Ferentz reacts to win No. 144

After Saturday's 33-7 win over Northern Illinois, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz surpassed Hayden Fry as the program's winningest head coach.

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Ferentz reacts to win No. 144

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

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Just like that, Kirk Ferentz is the coach with the most victories in Hawkeye football history.

Iowa’s 33-7 victory over Northern Illinois on Sept. 1 propelled Ferentz over predecessor Hayden Fry, giving the coach 144 victories.

“I would have been perfectly fine if we did this a couple years ago,” Ferentz joked. “That’s not the way it went. Whomever we played [Sept. 1], the goal was to win and get the season started. Sometime, if I ever retire, at the retirement dinner — which I probably won’t show up at — they can talk about all this stuff. Right now, I acknowledge what’s happened historically. It’s really a great thing. Broader picture, I think it’s a great commentary on Iowa.”


It wasn’t easy, however; the Huskies kept things close for the entire first half, but in the end, Ferentz and Company ground out the win in typical Ferentz fashion.

Much like how he attributes a quality win, Ferentz said he didn’t deserve full credit for setting the record.

“It’s a big picture. I know it’s cliché, and most clichés are true, though, in football, but it’s all about a collective effort,” he said.

There’s no system to winning and setting records, as Ferentz said. When he accepted the head-coach gig, he didn’t foresee anything resembling what he has accomplished.

“There’s a lot of luck involved. Everything’s pretty much in my whole career happened by chance,” he said. “I swear to God it has. I’ve never had a master plan or a list of things I was trying to accomplish. The commonality has been I’ve been around really good people.”

Ferentz’s record-setting win came against the team he started it all against; his first victory as the Hawkeye head coach came in 1999 in a 24-0 win over the Huskies.

The Hawkeye players seemed to be more thrilled (at least publicly) than Ferentz about the record-setting win, and they were grateful for the opportunity to play under the legendary coach.

 

Parker Hesse: “It’s a tremendous honor for all of us players to be here for Coach Ferentz’s history win. We respect the opportunity we have to play for such a high-character guy who really cares about his players and who we are as people. The team will remember this win forever.”

Levi Paulsen: “After the game, it was really special. Our head coach was crying. I was starting to tear up. Brian Ferentz was crying. Quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends — the whole nine yards — everybody was crying just because everybody realizes the University of Iowa is a special place. The culture that Coach Ferentz has built and sustained over time is just second to none.”

A.J. Epenesa: “It’s a huge honor for all of us to say we’ve played for Coach Ferentz in the 20 years he’s [been] here. We’re all connected to 20 years of Iowa Hawkeyes.”

 

Many had wondered what Fry would say. The former coach was not doing interviews, but Ferentz said he and Fry were able to able to talk on Aug. 30 and discuss what was to come.

“He’s great,” Ferentz said. “Still telling the same bad jokes. He sounded great, and I think we’re all sharing this … I know he wanted [the record] to stay in the family. I’m thrilled that we can keep it going.”

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