University of Iowa Athletics
Moon Family Head Football Coach

Kirk Ferentz

Phone 319-335-8943
Kirk Ferentz - Football - University of Iowa Athletics


Moon Family Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz is in his 26th year as the head football coach at the University of Iowa. The position of UI head football coach was endowed in 2021 by Will and Renee Moon. The Bettendorf, Iowa, couple are UI alumni and longtime Hawkeye supporters.

Iowa’s win at in-state rival Iowa State on Sept. 9, 2023, was his 200th victory as a college head coach. With Iowa’s victory over Michigan State on Sept. 30, 2023, Ferentz surpassed Amos Alonzo Stagg for third place in Big Ten victories with 116, and his career mark in Big Ten games stands at 122-85.

Ferentz and the Hawkeyes closed the 2022 season with a 21-0 win over Kentucky in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl as Ferentz claimed the 10th bowl win of his career. That mark ties former Penn State coach Joe Paterno for most bowl wins in league history. Nationally, Ferentz is one of 19 coaches with 10 bowl victories.

Overall, Ferentz has a 196-119 record with the Hawkeyes, ranking third all-time in wins among Big Ten coaches. As a head coach Ferentz holds a 208-140 record in 28 seasons.

In addition to serving as Iowa’s head coach for 25 seasons, Ferentz has been a member of the Iowa coaching staff for 34 seasons. His most recent contract extension extended his agreement with Iowa through the 2029 season.

Under Ferentz’ leadership the Iowa football program has earned 21 bowl game invitations since 2001 (2020 Music City Bowl was canceled). That success has been achieved with strong commitments to the program, the University of Iowa, and the ideals that represent Hawkeye football – hard work, determination, player development and character, on and off the field.

Iowa has recorded eight wins or more the last nine season (Iowa was 6-2 in the 2020 COVID-19 season). Only four other programs (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State) have won eight games every year over that time frame.

In 2023, the Hawkeyes won 10 games, including their final four, to capture the Big Ten West Division for the second time in three years. Iowa advanced to the 2024 Citrus Bowl, marking the 13th January bowl game for the Hawkeyes under Ferentz, and finished the season ranked No. 24. The Hawkeyes have been ranked in the final AP Top 25 five of the last six seasons.

The Hawkeyes played the toughest schedule in the West Division in 2022, as two of their five losses came to playoff teams Michigan and Ohio State. Two additional losses were by three-point margins as Iowa improved throughout the season, winning five of its final six games.

In 2021, Ferentz led Iowa to its second Big Ten West Division title (2015), posting a 7-2 conference record and 10-4 overall mark. The Hawkeyes won 10 games for the seventh time under Ferentz and earned an invitation to the Citrus Bowl, Iowa’s 12th January bowl game and 19th postseason invitation overall in the Ferentz era. Iowa was ranked 23rd in the final 2021 rankings, the fourth straight season the Hawkeyes have ended the year in the Top 25.

With Iowa’s 33-7 win over Northern Illinois in the opening game of the 2018 season, Ferentz recorded win No. 144 as Iowa’s head coach, surpassing the late Hayden Fry as the winningest football coach in program history. Fry was Iowa’s head coach for 20 seasons (1979-98).

Ferentz is the longest tenured head football coach in the nation. Ferentz and Fry are the only head coaches to lead a Division I football program for 20 years, consecutively. With a 63-0 win at Illinois in 2018, Ferentz became just the fifth coach in Big Ten Conference history to win 150 games as a Big Ten head coach. Ferentz earned his 100th career Big Ten win at Penn State (Nov. 21, 2020).

The Hawkeyes have earned 25 conference victories between 2020-23, matching its highest four-year conference win total in program history (1982-85 and 2002-05). Iowa has posted five January bowl wins as Iowa’s head coach. The Hawkeyes have twice won three straight bowl games (2008-10 and 2017-19) under Ferentz. Iowa has won at least six conference games four of the last five seasons.

Iowa opened the 2021 season with six straight wins, including three victories over ranked opponents while being ranked as high as second in the nation. Following consecutive losses, the Hawkeyes rallied to win their final four regular season games to earn the Big Ten’s West Division title. The Iowa defense set a school record with 25 interceptions.

The Hawkeyes won 47 games from 2015-19, the best five-year win total in school history. Just eight programs in the nation won more games during that time frame. Ferentz guided the Hawkeyes to eight wins or more in five consecutive seasons (2015-19) and 15 seasons overall since 2002.

On the field, Ferentz’s approach can be described as smart, tough, and physical. Off the field, academics and character development are a focus. In 2021, the University of Iowa outperformed its peers nationally in the classroom for the 10th consecutive year, according to data released by the NCAA.

Following back-to-back narrow losses to open the 2020 season, Iowa won six straight games, all in Big Ten play, to complete the regular season. The Hawkeyes scored at least 26 points in each of the six wins, while holding three opponents to just seven points. The winning streak included road wins at Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois, and trophy game victories over Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the nation in the final CFP rankings and Coaches Poll, 16th by the AP Iowa’s Music City Bowl date with Missouri in December was canceled due to the pandemic.

Iowa concluded the 2019 season with three straight wins over border rivals Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska, followed by the 49-24 Holiday Bowl win over No. 22 USC. Following a 24-22 loss at Wisconsin to open November, the Hawkeyes handed No. 7 Minnesota its first loss of the season to maintain possession of Floyd of Rosedale. Iowa’s three losses came by a combined 14 points to three teams who were ranked in the top 20 at the time. Iowa also maintained possession of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Trophy with a win at Iowa State in September.

Iowa won six of its first seven games in 2018 and closed the season with wins in the final three games, including the 27-22 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Mississippi State. The four losses came by a total of 23 points, and all were decided in the final minutes of play. Iowa’s defense ranked second nationally in interceptions after leading the nation in 2017.

Iowa’s 8-5 record in 2017 included wins in three of four trophy games, with victories over Iowa State, Minnesota, and Nebraska, plus the Pinstripe Bowl win to conclude the season. Iowa also began November with a 55-24 win over third-ranked Ohio State. Nine of Iowa’s 12 regular season opponents were bowl eligible (posting an 8-1 record) as the Hawkeyes faced one of the strongest schedules in the nation.

Iowa closed the 2016 regular season with three straight wins, including two over ranked opponents. Iowa posted a 6-3 record in Big Ten play to tie for second place in the West Division and finished the season at 8-5 overall.

Highlights of the year included Iowa defeating second-ranked Michigan and 15th-ranked Nebraska in the final month of the season, as well as earning a January bowl invitation for the 10th time during the Ferentz era.

The Iowa football program enjoyed a historic season in 2015, posting a final 12-2 record. Ferentz led the 2015 Hawkeyes to a perfect regular season, setting a school record with 12 wins. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division (8-0) before falling to Michigan State, 16-13, in a close championship game that was decided in the final minute of play. The Hawkeyes earned their sixth invitation to the Rose Bowl, which was Iowa’s first appearance in Pasadena in 25 years.

Ferentz was recognized with both the Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year awards in 2015. He was named Eddie Robinson (FWAA) and Woody Hayes National Coach of the Year (Columbus Touchdown Club), and received the Dodd Trophy, presented by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. He was also named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region 3 Coach of the Year.

Coaching History
Ferentz’ coaching career began as a student assistant (1977) at his alma mater, the University of Connecticut. The next two years (1978-79) were spent at Worcester Academy, where he also taught English literature. He then served as a graduate assistant offensive line coach at the University of Pittsburgh during the 1980 season. That Pittsburgh team (coached by Jackie Sherrill) finished with an 11-1 record and a number two national ranking.

Ferentz joined Hayden Fry’s Iowa staff as the offensive line coach in 1981, which became Iowa’s first winning seasons in 19 years. The season was highlighted by the Hawkeyes winning a conference title and earning a Rose Bowl berth – both of which had not occurred in 20 years.

He continued as Iowa’s offensive line coach through the 1989 season and had great success coaching offensive lines that, to date, have anchored four of Iowa’s highest scoring offenses. In addition, eight of Iowa’s top 10 offensive teams, in terms of yards gained per game, have operated with Ferentz as the head coach or offensive line coach. And Iowa’s top nine passing teams of all time have occurred with Ferentz as the head coach, or offensive line coach.

Ferentz was named head coach of the University of Maine Black Bears in 1990 and held that position for three years before being hired by Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns to coach the offensive line. He remained with the organization after it moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Ravens, serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. In all, he worked six years with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.

He rejoined the Hawkeyes as head coach in 1999 and is Iowa’s longest tenured head football coach.

Personal History
Off the field, family is the top priority for Ferentz. Ferentz and his wife, Mary, have been married for 44 years. They have five children: Brian, Kelly, Joanne, James, and Steven. They also have five granddaughters (Presley, Blakely, Connolly, Jolie, and Bella), and six grandsons (John, Forest, Nixon, Lincoln, Beckett, and Marshall). All five of their children graduated from City High School in Iowa City and earned degrees from the University of Iowa; and each of the boys had the incredible experience of playing football at the University of Iowa with their father as head coach.

Kirk and Mary are very enthusiastic supporters of the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. They serve as advocates for the Children’s Hospital, hosting and speaking at events across the state to raise awareness and support for the hospital. Kirk and Mary established the “Ferentz Family Pediatric Research and Education Endowment Fund” in 2007. In honor of their granddaughter, Mary and Kirk donated more than $1 million in 2017 to establish the Savvy Elizabeth Ferentz Neonatology Research Fund. In addition, the Iowa Ladies’ Football Academy has donated $3 million to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which opened across the street from Kinnick Stadium in December, 2016.

Ferentz has also been involved in supporting several community and university-related initiatives, including serving as the honorary chair of the University of Iowa’s United Way campaign. Kirk and Mary have also contributed generously to the University of Iowa, including donations to the University’s College of Liberal Arts. Another significant gift was a $500,000 commitment to support the Iowa Football Legacy Campaign, which included two key projects benefitting the Hawkeye football program; the indoor practice facility; and the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center.

Ferentz was born Aug. 1, 1955, in Royal Oak, Michigan. He attended Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. He was a football captain and an academic All-Yankee Conference linebacker at Connecticut.

Ferentz received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in May, 2009. He was inducted into the Upper St. Clair High School Hall of Fame in September, 2002, and the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in May, 2003.

Coaching Career
Team —  Position, Years 
Iowa — Head Coach, 1999-present
Baltimore/Cleveland — Offensive Line, 1993-98
Maine — Head Coach, 1990-92
Iowa — Offensive Line, 1981-89
Pittsburgh — Graduate Assistant, 1980
Worcester Academy — Offensive Line, Defensive Coordinator, 1978-79
Connecticut — Student Assistant, 1977

Career Record
Overall: 208-140 (28 years)
At Iowa: 196-119 (25 years)
Big Ten: 122-85

•    Ranks third all-time in Big Ten conference wins (122) and overall wins (196)
•    Ranks first all-time at Iowa in coaching victories with 186
•    One of just seven Big Ten coaches ever to guide a team to 10 wins or more in three straight seasons

Year-By-Year Record at Iowa

Year Overall Record (%) Big Ten Record (%) Bowl Game
2023 10-4 (.714) 7-2 (.778) Citrus
2022 8-5 (.593) 5-4 (.556) Music City
2021 10-4 (.714) 7-2 (.778) Citrus
2020 6-2 (.750) 6-2 (.750) Music City
2019 10-3 (.769) 6-3 (.667) Holiday
2018 9-4 (.692) 5-4 (.556) Outback
2017 8-5 (.615) 4-5 (.444) Pinstripe
2016 8-5 (.615) 6-3 (.667) Outback
2015 12-2 (.857) 8-0 (1.000) Rose
2014 7-6 (.538) 4-4 (.500) TaxSlayer
2013 8-5 (.615) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2012 4-8 (.333) 2-6 (.250) – – –
2011 7-6 (.538) 4-4 (.500) Insight
2010 8-5 (.615) 4-4 (.500) Insight
2009 11-2 (.846) 6-2 (.750) Orange
2008 9-4 (.692) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2007 6-6 (.500) 4-4 (.500) – – –
2006 6-7 (.462) 2-6 (.250) Alamo
2005 7-5 (.583) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2004 10-2 (.833) 7-1 (.875) Citrus
2003 10-3 (.769) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2002 11-2 (.846) 8-0 (1.000) Orange
2001 7-5 (.583) 4-4 (.500) Alamo
2000 3-9 (.250) 3-5 (.375) – – –
1999 1-10 (.091) 0-8 (.000) – – –
Overall 196-119 (.622) 122-85 (.589) 21 bowl games

Coaching Honors 
2015 Eddie Robinson FWAA Coach of the Year
2015 Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year
2015 Woody Hayes Coach of the Year (Columbus Touchdown Club)
2015 AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year
2015 Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year
2015 Hayes-Schembechler Big Ten Coach of the Year
2015 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Finalist
2015 Maxwell Club George Munger Coach of the Year Finalist
2015 Associated Press Big Ten Coach of the Year
2009 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year
2009 Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year
2004 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year
2002 Associated Press national Coach of the Year
2002 Walter Camp national Coach of the Year
2002 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year
Joins Bo Schembechler (Michigan) in being named Big Ten Coach of the Year more than three times

Postseason Success
Has guided Iowa to 21 bowl appearances in 25 seasons

• 2023 Citrus Bowl
• 2022 Music City Bowl
• 2021 Citrus Bowl
• 2020 Music City Bowl
• 2019 Holiday Bowl
• 2019 Outback Bowl
• 2017 Pinstripe Bowl
• 2017 Outback Bowl
• 2016 Rose Bowl
• 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl
• 2014 Outback Bowl
• 2011 Insight Bowl
• 2010 Insight Bowl
• 2010 Orange Bowl
• 2009 Outback Bowl
• 2006 Alamo Bowl
• 2006 Outback Bowl
• 2005 Citrus Bowl
• 2004 Outback Bowl
• 2003 Orange Bowl
• 2001 Alamo Bowl

• 10 bowl victories tied for first all-time among Big Ten coaches
• Has twice led Iowa to three straight bowl wins (2008-10 and 2017-19)
• Iowa appeared in four straight January bowls, 2002-05; four straight from 2013-16, and 12 overall under Ferentz
• Iowa was one of just eight schools in the nation to appear in six January bowl games between 2002-09
• Iowa has earned 11 straight bowl invitations between 2013 and 2022, the longest bowl streak in school history

In the Final Rankings
2023    17th (CFP)/24th (AP)/22nd (Coaches)
2021    15th (CFP)/23rd (AP)/23rd (Coaches)
2020    15th (CFP)/15th (Coaches)/16th (AP)
2019    15th (AP)/15th (Coaches)/16th (CFP)
2018    25th (AP)
2015    9th (AP)/10th (Coaches)/5th (CFP)
2009    7th (AP)/7th (USA Today)
2008    20th (AP)/20th (USA Today)
2004    8th (AP)/8th (USA Today)
2003    8th (AP)/8th (USA Today)
2002    8th (AP)/8th (USA Today)

As Iowa Offensive Line Coach
Overall record of 73-33-4 in nine seasons

•    1988 Peach Bowl
•    1987 Holiday Bowl
•    1986 Holiday Bowl
•    1986 Rose Bowl
•    1984 Freedom Bowl
•    1983 Gator Bowl
•    1982 Peach Bowl
•    1982 Rose Bowl

First Round NFL Draft Selections
DL Lukas Van Ness, 2022 (13th selection, Green Bay)
LB Jack Campbell, 2022 (18th selection, Detroit)
OL Tyler Linderbaum, 2021 (25th selection, Baltimore)
OL Tristan Wirfs, 2020 (13th selection, Tampa Bay)
TE T.J. Hockenson, 2019 (8th selection, Detroit)
TE Noah Fant, 2019 (20th selection, Denver)
OL Brandon Scherff, 2014 (5th selection, Washington)
OL Riley Reiff, 2012 (23rd selection, Detroit)
DL Adrian Clayborn, 2011 (20th selection, Tampa Bay)
OL Bryan Bulaga, 2010 (23rd selection, Green Bay)
LB Chad Greenway, 2006 (17th selection, Minnesota)
OL Robert Gallery, 2004 (2nd selection, Oakland)
TE Dallas Clark, 2003 (24th selection, Indianapolis)

NFL Draft Highlights
• 13 first round selections
• 11 second round selections
• 85 NFL Draft selections overall
• 90% of Iowa’s senior starters the last 21 years were selected in the NFL Draft or signed to an NFL free agent contract
• Iowa ranks third among Big Ten leaders in number of players drafted (56) over the past 14 years

NFL Honors
NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1)
DB Bob Sanders, Indianapolis, 2007

NFL All-Pro Honors (14)    
OL Tristan Wirfs (Tampa)
TE T.J. Hockenson (Detroit)
TE George Kittle (San Francisco)
DB Desmond King (LA Chargers)
DL Mike Daniels (Green Bay)
DB Micah Hyde (Buffalo)
OL Brandan Scherff (Washington)
TE Dallas Clark (Indianapolis)
LB Chad Greenway (Minnesota)
DL Aaron Kampman (Green Bay)
PK Nate Kaeding (San Diego)
TE Sam LaPorta (Detroit)
DB Bob Sanders (Indianapolis)
OL Marshal Yanda (Baltimore)

Consensus All-Americans (16)
DB/RS Cooper DeJean, 2023
P Tory Taylor, 2023
LB Jack Campbell, 2022
OL Tyler Linderbaum, 2021
DT Daviyon Nixon, 2020
K Keith Duncan, 2019
DB Josh Jackson, 2017
LB Josey Jewell, 2017
DB Desmond King, 2015
OL Brandon Scherff, 2014
DE Adrian Clayborn, 2010
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
OL Robert Gallery, 2003
PK Nate Kaeding, 2003
OL Eric Steinbach, 2002
TE Dallas Clark, 2002

First Team All-Americans (28)
DB/RS Cooper DeJean, 2023 *
LB Jay Higgins, 2023 *
P Tory Taylor, 2023 *
LB Jack Campbell, 2022 *
P Tory Taylor, 2022
OL Tyler Linderbaum, 2021 *
DB Riley Moss, 2021
DT Daviyon Nixon, 2020 *
K Keith Duncan, 2019
OL Tristan Wirfs, 2019
TE T.J. Hockenson, 2018
DB Josh Jackson, 2017 *
LB Josey Jewell, 2017 *
DB Desmond King, 2016
DB Desmond King, 2015 *
OL Brandon Scherff, 2014 *
OL Riley Reiff, 2011
DE Adrian Clayborn, 2010
LB Pat Angerer, 2009
OL Bryan Bulaga, 2009
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
OL Robert Gallery, 2003
PK Nate Kaeding, 2003
QB Brad Banks, 2002
TE Dallas Clark, 2002
PK Nate Kaeding, 2002
OL Bruce Nelson, 2002
OL Eric Steinbach, 2002
* – unanimous, consensus

National Honors
Twelve Hawkeyes have earned national Player of the Year honors on 14 occasions

Tory Taylor, 2023 Ray Guy Award
Jack Campbell, 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy
Jack Campbell, 2022 Butkus Award
Tyler Linderbaum, 2021 Rimington Trophy
T.J. Hockenson, 2018 John Mackey Award
Josey Jewell, 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy
Desmond King, 2015 Jim Thorpe Award
Brandon Scherff, 2014 Outland Trophy
Shonn Greene, 2008 Doak Walker Award
Robert Gallery, 2003 Outland Trophy
Brad Banks, 2002 Davey O’Brien Award
Brad Banks, 2002 Associated Press Player of the Year
Dallas Clark, 2002 John Mackey Award
Nate Kaeding, 2002 Lou Groza Award
Joe Moore Offensive Line Award, 2016

Big Ten Honors
Big Ten Most Valuable Player (2)
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
QB Brad Banks, 2002

Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2)
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
QB Brad Banks, 2002

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (3)
DT Daviyon Nixon, 2020
LB Josey Jewell, 2017
LB Jack Campbell, 2022

Big Ten Player of the Year, by Position (27)
Cooper DeJean, 2023 (defensiuve back)
Cooper DeJean, 2023 (return specialist)
Tory Taylor, 2023 (punter)
Jack Campbell, 2022 (linebacker)
Sam LaPorta, 2022 (tight end)
Charlie Jones, 2021 (return specialist)
Tyler Linderbaum, 2021 (offensive line)
Riley Moss, 2021 (defensive back)
Daviyon Nixon, 2020 (defensive line)
Tory Taylor, 2020 (punter)
Keith Duncan, 2019 (kicker)
Tristan Wirfs, 2019 (offensive line)
T.J. Hockenson, 2018 (tight end)
Amani Hooker, 2018 (defensive back)
Ihmir Smith-Marsette, 2018 (return specialist)
Josh Jackson, 2017 (defensive back)
Josey Jewell, 2017 (linebacker)
Desmond King, 2015 (defensive back)
Brandon Scherff, 2014 (offensive line)
Micah Hyde, 2012 (defensive back)
Marvin McNutt, Jr., 2011 (wide receiver)
Bryan Bulaga, 2009 (offensive line)
Shonn Greene, 2008 (running back)
Mitch King, 2008 (defensive line)
Robert Gallery, 2003 (offensive line)
Brad Banks, 2002 (quarterback)
Eric Steinbach, 2002 (offensive line)

Academic Honors
Academic All-America Honors (16)
Anthony Nelson, second-team Academic All-America, 2018
Anthony Nelson, first team Academic All-America, 2017
Parker Hesse, second team Academic All-America, 2017
Jordan Lomax, second team Academic All-America, 2015
Mark Weisman, second team Academic All-America, 2014
James Morris, NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, 2013
James Morris, first team Academic All-America, 2013
Mike Klinkenborg, first team Academic All-America, 2007
Adam Shada, first team Academic All-America, 2007
Mike Klinkenborg, first team Academic All-America, 2006
Adam Shada, first team Academic All-America, 2006
Mike Elgin, first team Academic All-America, 2006
Mike Elgin, first team Academic All-America, 2005
Nate Kaeding, second team Academic All-America, 2002
Aaron Kampman, first team Academic All-America, 2001
Aaron Kampman, second team Academic All-America, 2000

507 Academic All-Big Ten honorees

Assistant Coach Recognition
Phil Parker, Frank Broyles Award, 2023
Phil Parker, AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, 2023
Jim Reid, FootballScoop Linebacker Coach of the Year, 2013
LeVar Woods, FootballScoop Linebacker Coach of the Year, 2013
Norm Parker, AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, 2011
Norm Parker, Frank Broyles Award Finalist, 2005
Norm Parker, Frank Broyles Award Finalist, 2004
Ron Aiken, AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, 2002