Brian Ferentz, a three-year letterman as an offensive lineman at the University of Iowa, was named offensive coordinator following the 2016 season. He coached Hawkeye running backs in 2017 and tight ends in 2018. Ferentz served as Iowa’s offensive line coach for five seasons (2012-16) and served as run game coordinator in 2015 and 2016.
Brian joined the Hawkeye staff after spending the previous four years with the NFL’s New England Patriots. He was recently recognized by ESPN.com as one of the top assistant coaches in the Big Ten Conference under the age of 40.
Iowa has won 47 games over the past five seasons, the highest total in school history over any five-year period, and a total that ranks ninth nationally. Iowa won its final four games of the season and ranked 15th in the nation in the final Associated Press and coaches polls.
The Hawkeyes concluded the 2019 campaign with a 10-3 record following a 49-24 win over No. 22 Southern California in the Holiday Bowl. The three losses were all to ranked opponents by a combined 14 points. The Hawkeyes were 4-1 in trophy games for the third straight season. Iowa has won three straight postseason games and 12 straight nonconference games.
Iowa completed the 2018 season with a 9-4 mark and a final ranking of 25th in the Associated Press national rankings. The Hawkeyes earned a 27-22 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Mississippi State to close the season with three straight wins. The four losses came by a total of 23 points and all were decided in the final minutes of play. Iowa tied for second in the Big Ten West Division.
Iowa won eight games in both 2016 and 2017, including a Pinstripe Bowl victory to conclude the 2017 campaign. The Hawkeyes posted a perfect 12-0 regular season record in 2015, winning the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. Iowa participated in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game and the 2015 Big Ten Championship and ended the season in the top 10 in the final national rankings.
Along with winning its most recent three bowl games, Iowa also participated in the 2017 Outback Bowl, 2016 Rose Bowl Game, 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl and 2014 Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes have ranked in the final top 10 of both major polls five times in the past 18 seasons.
Iowa has appeared in 11 January bowl games since 2001 and has recorded January bowl wins over Florida (2004 Outback), Louisiana State (2005 Capital One), South Carolina (2009 Outback), Georgia Tech (2010 Orange), and Mississippi State (2019 Outback).
Iowa has won 151 games over the past 18 seasons, including 90 Big Ten games. Along with the 2015 division title, the Hawkeyes earned a share of the Big Ten title in both 2002 and 2004 and tied for second in 2009. Iowa has finished in the Big Ten’s first division in 17 of the past 19 years.
Iowa’s efficient offense in 2019 featured senior quarterback Nate Stanley and tackle Tristan Wirfs, the Big Ten’s Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year. Wirfs earned first-team All-America honors from as many as three national outlets, while tackle Alaric Jackson earned third-team All-Big Ten honors. Wirfs declared for the 2020 NFL Draft following his junior season and was a first-round selections (13th pick overall) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Stanley completed his three-year career with a 27-12 record as the starting quarterback, passing for over 8,000 career yards. Iowa ranked first in the Big Ten in red zone offense, fewest turnovers and fewest fumbles lost, second in fourth down conversions and fourth in time of possession. He was selected by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Iowa offense in 2018 set a school record for most points scored in road games. The Hawkeyes averaged 31.2 in all games, the ninth highest single-season total in school history. Stanley led the Iowa offense, passing for 2,852 yards. Stanley threw 26 touchdown passes in both 2017 and 2018, setting a school record for scoring passes over a two-year period. Stanley ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in passing yards (8,302), total offense (8,198) and passing touchdowns (68).
Tight end T.J. Hockenson earned the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in the nation and was named the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year in the Big Ten. Iowa’s tight ends combined for 90 receptions for 1,330 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Hockenson was the eighth player selected in the 2019 NFL Draft (Detroit), while Noah Fant was the 20th player selected in the first round (Denver). It marks the only time in the history of the NFL Draft that two tight ends from the same program have been selected in the first round. Senior tight end Nate Wieting was signed to a free agent contract by the Cleveland Browns immediately following the 2020 NFL Draft.
The 2017 Iowa offense featured 1,000-yard rusher in senior Akrum Wadley, and a first-year starting quarterback in Stanley, who passed for over 2,400 yards. Senior offensive lineman Sean Welsh earned first team All-Big Ten honors, while redshirt freshman lineman Alaric Jackson earned freshman All-America recognition.
The Iowa offensive line earned the 2016 Joe Moore Award, which is presented to the best offensive line in college football. Iowa boasted two players who rushed for over 1,000 yards in the same season for the first time in school history, as Wadley and senior LeShun Daniels, Jr., each surpassed 1,000 yards. Iowa was a finalist for the award in 2015.
Four members of Iowa’s 2016 offensive line earned All-Big Ten recognition, including Boettger, Cole Croston, Daniels, and Welsh. Croston signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots following the 2017 NFL Draft and was on the active roster the entire 2017 season. In 2015, guard Jordan Walsh earned first team all-Big Ten honors, while center Austin Blythe was one of three finalists for the Rimington Award and a second team selection.
Iowa’s offense in 2015 averaged 30.9 points and 386.1 yards total offense, including 181.7 rushing and 204.4 passing yards per game. Iowa ranked in the top 25 nationally in fourth down conversions, fewest penalties and fewest turnovers.
Left tackle Brandon Scherff won the 2014 Outland Trophy, was the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten and earned unanimous consensus All-America honors. Scherff was the fifth player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft (Washington Redskins), while right tackle Andrew Donnal was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round. Scherff was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in 2017.
Iowa’s offensive line in 2013 led the way for an offense that averaged 377 yards total offense, including 180 rushing yards and 197 passing yards. The Hawkeye offensive line allowed just 15 sacks in 13 games, a total that led the Big Ten and tied for 12th best in the nation. Iowa won eight games while participating in the 2014 Outback Bowl.
Iowa’s offensive line featured the same five starters in all 13 games in 2013, with four of those Hawkeyes earning Big Ten honors. Scherff was a first team selection, while right tackle Brett Van Sloten was second team and Blythe and left guard Conor Boffeli each were named honorable mention. Iowa led the Big Ten and ranked eighth in the nation in fewest penalties per game. Boffeli and Van Sloten signed NFL free agent contracts immediately following the 2014 NFL Draft.
Senior center James Ferentz and senior tackle/guard Matt Tobin led Iowa’s offensive line in 2012, as both players earned all-Big Ten recognition. In addition, Blythe earned FWAA Freshman All-America honors. Iowa’s offensive line put together a string of four consecutive games without allowing a quarterback sack and allowed less than two sacks in six of 12 games overall.
Brian, the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, served as New England’s tight ends coach in 2011, helping the Patriots win the AFC championship and a spot in the 2012 Super Bowl. Brian was an offensive assistant coach in 2010, working exclusively with the tight ends. He spent 2009 as a coaching assistant after serving as a scouting assistant for the Patriots during the 2008 season.
Under his direction, two Patriot rookie tight ends made a big impact in 2010. The New England duo ranked first and second, among all rookie tight ends with 10 and six touchdown catches, respectively. They became the first pair of rookie tight ends with at least five touchdowns in the same season in NFL history. Rob Gronkowski’s 10 touchdown receptions rank second in NFL history for a rookie tight end, as only Mike Ditka (12) had more touchdowns as a rookie.
Gronkowski set additional records in 2011, including individual records for receiving touchdowns by a tight end (17), total touchdowns by a tight end (18) and receiving yards by a tight end (1,327). As a tandem, the Patriot tight ends also set three NFL single season records: total touchdowns by a tight end tandem (24), receptions by a tight end tandem (169) and total yards by a tight end tandem (2,237).
Brian played both offensive guard and center during his Iowa career. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 2005 and was academic All-Big Ten in 2003. He was a team captain as a senior and played on Iowa teams that were among the most successful in school history. Brian was part of two Big Ten championship teams (2002 and 2004).
Ferentz started at center in every game as a senior in 2005. He started eight games at right guard in 2004 as the Hawkeyes earned a share of the Big Ten title and a bid to the Capital One Bowl. Iowa won each of the eight games he started after he missed the first four games of the year due to injury. Ferentz earned the starting center position as a sophomore and started five games before missing the second half of the season due to injury.
During his tenure as a player, Iowa participated in the BCS FedEx Orange Bowl, two Outback Bowls, and a Capital One Bowl, compiling an overall record of 38-12. The Hawkeyes defeated Florida in the 2004 Outback Bowl and defending national champion LSU in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.
Ferentz was a member of Iowa’s Leadership Council and as a senior was the recipient of the Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat Award”. The annual award goes to the Hawkeye player who gives extraordinary effort on the field. He was recognized with the “Next Man In” award as a junior.
Brian was selected to participate in the 2006 Hula Bowl following his Hawkeye career. He signed a free agent contract with Atlanta and was a member of the Falcons practice squad in 2006. He was with the New Orleans Saints throughout their 2007 training camp.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Iowa in 2006.
Ferentz was born March 28, 1983, in Iowa City. He and his wife, Nikki, have three daughters, Presley, Connolly and Jolie, and a son, John.
Ferentz’ Coaching Career
School/Team – Position, Years
Iowa – Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends, 2018-present
Iowa – Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs, 2017
Iowa – Offensive Line, Run Game Coordinator, 2015-16
Iowa – Offensive Line, 2012-2014
New England – Tight Ends, 2011
New England – Offensive Assistant/Tight Ends, 2010
New England – Coaching Assistant, 2009
New England – Scouting Assistant, 2008