Kirk Ferentz lands on ESPN's 'retirement watch' entering 2024 season
Kirk Ferentz has been a mainstay at Iowa for a quarter century. Now on the doorstep of a landmark shift in college football, the head coach of the Hawkeyes could be entering the final stretch of his coaching career.
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg recently dropped his list of coaches on a hot seat entering the 2024 season. While there is no such concern for Ferentz in Iowa City, Rittenberg did include a separate distinction for coaches entering “retirement watch.”
Among the factors considered, Rittenberg included the fact that Ferentz is already the longest-tenured coach in college football by a considerable margin. There is also the frustration of the 2023 season that involved his son, Brian Ferentz, at the middle of continued controversy surrounding the offense of the Hawkeyes.
Here’s what Rittenberg had to say:
Ferentz, entering his 26th season with Iowa, is college football’s longest-tenured coach by six seasons, and will turn 69 on Aug. 1. He’s in good health and likely can coach as long as he wants at Iowa, which in early 2022 extended his contract through the 2029 season. Iowa has been a steady winner but faces a tougher path to continued success in the expanded Big Ten. Ferentz went through an emotionally taxing 2023 season in which his son, Hawkeyes offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, was fired. “Every job has got things that cause frustration, so this is kind of the way it is,” Kirk Ferentz told ESPN in November. “And it’s for you to determine where that line is and make the determination from there. I feel great. I love what I do. And more importantly, I love the people I’m around.”
Will Ferentz remain in Iowa City through the remainder of his contract, or is he winding down a decorated coaching career with the Hawkeyes? Time will tell.