Kirk and Mary Ferentz commit $500,000 to the Iowa Football Legacy Campaign

Nov. 15, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kirk and Mary Ferentz have made a gift commitment of $500,000 to support the Iowa Football Legacy Campaign. To date, more than $34 million has been raised for the campaign, which has a fundraising goal of $35 million. The total cost of the campaign’s projects is $55 million, with the balance of the funding coming from the University of Iowa Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“When we started planning for the Iowa Football Legacy Campaign, Kirk and Mary were among the first to make a commitment,” said Gary Barta, the UI’s director of athletics. “Their support of this historic fundraising effort is indicative of their philanthropic leadership and reflects our vision to make a world-class Hawkeye football campus a reality.”

The Iowa Football Legacy Campaign comprises two key projects for the Hawkeye football program: a new indoor practice facility, completed in 2012 and already in use; and a new Football Operations Center. Projected for completion in the summer of 2014, the 76,000-square-foot Football Operations Center will include: a strength training area with turf for speed and agility workouts; team meeting rooms; a player locker room; athletic training facilities; coaches’ and staff offices; and conference rooms.

In addition, the Football Operations Center includes Legacy Hall, an exhibit space dedicated to the history and success of Hawkeye Football; and the All-American Room, a space to honor Iowa Football Consensus All-Americans. Donors who contribute $5,000 or more to the campaign will be recognized on a plaque that will hang in Legacy Hall. Iowa Football letterwinners who support the campaign with a gift of $1,000 or more will be named on a plaque that will hang in a location frequented by current and future student-athletes.

“Mary and I are pleased to be part of this exciting initiative. We’re also thankful to see many other contributors demonstrating their support,” said Kirk Ferentz, who is currently in his 15th season as head coach of the Iowa football program and his 24th year as a staff member at the UI. “It’s critically important that we’re able to offer our student-athletes an exceptional experience and ensure that Hawkeye football remains competitive for many years to come.”

Through the past decade, Kirk and Mary Ferentz have given generously of their time and resources to support the University of Iowa, including children’s medicine and undergraduate education. In 2003, they made a gift of $100,000 to establish the Kirk and Mary Ferentz Excellence and Innovation Fund in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In 2006, Kirk and Mary committed $250,000 to establish the Ferentz Family Pediatric Research and Education Fund to support research and education initiatives at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, and $150,000 to establish the John and Elsie Mae Ferentz Research Fund in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Mary Ferentz serves as chair of University of Iowa Children’s Hospital Council, a group of community and business leaders dedicated to helping UI Children’s Hospital become one of the best pediatric medical centers in the nation. In addition, all five of the Ferentz children have attended the UI.

Ferentz is the longest-tenured Big Ten Conference football coach, and ranks fourth nationally in longevity. With more than 100 wins at Iowa, Ferentz ranks second to Hayden Fry in career victories.

Ferentz is one of only four football coaches in the history of the Big Ten to be named Coach of the Year three times (2002, 2004, 2009). He earned national Coach of the Year honors in 2002. Iowa has played in two Bowl Championship Series games and 10 bowl games overall, under Ferentz, posting a Big Ten-best 6-4 record in post-season games since 2002.

Under Ferentz, five Hawkeyes have earned national Player of the Year honors at their position. Forty-six players, including six in the first round, have been selected in the NFL Draft over the past 11 years. And, under Ferentz, 22 Iowa football student-athletes have combined to earn academic All-District and All-America recognition on 41 occasions.

About the University of Iowa Foundation

The University of Iowa Foundation’s mission is to advance the University of Iowa and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation website at

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Larson, executive director, communications and marketing, the University of Iowa Foundation; 319-467-3661 or 800-648-6973;