Amid College Football Scandals, Iowa Lucky To Have Kirk Ferentz
It hasn't exactly been a great couple of weeks for coaches in The Big Ten. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer faces controversy about how he didn't properly handle an assistant coach with a history of domestic violence. Now, Maryland has put head coach D.J. Durkin on paid leave following the investigation into the death of a player amid reports of deplorable practice conditions. And while these stories send shock waves throughout college football, it's business as usual in Iowa City for Kirk Ferentz.
It's always amazed me at the flack Kirk Ferentz often receives. Part of that comes when you're the highest paid state employee. Iowa fans are among the most loyal in the nation. But we'll also let you know when we think we deserve more. We've let Ferentz hear about every 6 or 7 win season. Why don't we win more? Why don't we get more 5 star recruits? Why can't we be more like Ohio State? No one is asking those questions this summer. After an 8-5 record and a bowl win in 2017, optimism is high in Iowa City. But offseasons like this show how lucky Iowa is to have Kirk Ferentz for another reason. Character.
No one said it was easy to be the leader of men, much less young men with more on their mind than just football. But Kirk Ferentz has navigated those waters without nary a scandal in his tenure at Iowa. Sure, he's seen his share of player suspensions, heck there are four for the season opener against Northern Illinois. But he has run the Iowa program the right way. And while others may want shortcuts if it means more wins, Ferentz knows that being remembered for HOW you did it, is just as important as all the wins. Plus, Kirk and his family understand the importance of community. What other coach has donated $1 million to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital?
So the next time Iowa struggles during a game, or runs on a crucial 3rd down and you scream, "Come on Kirk! We're better than this!," take a look around. Look at the beautiful new Kinnick Stadium. Go and look at the bowl trophies. And look at the soon to be all-time winningest coach in Iowa football history, Kirk Ferentz, on the sidelines. Look at the program he took over from Hayden Fry, and realize what he has built. And then smile, because he built it the RIGHT way. No scandals. No nasty national headlines. Just a big dose of 'Iowa Nice'.