There’s not much Kirk Ferentz hasn’t seen throughout his extensive coaching career.
Iowa’s head coach has held his post for the Hawkeyes since 1999. His first regular-season game of next season will mark his 300th (174-125) as a college head coach.
But for now, Ferentz has to preach patience and safety. Like almost all other college head coaches around the country, the spread of COVID-19 is halting recruiting and spring workouts indefinitely for them.
Ferentz admitted that 1980 probably marks the last time he wasn’t working diligently in the Spring. His career in college football just began at that point.
Yet, Ferentz simply isn’t preoccupied with the missed practice time. Instead, he’s looking ahead towards the future and safety of his program and its players.
“You’re not only showing up, but you’re stepping up your game. We appreciate that.” – words of support from Kirk Ferentz, head coach of @HawkeyeFootball at @uiowa, to the Hy-Vee team.#HelpfulSmileStrong #GoHawks pic.twitter.com/48Acyi5dU1
— Hy-Vee (@HyVee) April 2, 2020
Iowa’s Steady Climb
For the past three years Iowa’s record improved by one win each season. To boast, Iowa’s 10-3 record marked the Hawkeyes’ best finish to a season since 2015 (12-2). Ferentz’s team also triumphed in their last three Bowl Games.
Iowa’s recruiting class of 2020 also entered as the 35th-best class in the country according to 247Sports.
Momentum is on Ferentz’s and Iowa’s side — barring the current period of idleness and inactivity. As of now, a lot of factors are up in the air. When asked about playing games with no fans, Ferentz said “that should be done if it’s the right thing to do.”
The NFL Draft’s Impact on Iowa
The NFL Draft officially has a tentative, online set date. The draft will run from April 23-25.
Iowa expects to have up to five players drafted. One of them will likely be starting QB Nate Stanley.
“I think you’re probably looking at a player who will get drafted post third round, would be my guess,” said Ferentz when discussing Stanley.
“One thing I’ve told the NFL people, is that you’re not going to find a better guy who is so conscientious, work harder, and he’s got a great mental toughness and poise. Just all the things you’re looking for in a quarterback. He’s still got room to grow, and develop. The thing I think you’re looking at anytime you draft beyond the third round is potential.”
In the same interview, the longtime head coach alluded to his former TE George Kittle. The San Fransisco 49ers’ drafter Kittle in the 5th-round of the 2017 draft. Since, Kittle has gone on to develop into one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
Ferentz has a solid track record of producing NFL talent. Roughly 70 of his Hawkeyes have been drafted into the league since he took charge in more than two decades ago.
For the moment, Ferentz will continue to navigate his program through the trials and tribulations of COVID-19. While the spread of Coronavirus seems like an unprecedented time around the world, Iowa has an experienced head coach ready and capable to rebuild any wreckage.
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) March 23, 2020