One thing is certain about new Iowa assistant football coaches Brian Ferentz and LeVar Woods.
They both are exactly where they want to be.
The pair met with the media Wednesday for the first time since being hired as the new offensive line and linebackers coaches for the Hawkeyes.
“This is home, this is family,” said Brian Ferentz, who previously worked as tight ends coach for the New England Patriots. “And more than just family with my family, but I feel like this program is family for me.
“It’s very near and dear to my heart, and I think this is an exciting time here.”
Woods had spent the last four years as an administrative assistant with the football team. He helped coach when former defensive coordinator Norm Parker was ill in 2010 and took over the defensive line duties at the Insight Bowl in December when Rick Kaczenski left for Nebraska.
“I feel very fortunate, like the most fortunate man in the world,” Woods said. “I get to coach a position I played at the university that I attended for a coach that I have the utmost respect for.
“I’m glad (Kirk Ferentz) left the room, actually, because I have a hard time not getting emotional when I talk about him and what he means to me.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said he was excited to add a pair of former players, both products of Iowa high schools — Woods from West Lyon and Ferentz from City High.
The pair spent time in the NFL as players. Woods logged a lot more game time, playing for four teams — Tennessee, Arizona, Chicago and Detroit. Ferentz spent some time as a player with Atlanta and New Orleans, and as a coach, spent the last four seasons on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England.
“Both had significant time in the National Football League as players, and I think their experience is going to be something that’s good for our program,” Kirk Ferentz said. “I think LeVar and Brian know our program inside and out, and they have a great feel for it.”
Brian Ferentz didn’t shy away from the obvious. He came back to Iowa because he wanted the chance to work with his father.
“Once he had an idea of what he wanted to do, he reached out to me,” Brian Ferentz said. “For me, like I said, it was a no-brainer. You can’t say no to your father. And for me personally, it was hard to say no to Iowa.
“I know that sounds cheesy and corny, but it was. This is a special place. I believe that.”
Brian Ferentz said his wife and his mother can attest that he and his father spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone.
And now he’s a few doors away.
“Sometimes it’s better to be on the phone because you can hang up,” Brian said. “It’s been pretty fun so far. It’s special.”
Woods could have gone to work at a lot of places after his NFL career, but he took a relatively low-paying job as an administrative assistant in the football office in 2008 to get his foot in the door.
“I thought I was making more (money) beforehand,” Woods said. “But yeah, it’s sort of a leap of faith.
“My wife and I didn’t come here to do the coaching thing. We wanted to raise our kids in Iowa, and coach Ferentz said there’s an opportunity to come on the staff.”
Woods said he had opportunities to look elsewhere over the past few years, “but I wanted to be here,” he said. “So I’m here. Whatever role coach envisioned me in, that’s what I wanted to be.”
Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football