Kirk Ferentz says Iowa football will keep current staff, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz for 2023 season

The 24-year head coach plans to move into the new season with the same coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz puts on a headset during the 2022 TransPerfect Music City Bowl between Iowa and Kentucky at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The Iowa offense recorded 206 yards compared to Kentucky’s 185. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats, 21-0.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz said he won’t be making any staffing changes between the 2022 and 2023 football season — including his son and offensive coordinator, Brian Ferentz.

“As I stand here today, I anticipate no changes in our staff moving forward,” Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s my plan, certainly. I think we do have a terrific staff, and I thought they did a terrific job last year in tough circumstances and navigated us through, I think, some big challenges.”

Iowa had one of its least productive offensive seasons in the Kirk Ferentz era in 2022. The Hawkeyes averaged just 17.7 points per game — 123rd out of 131 teams in the FBS. Iowa also ranked 130th in total offense with just 251.6 yards per game.

He said there were multiple factors in the lackluster offensive play in 2022, including coaching, execution, injuries to key offensive players, and a young offensive line.

The Hawkeyes went 8-5 overall this season — their worst winning percentage since 2017.

“It’s not much fun, certainly, to win eight games,” Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s no easy trick when you score 17.8 a game. That’s not easy. But I’m optimistic. I think I know the causes, as I covered, for our challenges this year, and we’ve taken steps already in terms of addressing it.”

Kirk Ferentz said the only thing that matters, at the end of the day, is the number of wins. He said the Hawkeyes are one of five teams in the nation that has won the equivalent of eight games per season every year since 2015.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta is technically Brian Ferentz’s supervisor because of the University of Iowa’s nepotism policy. Barta said he’s had multiple conversations with both Kirk and Brian Ferentz about the state of the offense since the Hawkeyes’ bowl game victory on Dec. 31, 2022, and the plan for right now is that the current staff will stay intact.

“The conversation started right where Kirk took ownership, and that is obviously, offensively, the performance that we had last year is is not going to cut it,” Barta said. “It’s not acceptable for any anybody involved. Then we had deeper conversations and I’ve had conversations with Brian about my expectations going forward, and those conversations are ongoing. We haven’t quite finalized those yet.”

Barta doesn’t like to micromanage any of his head coaches when it comes to these decisions, he said, but he is in a unique situation with Kirk and Brian Ferentz because of their relationship.

Barta did say, however, that Brian Ferentz is uniquely suited for the Iowa football program because of his familiarity with the Hawkeyes.

“He grew up here around this program,” Barta said. “He played offense in this offense. And over the past 10 years, arguably one of our best decades in Hawkeye football, he has been an integral part of that staff.”

Even with the same coaching staff, Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeyes are planning to switch up their offensive scheme, especially with the addition of quarterback Cade McNamara.

McNamara is more of a mobile quarterback than Spencer Petras, who was a pro-style QB.

“I didn’t say the same scheme, but it’s not going to look radically different,” Ferentz said. “I don’t predict anything wild or absurd there. I think we’ve been pretty consistent in our approach really for 24 years. … I think we’ve got a pretty good quarterback right now to help us. I think we have the right coaches in place, history would prove that. I think we’ve seen success with this coaching staff, and plan on moving forward. I think we’re prime to have a good year.”