You’ve seen the list of the potential NFL firings, and you’ve heard Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz mentioned as a possible replacement – again linking him to his friend, Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli.
It’s a Ferentz annual occurrence – as predictable as some people call the Hawkeyes’ pro-style offense.
When asked for comment Sunday, Iowa media relations director Steve Roe wrote in an email that Ferentz doesn’t usually comment on NFL rumors.
Is this the time those rumors become reality?
Some facts to consider:
** Son Brian is Iowa’s offensive line coach, and son Steve is a tight end.
** Wife Mary is very much into causes dealing with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He and Mary became first-time grandparents (thanks to Brian and Nikki) last October.
** He’s 57 years old and has been at Iowa 14 seasons.
** He has passed on other NFL opportunities.
** He knows that some Iowa fans are not as all-in with the football program as they were after a 24-14 victory over Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl. Some fans are concerned that Hawkeye football is becoming stale after records of 6-10 in the Big Ten Conference and 11-14 overall the past two seasons.
** Iowa football facilities have been upgraded, and that progress isn’t yet finished.
** Ferentz receives $3.7 million annually until Jan. 31, 2020, according to terms of his contract. His buyout right now is around $20 million if the university ends the relationship, which isn’t going to happen. There’s no vice-versa — Ferentz can leave whenever he wants without paying the university anything.
Here’s what Ferentz said before Black Monday 2009. He talked about it as his team prepared from the Outback Bowl. Here’s a snippet from the story in the Dec. 29, 2008 Des Moines Register:
Today is Black Monday in the NFL, typically the day head coaches start getting fired.
Typically the day successful college coaches such as Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz get mentioned as replacements.
“I thought about that last Friday when I was watching ESPN,” Ferentz said after practice Sunday. “They ran down through a list of 12 guys who are in shark waters right now.”
Ferentz interviewed for the head coaching job at Jacksonville after the 2002 season. He has been an assistant with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
“The bullets are flying in Cleveland — they’re flying in at least 10 cities,” Ferentz said. “It’s a matter who gets hit with some shrapnel and who doesn’t.”
So how does he respond when his name pops up on ESPN lists?
“Same as always,” he said.
Here is the comment he has used when previously asked about the NFL:
“I’ve got a good job. For me to walk into a team meeting saying I’m going somewhere else — I need a pretty compelling reason.
“I’m not saying there would never be that reason, but I don’t know what that would be.”
Here’s a copy of a Des Moines Register story regarding Ferentz and the NFL in December 2006:
There is an NFL job that could lure Kirk Ferentz away from Iowa.
Ferentz, in his eighth season as the Hawkeyes’ football coach, is regularly mentioned as a candidate for professional vacancies. And there may be one perk-filled position that would be too good to pass up.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” he told reporters this week. “I’ve got a dream job. I don’t know if it’s 10 years from now or 12 years from now.”
Then he smiled.
“I’m being real nice to all the NFL guys I know, that are young. My (dream) job is to be a consultant where I’m paid probably more than I should, and nobody’s really quite sure what hours I’m working and what my responsibility is.
“That’s the job I’m looking for.”
Ferentz talked about meeting with officials from the Jacksonville Jaguars about their head coaching position after the 2002 season, which is the closest he’s ever come to leaving for the pro ranks.
“It was exploratory on both sides,” Ferentz said. “My wife has always said, ‘You know when it’s time to do something.’ I think at the end of the conversation it became pretty clear to me just how happy I was where I was at.”
Ferentz, who grew up in the Pittsburgh area, has said he wouldn’t be interested in coaching the Steelers, or that they wouldn’t be interested in him.
“The best thing about my job is if things are screwed up at our place, I can’t blame anybody but myself,” he said. “I know that every day I drive into work.”
Still, Ferentz likes to poke fun at those who speculate.
“What about the Winnipeg Bombers?” he joked. “Somebody said they’ve been calling.”
There’s speculation current Steelers coach Bill Cowher might resign after this season. The latest buzz came from longtime college football analyst Beano Cook, who said Ferentz would be a leading candidate.
“That’s kind of funny, because we haven’t heard from him,” Ferentz said of Cook. “Has Beano been on TV at all?
“Somewhere in the fall I was like, ‘What happened to Beano Cook? He’s never on anymore. So I was wondering if something had happened.”
It was at least the third time in a week Ferentz has addressed the subject.
“First of all, there isn’t a search. Second, I doubt (Cook) is involved in it,” Ferentz said. “I’m happy with the job I’ve got.”
Here’s what Ferentz said in November 2002:
“If you pinned me down right now, yeah maybe the NFL when I’m 58. If you get your butt shot off (lose) when you’re 58, who cares? I’m not going to worry about it at that time.”
So should Iowa fans anticipate another round of Ferentz-to-the-pros?
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football