Watch: Mark Stoops thanks Iowa football for Kentucky tornado relief fundraising efforts

The Hawkeyes and the Wildcats face off in the Citrus Bowl on Saturday.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Iowa and Kentucky will be enemies on the football field in the Citrus Bowl, but they worked together in the weeks leading up to the bowl game.

The state of Kentucky was decimated by tornadoes earlier this month, which led to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz reaching out to Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops.

Ferentz asked Stoops what the Hawkeye football program could do to aid the Wildcats, and Stoops said that the Kentucky athletic department was raising money for relief efforts, so Iowa could do the same. The Hawkeyes shortly after sent a tweet bringing awareness to the disasters in Kentucky.

At a joint press conference on Friday morning with both Stoops and Ferentz in attendance, Stoops noted his appreciation for what the Hawkeyes have done.

“​​First of all, it really didn’t surprise me,” Stoops said. “You know, really, to take time during that moment, said a lot about coach Ferentz, his wife, Mary, the entire program, the entire state. Certainly with coach and I, when that tornado hit, we were probably at the peak of being busy. The season is difficult but the way this calendar falls right now, we are extremely busy during that time of year. That tornado was so close to myself, and you have a tendency to get so wrapped up in what you’re doing that you need to step out of that box and take a look at what’s going on. And that was certainly for myself, and it was so close to me, but to have coach reach out and have people do that throughout the state, says a lot about Iowa, says a lot about coach, says a lot about Iowa football and says a lot about the state, and it was greatly appreciated.”

Watch Stoops’ response in the video above.