Iowa’s football program endured some serious growing pains over the summer months. It wasn’t so much about the play on the field, but how things were being handled inside the locker room.

Over the summer, former Iowa players spoke out against “racial disparities” within the football program. It led to head coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff having open conversations with current and former players, and changing the culture within the program.

Ferentz detailed some of those conversations as brutally honest and emotional. He allowed players to speak their mind and explaining how they felt the program could improve moving forward. Both the Iowa football program and the athletic department are creating a more inclusive environment because of those difficult conversations over the summer.

And the longtime head coach of the Hawkeyes believes there’s been progress.

“I just want to let you all know that we feel like we have a stronger program today than yesterday,” Ferentz said on Thursday. “Our players and coaches are really united. They’ve done a great job and I’m really happy to report that.”

Ferentz said multiple times over the summer that the program has to continue to keep the conversation moving forward. Even though the football team may make progress every day, continuing to be inclusive and improve is a top priority for Ferentz and his staff.

Below is the clip from Ferentz’s press conference on Thursday: