Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Kirk Ferentz now fourth all-time in wins as Big Ten head coach


BySEAN BOCK Nov 7, 3:31 PM


Iowa dominated on Saturday in the 49-7 win over Michigan State to put its record at 1-2 on the season.

With the win, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz passed former Penn State head coach and the late Joe Paterno for fourth in wins as a head coach in the Big Ten conference. Ferentz, who has 163 wins in the Big Ten as a head coach, trails Woody Hayes (202), Amos Alonzo Stagg (199), and Bo Schembechler (194).


"It probably means I've been here a while, right? You know, that stuff is all great, and I promise you, it wasn't prominent on my mind," Ferentz said following the game. "We needed to play well today. That's what we needed to do.


"It's great. Whenever I retire, whenever that day comes, hopefully it's not for quite a while, although I'm sure some people are wondering about that, then we'll sit around and talk about stuff like that. It's neat, but what's more important is we got a win today. I'm really, really happy for our players."

Iowa has been the head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes since the 1999 season. In Ferentz's first two games in Iowa City, his teams finished 1-10 and 3-9. In 2001, the script started to flip as Iowa went 7-5 and making it to the Alamo Bowl. Since then, the program under Ferentz has only missed a bowl game in two seasons (2007, 2012).


In 2018, Ferentz passed the legendary Hayden Fry as the winningest coach in Iowa football history.


Ferentz addressed this past week how tough it was to take over the Iowa program at first.


"Just taking over any program is a big challenge," he said. "And obviously this situation -- I was familiar with it because I had worked here for nine years under Coach Fry, so I looked at that as probably a good thing, because at least I had a feel, at least I thought I had a feel for the program and the state and what it took to be successful."


"And I've said this many times before: a lot of my views and vantage points about what it takes to be a successful college program were shaped because of Coach Fry. He had a tremendous impact on my life and I was a young person at that time."


Iowa's 0-2 start to the year was very uncharacteristic for the program. That start was the first time Iowa began the season 0-2 since 2000. The win on Saturday against the Spartans will serve as a building block for the remainder of the season.

Ferentz reiterated earlier this week that there is a lot of football left to be played this season and he likes the direction that his team is heading in.

"There's a lot of football in front of us and a lot of season in front of us," Ferentz said. "What we need to do is grow and find a way to push this thing over the top. All you've got to do is look at our opponent. They did a great job of that week one to week two over the last two weeks. That's what the game is all good."


Following the win over the Spartans, Iowa will go on the road next Friday to face off against Minnesota. The Hawkeyes got the best of the Gophers ruining their undefeated season. Minnesota is currently 0-2 on the season heading into this Saturday's contest against Illinois.


Ferentz's career record as a head coach at Iowa is now 163-104.

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