replace former coach Joe Tiller, now at Purdue. Dimel was offensive coordinator at Kansas State for 10 years under Bill Snyder. During his tenure as offensive coordinator, the Wildcats set school records in touchdowns, total points scored and total offense in a season.

* KIRK FERENTZ, assistant head coach-offense, Baltimore Ravens – The 43-year-old former Fry assistant has been a key cog in opening up the Ravens’ offense under Coach Ted Marchibroda. Ferentz has head coaching experience -three years at the University of Maine -as well as nine years as offensive line coach for the Hawkeyes. Ferentz said Monday he would be flattered to be considered.

* DENNIS FRANCHIONE, head coach, Texas Christian – The 47-year-old coach ranks 10th in winning percentage among active coaches with a 119-60-3 overall record. After seven years at New Mexico, Franchione took over the Horned Frogs just this year after TCU posted a 1-10 record in 1997. TCU finished the 1998 season with a 6-5 record including a 31-21 win over Iowa State in Ames. Despite having been at TCU for just one year, he could be interested in the job.

* CHUCK LONG, assistant coach, Iowa – Long, 35, won all-America honors while playing for the Hawkeyes from 1981 through 1985. He has finished his fourth year as an assistant for Fry, beginning as the defensive backs coach and switching to quarterbacks coach this year. Likely to be a sentimental favorite among some fans, Long’s biggest drawback is lack of experience as a head coach and his relative youth as an assistant.

* BILL SNYDER, head coach, Kansas State – Considered to have done the impossible, rebuilding the Wildcat program from the worst in college football to an undefeated contender for the national championship this year. Snyder, 57, was an original member of Fry’s staff and for 10 seasons his offensive coordinator. Given Kansas State’s drive for the national championship and likely major bowl game, Iowa would have to wait until early January if Snyder were to succeed Fry.

* BOBBY STOOPS, defensive coordinator, Florida – The 39-year-old former Iowa defensive back is considered one of the hottest head coaching prospects in the country. After several years at Kansas State as an assistant to Bill Snyder, Stoops brought strong defensive schemes to the Gators, who won the national championship in 1996. Expect him to be interviewed.

* TYRONE WILLINGHAM, head coach, Stanford – Willingham, 44, succeeded Bill Walsh at Stanford and has compiled a 22-23-1 record over four years. Willingham’s teams earned bowl trips in 1995 and 1996 and he was named Pacific-10 Conference coach of the year in 1995. Willingham, a walk-on in football and baseball at Michigan State, was awarded the Big

Ten medal of honor as the outstanding scholar-athlete in the conference in 1977. He also was running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings under Coach Dennis Green, who played at Iowa in the 1960s.


That’s what we do. We at newspaper factories (they’re actually called Information Centers these days) make lists. And therefore, Kirk Ferentz is on a list to replace Todd Haley at Kansas City.


Because he’s Pioli’s buddy, he’s been an offensive line coach in the NFL, and because he runs an NFL-style program that has resulted in 53 players being drafted during his 13 years as the coach.

Why not?

At $3.8 million a year, the salary can’t be that overwhelmingly different.

While Iowa fans may be concerned with 14 regular seasons wins the past two seasons, he still is a ways from being on anyone’s legitimate hot seat.

His contract, which expires after the 2019 season – is the next best thing to a lifetime deal.

The university is in the process of renovating the football complex.


Which brings us to the Norm Parker topic.

There are rumors galore on this one, too, including fired Arizona coach Mike Stoops returning to his alma mater.

That seems a long shot. It’s all right to differ on strategy sometimes, but Stoops has an aggressive personality, while Ferentz is more businesslike.

And then there’s this:

Ferentz often hires and promotes from within his staff:

Recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Eric Johnson started out as a Ferentz graduate assistant, as did defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski.

Reese Morgan rose from recruiting coordinator to offensive line coach. Don’t forget that one, either.

So if history holds, then people who think secondary coach Phil Parker will replace Norm Parker (no relation) could be onto something.










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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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