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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Iowa Legislature honors Hawkeyes’ Kirk Ferentz




UI football coach Kirk Ferentz on Jan. 5, 2010

BY JENNIFER JACOBS

MARCH 10, 2010

University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz was honored today at the Iowa Capitol for “one of the most entertaining, talented, and successful teams in Hawkeye history.”

“It was an exciting year, to say the least,” Ferentz told the Iowa Senate this afternoon. “It’s a little easier to look back now that we know what the results were.”

In January, the University of Iowa claimed its biggest bowl victory in a half-century, defeating Georgia Tech 24-14 in the Orange Bowl.

It was the Hawkeyes’ first victory in a Bowl Championship Series game and most significant bowl victory for the school since its 38-12 triumph over the University of California in the 1959 Rose Bowl.

Ferentz told senators today that many Iowans have told him in the last couple months that the football team and the bowl victory brought them joy.

“That’s one of the great things about sports,” Ferentz said. “It gives everybody a chance maybe to get a release for a couple hours during the week and just focus on something that maybe takes their mind off some hardships or tough times and certainly our state’s been through some tough times in the past couple years. If it helped in any way, we’re really thrilled about that.”

The best part of his job is working with the outstanding student athletes and staff, he said.

But Ferentz teasingly chided Ron Stewart, who was on the sidelines of the 1959 Rose Bowl game as a child, and is now the Hawkeye’s chief of security.

Stewart let security slip the night of the Orange Bowl game, he said.

“At the end of the bowl game, he helped those guys nail me with the Gatorade and I got a cold shower that night,” Ferentz said.

Ferentz repeatedly thanked lawmakers for their support for all the University of Iowa’s programs.

“I’m very proud to be an Iowan,” he said. “I’ve coached at other places and believe me when I tell you that we have a very, very unique support level in Iowa and I’m very appreciative of that.”

Both the House and Senate sponsored resolutions today offering congratulations.

After the Senate approved its version, sponsored by Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, and Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, Ferentz earned chuckles when he said: “I don’t know much about politics other than watching a little bit on television. I’m just guessing, not too many things get passed through here this quickly.”

Here’s what Senate Resolution 108 says:

“A Resolution to celebrate the highlights for the 2009 football season of the University of Iowa football team.

“WHEREAS, the 2009 University of Iowa football team will be remembered as one of the most entertaining, talented, and successful teams in Hawkeye history; and

“WHEREAS, the 11 wins equals the program’s 2002 record for victories in a season; and

“WHEREAS, the regular season win total of 10 was achieved for only the fourth time; “and WHEREAS, for the first time ever, the Hawkeyes won the first nine games of a season; and

“WHEREAS, Iowa played in a January bowl game for the sixth time in eight years; and

“WHEREAS, Iowa won a Bowl Championship Series-caliber bowl game for the first time since 1959 in beating Georgia Tech in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl 24-14; and

“WHEREAS, the Hawkeyes finished the 2009 season with an 11-2 overall record and a 6-2 Big Ten mark, finishing in a second place tie; and

“WHEREAS, the Hawkeyes have won at least nine games for the fifth time in the last eight years and for the seventh time in school history have won 10 games or more; and

“WHEREAS, the Hawkeyes were ranked seventh in both major polls at the conclusion of the season, the highest final ranking for the program since 1960; and

“WHEREAS, defensive end Adrian Clayborn was named Most Valuable Player of the FedEx Orange Bowl; and

“WHEREAS, Coach Kirk Ferentz was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time; and

“WHEREAS, offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga was picked as the Big Ten’s Offensive Lineman of the Year; and

“WHEREAS, All-Big Ten first teamers included Bryan Bulaga (OL), Dace Richardson (OL), Tony Moeaki (TE), Adrian Clayborn (DE), Pat Angerer (LB), Tyler Sash (DB), and Amari Spievey (DB), and five additional Hawkeyes were named to the league’s second unit; and

“WHEREAS, Bryan Bulaga and Pat Angerer were named first-team all-Americans, Tyler Sash was a second team choice, and Adrian Clayborn made the third team; and

“WHEREAS, the Iowa Hawkeyes have earned 70 wins since the start of the 2002 season, which places them at a tie for the 16th highest total in Division I football; and

“WHEREAS, Iowa’s football record in the 2000 decade was 80-45 (.640), a record that ranks as the best decade in Iowa football history, based on total wins;

“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE,

“That the Senate congratulates the University of Iowa football team for a stellar season and looks forward to a great season in 2010.”

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