Dec. 30, 2004
- Ferentz to ESPN: Sounds corny, but Iowa is home
- UI, Ferentz ink contract extension
- Big Ten Championship merchandise
- Listen to the bowl game online!
- Watch the Mediacom bowl special
- Purchase your Hawkeye tickets online
- Listen to the Hawkeyes on XM Radio
Editor’s Note: The following was written by Emily Badger and first appeared in Dec. 30 editions of the Orlando Sentinel.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz probably didn’t mean for this to sound quite so depressing but when asked Wednesday how close his program is to contending for a national title, he made the sobering statement, “It’s never going to come easy at Iowa.”
Even he admits he wasn’t expecting much of the town when he arrived , at age 25, for his first assistant coaching interview.
“We have to maybe look a little harder, work a little hard on evaluations. We have to put a team together a little differently than some of the `elite’ or `glamour’ schools. But that’s OK. The game is still being played on the field.”
UI Coach Kirk Ferentz
“I thought it would be three buildings and a football field,” he said.
As Ferentz has learned in two separate stints in Iowa City – the first time he planned on staying a year and wound up there for nine – the place has a way of tugging at your heartstrings.
But still, the Hawkeyes face a few obstacles on the way to national football prominence that will never go away. A state with only 2.9 million people can’t feed the bulk of Iowa’ football roster and recruits from farther away are likely to be deterred by the Midwest weather and lengthy travel times.
Iowa has nevertheless won two co-Big Ten championships in the past three years, largely because Ferentz and his staff have scoured for players in less likely corners.
“We have to maybe look a little harder, work a little harder on evaluations,” Ferentz said. “We have to put a team together a little differently than some of the `elite’ or `glamour’ schools. But that’s OK. The game is still being played on the field.”