Kirk Ferentz Press Conference Transcript

March 27, 2013

Complete Coach Ferentz Transcript

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media prior to the start of spring practice on Wednesday inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex.

Opening Statement:
COACH FERENTZ: Welcome to everybody and just start out on a somber note. Tommy Thompson, who is normally here, obviously passed last week. We lost a great fan in Tommy, just a tremendous fan of all sports and certainly football. I think 751 games he attended. So our condolences to his entire family certainly.

Steve just alluded to, you know, we’re all excited about the construction. It’s going to be an inconvenience, one more inconvenience, kind of like when they built the indoor facility. Excited to see that get started. Right now the target date is next July, I believe a year from now July. So we’re certainly looking forward to that. That’s something that everybody involved in the program is really thrilled about and very, very excited about and appreciative of.

So that being said, we’re eager to get started here. I think we’ve already had a good offseason. The players have worked hard. The staff has worked hard. I think we’ve made some gains and taken some positive steps. Today is the start of the next phase, obviously, and one of the important phases we have, spring practice. Basically we have 15 days here to see how the team develops out, comes along, get a checkup on just see what kind of progress we’ve made and see how we look different than we were in November, certainly. And I imagine there’ll be a couple of questions about the quarterback position most notably that being open. But really springtime, it’s that way everywhere you go. Every position is open right now. You would think some of the veteran guys, hopefully they’ve improved and they should be able to hold their ground have earn their positions back. Basically all spots are open right now. You have a lot of different levels of competition going on. Guys that are older that have played; played that have played that are younger. Look at our two guys in the kicking game, they are like that. Mike Meyers has played a lot of football now; he’s a senior. Contrast that with Connor Kornbrath, who is only a freshman. He’ll be a sophomore next year. He’s got one year under his belt. Couple different levels of development there.

Then you have guys that played on special teams last year that really haven’t played a lot offensively or defensively that you hope grow into a more significant role. A guy like Jordan Cotton comes to mind on that front. A lot of other guys that haven’t been on the field yet. We’re eager to see what they look like and see how they fit in with the guys that have played a little bit. It’s an exciting time for all of us, and you don’t get those answers until you get out of the field. And typically the longer it goes, the more you learn certainly.

So that being said, we do have a couple of positions changes. We’re looking at a couple of guys. Macon Plewa has moved from linebacker over to the fullback spot. So he’ll work there. Macon is guy who’s been with us couple of years, great attitude, really a tough hard nosed guy. I think he might be able to give us a supplement at a position, give us a little more flexibility with Mark Weisman. Greg Mabin is moved from the receiver position over to safety. That is something we considered when we recruited him. We liked him both sides of the ball. I think he might be a fit there and eager to see what he does this spring. Certainly Nate Meier is a guy down the road a little bit. A little bit younger player. Nate Meier, we’re thinking about fooling around with him a little bit at the defensive end position. See how that goes. And then Steve is moving from tight end into the center position. So those are probably the four changes that we’re looking at right now.

Medically, I think last time we talked, Nolan MacMillan and Louis Trinca-Pasat will both be out. They both had surgeries in the out of season. And Mike Malloy unfortunately had an ankle injury probably about two weeks ago. Fortunately, there’s no surgery involved there, but I think he’s going to be in a boot here for at least two more weeks, this week plus one more. And to think that he’ll be back at full speed is probably not realistic. He’s going to be fine, but I don’t know that we’re going to get much of a look at him this spring. That is kind of unfortunate. Everybody else is in pretty good shape. We’ve got a couple of guys coming off knee injuries, Rubin Lile and Barkley Hill, certainly from the fall. We’ll be careful with those guys this spring, but they were both doing really well.

That’s kind of where we’re at right now. Eager to get on the field this afternoon. With that, I’ll throw it out to questions.

Q. You mentioned fullback, but you don’t have a fullback listed anymore. Is that something that you are just gradually moving away from having a fullback full time?
COACH FERENTZ: Not necessarily. I think that’s one of the things too that we’ll do this spring. A lot of things we’re looking at. Just what is our best combination of players out there? And obviously the goal is to get your best 11 out there. Down and distance plays into that, but just intense situations where you like the last year, we wanted to use both Weisman and Bullock in there at the same time, didn’t have that chance. That’s something still that we’re interested in, but I think we’re thin a fullback for sure right now. We’d like to develop that position. I envision us playing with a fullback. I envision with two tight ends at times. Also three wides, that type of thing, the things that we’ve done in the past. It’s just a matter of seeing what we can piece together.

Q. You talked about putting Bullock and Weisman out there at the same time. Are they necessarily going to both be in the back field?
COACH FERENTZ: The nice thing about those guys, if you have both of them out there you can do both and still have a threat. I think Mark is a legitimate threat running the football. He’s demonstrated that. Damon is a legitimate threat outside.

A year ago at this time we were just wondering if Weisman could block. That’s funny how a year’s time goes by. The nice thing is now that we know he can block, we’ve got an additional bonus if he can run. If you can have those two guys out there, I think it gives us a little bit more fire power which is something we lacked last year for sure.

Q. Is Brandon Scherff 100%?
COACH FERENTZ: He appears to be. He’s been going through the out of season program. A big part of it is attitude; his attitude has been great. I joked about him being ready even with a boot on. He would have tried it. That’s just the way he’s built. He seems to be moving around really well. Andrew Donnal is a little bit behind, but he’ll be practicing full. He may not look as good as he did before he got injured, but it’s just a matter of time. We’re working through that and he’s doing real well.

Q. What do you want to see from your quarterbacks? Is there a chance you can settle on someone?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, I mean, we’re open to that. It could be this week. I doubt it. My guess is probably going to be longer than shorter. It’s not often where this happens, but we’re going in really with a truly open mind. It’s not like there’s an incumbent there. I don’t think anybody has a clear advantage or edge. Jake has had the most repetitions. Being the number two guys last year, he took the most reps in the offense, so that’s an advantage for him. But we’re really you know, he’ll start out because that’s how we finished up. We’re probably going to alternate every couple of plays with all three guys, so they’ll all work with the ones, twos or threes and have an equal opportunity. Whenever the picture becomes clearer, that is when we’ll move on it. A lot of times it goes a long ways.

In ’08, we went through that with Jake and Ricky. That went a couple of games into it. Go back to ’87, the only thing I was sure of at the end of spring ball was Chuck Hartlieb was our third guy. So whoever I vote for third this spring, you guys might put your money on him. That just shows you what I know. I think everybody was kind of on that same page. It’s going to be interesting to see how it goes.

Q. Are there different quarterback traits you want to see in this offense?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t think so. I think it’s just being able to operate and being efficient, being proficient. That’s a hard position to play mentally anyway, basically in any offense, I think. So there’s a lot that goes into being a quarterback certainly, and how you handle all the challenges of that position. Ultimately it’s about moving the team and, you know, getting the ball in the end zone somehow, some way. I think all three guys have different attributes, but they all have attributes. Like all of us, everybody has got weaknesses and what have you. It’s kind of an exciting thing for us. We really like all three guys. All three of them have some things about them that really intrigue you and excite you and make you feel good. They’ve got good football mentalities. They like the game. They like each other, and I think they are all respected by their teammates. It’s going to be obviously interesting to watch it. A lot of those things going on, but the quarterback is a little bit more focal for a lot of folks.

Q. How much were you able to get to know Beathard last year?
COACH FERENTZ: You know pretty well because we still do work even in season against each other minus the starters, and so he was a scout team quarterback. He ran our offense and was in on every meeting, traveled to every game, all those types of things. When you are around people on a continual basis, seven days a week or six days a week, you really get a pretty good feel for what they are. Needless to say, the circumstances are going to change for all those guys now. Really all of us have a positive feeling about all three guys.

Q. Does one stand out as a runner?
COACH FERENTZ: All three of them are fairly athletic. Athletic to what degree? RG3? No. We don’t have one of those, and not many people do. I would say they are all fairly mobile.

Q. So one won’t have an advantage in that area?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t think great advantage, no.

Q. What does it mean for James Vanderberg to be invited to the combine?
COACH FERENTZ: First of all, it was great. It was real positive for him. Any time you get invited to the combine, that’s a good thing. I think James has made the most of every opportunity in front of him, be it the combine, what he did on Monday at the Pro Day. The interviewing part of things, all of those things, that’s his strength. I mean, he’s really a guy that’s going to be prepared and do his best. And you know, you just never know what’s going to happen with quarterbacks and what’s going to happen down the road.

If you look at the NFL, there are a lot of interesting guys that are on rosters or are playing down the road. I was talking to Ken O’Keefe at some point this winter. We were talking about Pat Devlin, the guy that was at Penn State, maybe Ohio State, whatever year that was. He came in and played and finished the game and they beat Ohio State over at Ohio State and transferred to Delaware. I believe he’s on their roster now, and he’s got a legitimate chance to stick and maybe develop into a guy.

And James has all those attributes. He’s totally invested. He’s smart, works hard, has talent and ability. Never know what’s going to happen.

Q. You have the open practice in Des Moines next month. Who came to you with the idea?
COACH FERENTZ: Still hasn’t been finalized it. We’re working on some details there. Basically, it’s just something you know, we talk about a lot of things year around, especially after the season. What can we do better? What might work, what might not. What do we want to change, basically good, bad, and indifferent, that type of thing. Kind of kicked around a couple of factors. We’re on five weeks here, so we have got a prolonged period of time.

I do worry in spring ball a little bit, you know, left foot, right foot, left foot, you know, guys getting kind of like being one of those dogs on the dog sled train, whatever they call it. You’re the fourth dog, just looking at the other dog’s backside. So maybe break the routine a little bit. The other thing is a little bit of an outreach effort. In the springtime it’s hard for people. I know people on the western side of the state do a great job of getting over here during the fall. We really appreciate that. That’s a sacrifice. Maybe we can reciprocate a little bit here and cut the drive down for people in the far west and give them a little bit of access. And certainly the Des Moines population basis is important to us as well. So maybe our way to say thank you.

Q. If it ends up being successful for you, will you build on it and have a fall football camp?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, I hadn’t thought about fall camp. You just threw that one on the board. I’ll take that upstairs. I may not be as interested in the fall. I won’t say no. But spring is down the road. It’s something we would entertain for sure. To me it’s a little bit like the I Club circuit. It’s a chance to get out and say thank you to folks.

Q. Has there been a time in your tenure where you’ve had so many offensive pieces to figure out?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t know if I look at it that way. To me we had more last year, more questions last year. You know, the good thing about last year is there were some positives. One of them is a lot of guys got out there on the field. We know more about them. As recently as the end of August last year, I had no idea if we had anybody that could carry the ball and hang on to the ball in a Big Ten game.

It’s funny how things change. At the end of spring last year, Damon Bullock, I wasn’t sure if he could block well enough to play in the Big Ten. We really didn’t know if he’d run, because we were afraid to tackle him. We only had a couple of backs out there. So I think all of us are a lot more excited about where he is now and what his future and potential are.

Last year at this time, we were wondering if Weisman would block anybody, if he could play fullback. And then we kind of stumbled into him as the running back later in the fall.

Our receiver position I think is a year older. Jordan had a year of not knowing what to do and being tentative. I think Tevaun Smith is the same way. Kevonte, we’re counting on him. He’s played. He played significantly two years ago and now a starter last year. So he’s a guy that’s got a chance to be a leader for us. Not only a good player but a leader. Same thing about CJ, having him back and the group of guys underneath him. A year ago Brandon Scherff played okay as guard in ’11 and really was playing well before he got injured last year. I think we’re a lot further down the tracks right now. Obviously the quarterback position is unsettled. Obviously the center position, James started 38 games, I think I read. So two guys there. But I think in both positions we have more than one candidate that can go in there and play. I think we’ve got three guys that have a chance to be really good centers, maybe four. So it’s just a matter now of getting that work done where the guys play competently.

Q. Even without James, can the offensive line be the strength of this team?
COACH FERENTZ: I think we have a really veteran group there. Again, different levels. You have Van Sloten and Scherff, who I think we all know who they are. As coaches, we really if one of those guys gets beat out, that’s going to be interesting because it means somebody else is really stepping it up. Those two guys are ready to go. Austin played like a young guy, and then he got hurt, and then he had to go back to like monopoly where you go back to go. He had one of those shots. A year or two when you get there, it’s a little different story. Donnal really played well when he got in there. So that’s intriguing and fun to watch. Jordan Walsh, he had some injury issues last year, but he’s a good prospect. We’ve got some guys that hopefully can line up. The key thing is keeping everybody healthy and keeping them moving forward.

Q. In the offseason, what kind of reaction did you get this offseason in terms of fans?
COACH FERENTZ: You know, I get head coach behavior a lot everywhere I go, so everything is fine usually that way. I mean, I realize everybody was disappointed last year. I think disappointed and probably at times frustrated. And I would emphasize nobody more so than the players. They’re the ones who work harder than anybody and coaches, as well. So our goal is never to be 4 8 here. That probably would have looked good in ’99. That’s never been our goal and none of us are happy and all of us take ownership. There’s not much else we can say.

The one thing I told the guys we got going there in November after the last ball game, you flip the calendar, it’s a new year, a new opportunity. That’s how we’re looking at it. I don’t think it’s anything magical that’s going to take us to where we want to go. It’s just a matter of doing the work that you have to do and doing it better and obviously the end result is playing better on Saturdays. That is going to be our goal.

Q. You have a new special teams coach. I imagine there is going to be a change to the team thinking.
COACH FERENTZ: What we’re going to continue to emphasize and we’ll probably because there is going to be some change, and as much as anything, I don’t know how different it will look. But the big thing for Chris, LeVar and Kelvin Bell is really and last year we were allowed to have four GAs, so Kelvin, that’s what he’s really focused on right now. LeVar has been working in that area. Those are the three guys really doing the nitty gritty work. The biggest thing, especially for Chris, is he’s new and really getting to learn the players and who the guys are. The good thing is he comes in with a fresh eye. He doesn’t have any preconceived notions about anybody. Anybody is going to have a chance to get on that punt team right now, the kickoff team. I think really the bottom line on all of that stuff is not so much team as just us doing a better job. Our kickoff team is probably a good example. We were riding the roller coaster there for over a year, probably bottomed out in the Central Michigan game. And after that we kind of made up our minds. We ended up leading the league. That’s one of the few things we led the league in last year. A lot of it is just mindset and doing a better job. That’s what we need to do.

Q. A year ago people said this is a schedule Iowa can make a move with. Now they’re saying the opposite. Would you rather have it this way?
COACH FERENTZ: I’m pretty sure it was ’07 when we had one of those great schedules, too. We know how that came out. You play the games that are on your schedule. Typically every season, there are three or four teams you can predict are going to be good every year. Over the last half decade, I think we can cite examples where those teams weren’t what they typically are. But on the other flip side, there is always somebody that emerges that nobody counts on. And you know, to sit here in March or April and worry too much about what we have on our schedule next fall, all the things that can happen, chances are Ohio State will have a good team. I’ll lay that one out there. Outside of that, you have got to usual suspects, but the big thing is worrying about who we are and what we can do to get better. If we do that history has shown that we can play okay against basically anybody.

Q. How much do you think you can learn about the wide receivers?
COACH FERENTZ: Hopefully that was our intent to find a role for Damon at any position right now. And last year we were counting on a punter to come in. We were hoping a punter could come in and take that job. There’s really no incoming player that we’re counting on to come in and be a starter or be a guy we have to count on. If we get something out of it that we didn’t maybe count on, that would be great. Maybe supplement the group that we have, fantastic. Our focus is working on the guys out there in the field and trying to develop the guys that we already know about.

Hopefully maybe we get another Weisman story. Weisman was a guy we were close to but we didn’t know who he was or what he was. We feel really good about the guy. Those kinds of stories are fun, too. I’m sure we have got one or two or three on the team right now. Hopefully we do.

Q. How do you feel about the defense on the line going into spring?
COACH FERENTZ: You know, it’s a little bit like the offensive line a couple of years ago. We had a two year period, ’08 ’09, where we were veteran up front and pretty stout. Then 2010, it was a little bit of a turnover. And you think about guys like Dennis in 2010, they played well. And 2011, they played really well.

Both are on NFL rosters right now and I think they will both be in the league a long time. They developed into those really good Big Ten players.

I think we’ve kind of gone through that with the defensive line. We had a really unusual group of guys when you had Clayborn, Ballard, Klug, Mike Daniels. Those guys don’t come around that often. We’ve been in a period of transition, I think. For right now, I’m really excited about the group, and we had a lot of time on our hands in December, so after the recruiting period is over, we sat down and like we typically do, we went to our entire roster. And I think we have a lot of good young players in that group right now. It’s a matter of trying to develop them a little bit and bring them along and hope a guy like Riley McMinn can be an Adam Gettis type guy on the other side of the football. Karl Klug wasn’t Karl Klug his whole time here. A lot of times he was hurt. And then, you know, his last two years he really played at a high level. I think that’s what we’re looking at. You have got Dominic Alvis who is really a veteran guy. Louis Trinca Pasat, I think was kind of an unnoticed guy last year. I think his next two years will be really interesting because he’s played now and he really understands what it takes. He’s a tough minded guy, so he will be a good player. We’ve got some guys to build off there, and a lot of other guys that are going to come on.

Q. Do you expect maybe look at some other ways to get pressure on the quarterback? I know it’s usually been front four, see what you can get?
COACH FERENTZ: We’re definitely open to it. Got to be something behind it. So that’s the thing that goes with it. You can’t just do one thing, I know that. I think everybody realizes that. If you just do one thing, if you blitz all the time or if you sit in base defense all the time, you are going to get picked at some point. There’s got to be that mix. But at some point somebody has got to get there. We have got some guys that are capable of that. Cooper I think has a real knack. He’s nifty in there, kind of like Pickens was going back a ways. But he’s got things to learn right now and all that. He will. He’s young. That was a really good year for him. Some of the younger plays that got on the field last year, that experience I think will be invaluable for him. He should be a much better player this year and moving forward.

Q. Running back, you have two proven guys and one guy that’s played a bowl game for you. How do you see that kind of shaking out?
COACH FERENTZ: Who knows what’s going to happen? The big thing we’re looking for is improvement on all three guys. All three guys have things they can work on. Jordan, being the least experienced of the group, at least he goes out there to practice today knowing that he played in the big game, a really important game against competition, really good competition. He was really practicing well the last couple of weeks last year. We probably could have played him. I’m not sure that would have been smart. He was practicing really well. I think he should have confidence that he can play at this level. Now it’s just a matter of all three guys working on things they can do to become better Big Ten backs. That’s what they’ll be focused on all 15 days. With those three guys, I think we’ve got a good starting point. You know, Barkley Hill, kind of start cutting it loose a little bit. It will happen during the course of spring. And unfortunately, we’re going to miss Mike Malloy. We like what he did in practice. He did some good things last year. So at least we have some guys that have potential and hopefully outside of Michael, we’ll be further down the road with all four of those guys I mentioned.

Q. Has the lead up to spring been different with all the new coaches coming in?
COACH FERENTZ: Like I said last time, I kind of looked at the two year block. The room has changed quite a bit. I think it forces more conversation and more things to think about. I think we’ve had really good football discussions in all three segments. You know, so it’s just part of what happens. And you know, if the staff had left and gone someplace else, you go through that same process in a different place. We’ve done it here. It feels a little bit different. The things that we thought were important 14 years ago, to me they are still important. That is really going to be the foundation of what we try to be as a football team.

Q. Did the struggles offensively last year lead you tweak it at all in the offseason?
COACH FERENTZ: You are always tweaking, looking at things you can do better. We’ll toy with things this spring and see how our players adapt to it. It’s not going to be radically different. And the ultimate idea is to figure out what the best thing is for the people that you have on your team and gets back to the personnel discussion which groups do you use. I think we can use multiple groups. I think we have that potential. And then just trying to fit it together. There will be some changes and things we’ll look at. And that is one of the nice things about spring. You can do those things without having a downside to it.

Q. Is it a quest for bigger plays?
COACH FERENTZ: Absolutely, we have to. It’s tough to be perfect for 12, 14 plays in a row. You want to try to do that four times a game, that’s hard. So somehow, some way you have to come up with some bigger plays. Part of that is just experience. Part of that is us doing a better job, maybe helping create those things. You have to do that. And certainly, you know, the production we had last year, that’s not going to be you have got to be good on defense if you are going to go down that road. That’s not our plan certainly. I’m optimistic we’ll be better.

Q. The big plays you are still pretty good. The run, that changed a little bit last year?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, in my mind I don’t think we tackled well enough, and I don’t think the numbers of big plays may not be way out of line, but just the timing of them. And you know, we just didn’t play as well as we are capable of playing. Again, there are always circumstances, inexperience, injuries, things like that. The bottom line is we’re going to have to play better this year. In all three phases you have to rise to the occasion. So at some point you need to make a play, offensively, defensively, special teams, that’s football. We didn’t do a good job of that as a team, so those are things we’re going to have to do if we’re going to move forward.

Q. So the coach on the secondary, during the games, does he come back downstairs?
COACH FERENTZ: We’ll talk about that. That’s something we’ve thought about. Haven’t had a lot of discussion on it, but there’s a fair chance. First thing is where can he call the game the best. Obviously, if he’s not down there, Chris Polizzi is back in his second year. One nice thing about the GA situation right now, we’ve had really good grad assistants here and Chris fits in that mold. Phil is upstairs and Chris will be downstairs being the guy talking to those guys and giving them the adjustments and that type of thing, but we’ll figure that out.

Q. I know you talked about the recruiting stuff and how that was going to be deregulated. Do you see yourself going ahead and trying to another set of eyes?
COACH FERENTZ: I need more clarity, this is kind of an ongoing thing. There are people doing things a little bit differently throughout the country. I’m a little confused, quite frankly, on what the interpretations are. But you know, you have got to be careful about how you do that.

And moving forward, I think right now all that stuff got tabled. I think I will speak for all the coaches in our conference, I think we’re all hoping maybe we all can we’re going to meet here later in April and come back with some ideas that we would like to present in terms of how to make our game better and our from that standpoint, what is workable, what isn’t workable? I think the main idea is to make sure there is uniformity nationally. That may be impossible to do, but just so everybody is kind of operating under the same there is a lot of fuzzy areas right now that are out there. I think that really the next step is to sit down with people from different parts of the nation. And coaches shouldn’t make the rules. I’m not proposing that. I think they probably should at least offer up some input and information.

Q. You guys have offered a couple of sophomores. I think you have done that in the past. You have taken a commitment from James Morris. Now you are actually scouting them. Is that one of the biggest changes?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, it is. A, I don’t know how you legislate it. Then B, I don’t know how far you can go back, how young you can go with guys. I don’t know how you legislate that one. Just kind of the world we’re living in right now. There’s more exposure, more information out there. The earlier you offer a guy, the more risk there is, too. That player may not develop into who you think. That is how the world is changing there.

Q. What are your preferences contact wise? What do you think is a good plan?
COACH FERENTZ: I mentioned I think coaches should have some input, I think they ought to talk to parents and talk to high school coaches too and ask for opinions. That being said, there are some parents that would let their kids get called in ninth grade and think that’s healthy. I’m on the other side of the fence. I wouldn’t want my kid being worried about recruiting when he is in the 11th grade. They should just worry about being as good as they can be where they’re at.

It’s kind of like our guys. The NFL will be there if they are good enough, if they play well enough as college players. I think kids ought to be allowed to be kids, too. Somehow there’s got to be some balance in there. If we are going to open up contracts, if that train is going down the track, fine. Like we do now, we have dead periods, and then three weeks of contact, then a dead period, three weeks of contact, just give people a break from it. Maybe it’s important to anybody as the prospects. If we’re allowed to call them, we’re going to call them. That is just how it is. They are probably going to answer. It’s one of those deals.

My gripe about texting, I can easily envision one of my sons with his phone under his desk in English class looking at his texts. Not that that’s not happening anyway. That is just the world we’re living in right now. At some point a kid ought to be able to go to English class and listen to the teacher, and then go to the cafeteria and sit with Suzy Smith for a while and talk to her and do whatever. I know the world is changing, too.

Q. You mentioned Steve, your son, moving to offensive line. Fair to assume he’s going to be hiking the ball?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, I mean, his brothers told him probably five or six years ago, whatever you do, Steve, don’t let him make you a lineman. He started out as quarterback. Then he was a tight end, outside linebacker. He is kind of going right back to that same spot in the middle only just a little bit further. It’s a genetic thing, I think. I played center in seventh grade. Probably impressed with that, huh?

Q. I’m curious what you might have learned last week or tips you might have picked up sitting behind Fran.
COACH FERENTZ: It’s fun. It’s fun for any coach to watch other coaches work. And what a job he and his staff have done. Fran is a great person. He’s been a great fit here at Iowa. He’s done a great job with that team. They are a young team that’s really climbing the ladder. That is fun to watch. It’s just, you know, it’s like everything, he coaches within his personality and that’s what head coaches do. He’s certainly committed. It’s always fun to watch head coaches coach. I thoroughly enjoy that. That’s one of the great things about working here. You have got Lisa, she’s done a great job with that program, and Tom and the guys over there. They are fun to go to. I had a chance to go down there Saturday night, and that’s one of the neat things about being here. You get to watch some good players and good competitors and good coaching.

Q. Are the Hawks going to win tonight?
COACH FERENTZ: Let’s hope so. I’m all for it.