Kirk Ferentz Named to Dodd Trophy Watch List

IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz is one of 24 of the nation’s top college football coaches today named to the 2016 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List.

The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted coaching award, celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity — the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s philosophy. Ferentz, who will enter his 18th season as Iowa’s head coach, was the recipient of the prestigious honor in 2015.

The watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, taking into consideration each program’s graduation rate, commitment to service and charity in the community, projected success for the 2016 season and Academic Progress Rate (APR).

Presented annually by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, The Dodd Trophy, college football’s most coveted coaching award, honors the head football coach whose program embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also having success on the playing field throughout the season.

Of the 24 coaches on the list, six are previous winners of The Dodd Trophy, including Bob Stoops (2003), Gary Patterson (2009), Chris Petersen (2010), Dabo Swinney (2011), Nick Saban (2014) and Ferentz (2015).

Additional watch lists — adding to or narrowing the field — will be released throughout the fall. The winner of the 2016 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. A panel consisting of all previous Dodd Trophy winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Ferentz led the 2015 Hawkeyes to a perfect regular season, setting a school record with 12 wins (12-2).  The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten Conference West Division (8-0) before falling to Michigan State (16-13) in the championship game. The Hawkeyes earned Iowa’s sixth invitation to the Rose Bowl, the first appearance for Iowa in Pasadena in 25 years. 

Ferentz was recognized with both the Hayes-Schembecher and Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year awards. 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.

Ferentz has led Iowa to two Big Ten regular season titles, and ranks seventh in Big Ten conference wins (76) and eighth in total victories (127). He has led Iowa to 13 bowl games in the last 15 seasons, including nine January bowl events.

Ferentz has been very involved in his local community, having served as the honorary chair of the University of Iowa’s United Way campaign and currently serving on the National Advisory Board of the Bethesda Family Services Foundation. He and his wife, Mary, have given multiple major financial gifts to the University of Iowa, including a $400,000 gift to the University’s College of Liberal Arts and University’s Children’s Hospital and a $100,000 gift to the University’s College of Liberal Arts. They have also served as advocates for the Children’s Hospital across the state by hosting and speaking at events to raise support for UI Children’s Hospital, to their personal generosity in establishing the “Ferentz Family Pediatric Research and Education Endowment Fund” in 2007.

With a head coach leading by example, members of the Hawkeye squad have also thrived in the community. A crucial component of character building for the Hawkeyes is community service. From 2013 to 2015, the Iowa football team combined for more than 1,500 community service hours.

While Ferentz has guided the Iowa program to great success on the field, the Hawkeyes have also made their mark in the classroom. In the most recent release on academic standings, Iowa’s football team compiled a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) that ranked above the national average. The 2014-15 Academic Progress Report (APR) showed a score of 966 for Iowa football, a score that ranked 10 points above the national average for football programs.

Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten
Mark Dantonio Michigan State Big Ten
Larry Fedora UNC ACC
Kirk Ferentz Iowa Big Ten
Jimbo Fisher FSU ACC
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State      Big 12
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten
Mark Helfrich Oregon Pac-12
Clay Helton USC Pac-12
Tom Herman Houston American
Brian Kelly Notre Dame Independent
Jim McElwain Florida SEC
Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten
Les Miles LSU SEC
Jim Mora UCLA Pac-12
Gary Patterson     TCU Big 12
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12
Nick Saban Alabama SEC
David Shaw Stanford Pac-12
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC
Bob Stoops Oklahoma Big 12
Kevin Sumlin Texas A&M SEC
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC
Kyle Whittingham     Utah Pac-12