The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Point/Counterpoint | Should Kirk Ferentz retire?

Daily Iowan Sports Reporter Brad Schultz argues that Ferentz’s time should end, while Sports Reporter Jake Olson thinks the coach should stick around.
Iowa+head+coach+Kirk+Ferentz+enters+Kinnick+Stadium+during+a+football+game+between+No.+24+Iowa+and+Minnesota+at+Kinnick+Stadium+in+Iowa+City+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+21%2C+2023.+The+Golden+Gophers+defeated+the+Hawkeyes%2C+12-10.
Cody Blissett
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz enters Kinnick Stadium during a football game between No. 24 Iowa and Minnesota at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. The Golden Gophers defeated the Hawkeyes, 12-10.

No

Following the Iowa football team’s loss to Minnesota on Oct. 21, the Hawkeyes’ road to the Big Ten Championship got a lot more difficult.

Iowa must win their remaining four games against Northwestern, Rutgers, Illinois, and Nebraska in order to have a chance to advance to Lucas Oil Stadium in December.

While fans have been at the neck of offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz all season long, some are questioning the place of head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured head coach in college football by six years. He has been under the helm of the Hawkeyes since 1999.

Known for his old-school style of play using fullbacks and double tight end packages, Kirk Ferentz certainly likes to play his brand of football and seems reluctant to change it.

With the third consecutive season having one of the worst offenses in the country, Hawkeye fans are wondering if it’s time to move on to a more modern style of football.

While it has been frustrating watching Hawkeye football the past three seasons, I believe Kirk Ferentz isn’t the problem.

In actuality, he has been one of the most consistent head coaches in college football over the past five seasons.

Iowa is one of 10 teams that has won 70 percent of its games over the past four years with a 43-18 record — including going 29-15 in the Big Ten.

In those five seasons, the Hawkeyes have gone 3-1 in bowl game appearances, with the 2020 Music City Bowl getting canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s simply difficult to find another coach as consistent as Kirk Ferentz. Letting him walk sooner than later could prove to be fatal for the program. It would be hard to find a successor that can fill his shoes.

Yes

Without a doubt, Kirk Ferentz will go down as the greatest coach in Iowa football history.

In his 25 years as head coach, he’s led Iowa to two Big Ten titles, two Big Ten West championships, and is a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year honoree.

However, as the saying goes — all good things must come to an end.

This season, the Hawkeyes have hit rock bottom on offense. Iowa currently ranks dead last in the entire nation in total offense with no signs of improvement.

I’m well aware that Iowa has lost its starting quarterback, its top two tight ends, and several offensive linemen to injury, but that’s no excuse for its porous play on offense.

In the second half of Iowa’s loss to Minnesota, the Hawkeyes mustered only 12 yards, which is unfathomable and unacceptable for any football team, let alone a Big Ten team.

The bottom line here is that the game has simply passed by Ferentz. He isn’t willing to adjust to mobile quarterbacks and utilize the passing game to its full potential. He also hasn’t shown any willingness to make a change at quarterback, despite Deacon Hill only completing 37 percent of his passes in three starts thus far.

With the Big Ten expanding to 18 teams next season, 2024 is going to be a make-or-break year for the Iowa football program. There isn’t going to be a soft Big Ten West schedule that allows the Hawkeyes to continue their predictable, snail-paced style of play.

Ferentz should retire on top, rather than on the bottom, like his predecessor Hayden Fry. A 10-win season and a Big Ten Championship Game appearance will be the perfect send off to allow the program to start fresh and prepare itself for the new era of college football.

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About the Contributors
Jake Olson, Sports Reporter
(he/him/his)
Email: [email protected] Jake Olson is a Sports Reporter for The Daily Iowan. In his three years with the paper, he has covered everything from rowing to basketball. He is studying journalism and mass communication with a minor in sports and rec management.
Brad Schultz, Sports Reporter
(he/him/his)
Brad Schultz is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Sports Studies. This is first year working as a sports reporter and he has a deep passion and love for sports. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Brad is a contributor for Saturday Blitz, a college football site, with his content primarily covering Iowa and the Big Ten.
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
he/him/his
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.