University of Iowa Athletics
Moon Family Head Football Coach

Kirk Ferentz

Phone 319-335-8943
Kirk Ferentz - Football - University of Iowa Athletics


Moon Family Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz is in his 23rd year as head football coach at the University of Iowa, and 32nd season overall at the University. The position of UI head football coach was endowed in 2021 by Will and Renee Moon. The Bettendorf, Iowa couple are UI alumni and longtime Hawkeye supporters.

With Iowa’s 33-7 win over Northern Illinois in the opening game of the 2018 season, Ferentz recorded win No. 144 as Iowa’s head coach, surpassing the late Hayden Fry as the winningest football coach in program history. Fry was Iowa’s head coach for 20 seasons (1979-98).

Ferentz is the longest tenured head football coach in the nation. Ferentz and Fry are the only head coaches to lead a Division I football program for 20 years, consecutively. With a 63-0 win at Illinois in 2018, Ferentz became just the fifth coach in Big Ten Conference history to win 150 games as a Big Ten head coach. Ferentz earned his 100th career Big Ten win at Penn State (Nov. 21, 2020) and ranks fourth in career wins within league play.

Ferentz holds a 168-106 record at Iowa, including 103-77 in conference games. The 168 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten rank fourth all-time in league history. His 25-year record as a college head coach is 180-127.

Under Ferentz’ leadership the Iowa football program has earned 18 bowl game invitations since 2001. That success has been achieved with strong commitments to the program, the University of Iowa, and the ideals that represent Hawkeye football – hard work, determination, player development and character, on and off the field.

The Hawkeyes won 47 games from 2015-19, the best five-year win total in school history. Just eight programs in the nation won more games during that time frame. Iowa has won 10 games in a season on nine occasions, six times under Ferentz and three under Fry.

Ferentz guided the Hawkeyes to eight wins or more in five consecutive seasons (2015-19) and 12 seasons overall since 2003. Iowa has appeared in 11 January bowl games under Ferentz. The Hawkeyes have won three straight bowl games for the second time under Ferentz (2008-10 and 2017-19).

On the field, Ferentz’s approach can be described as smart, tough, and physical. Off the field, academics and character development are a focus. In 2020, the University of Iowa outperformed its peers nationally in the classroom for the 10th consecutive year, according to data released by the NCAA.

Following back-to-back narrow losses to open the 2020 season, Iowa won six straight games, all in Big Ten play, to complete the regular season. The Hawkeyes scored at least 26 points in each of the six wins, while holding three opponents to just seven points. The winning streak included road wins at Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois, and trophy game victories over Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the nation in the final CFP rankings and coaches poll, 16th by the Associated Press. Iowa’s Music City Bowl date with Missouri in December was canceled.

Iowa concluded the 2019 season with three straight wins over border rivals Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska, followed by the 49-24 Holiday Bowl win over No. 22 Southern California. Following a 24-22 loss at Wisconsin to open November, the Hawkeyes handed seventh-ranked Minnesota its first loss of the season to maintain possession of Floyd of Rosedale. A 27-24 win over the Cornhuskers in the final game of the season kept the Heroes Trophy in Iowa City. Iowa’s three losses came by a combined 14 points to three teams who were ranked in the top 20 at the time. Iowa also maintained possession of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Trophy with a non-conference win at Iowa State in September.

Iowa won six of its first seven games in 2018 and closed the season with wins in the final three games, including the 27-22 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Mississippi State. The four losses came by a total of 23 points and all were decided in the final minutes of play. Iowa’s defense ranked second nationally in interceptions after leading the nation in 2017. Iowa’s 53 interceptions over the past three seasons ranks first nationally.

Iowa’s 8-5 record in 2017 included wins in three of four trophy games, with victories over Iowa State, Minnesota, and Nebraska, plus the Pinstripe Bowl win to conclude the season. Iowa also began November with a 55-24 win over third-ranked Ohio State. Nine of Iowa’s 12 regular season opponents were bowl eligible (posting an 8-1 record) as the Hawkeyes faced one of the strongest schedules in the nation.

Iowa closed the 2016 regular season with three straight wins, including two over ranked opponents. Iowa posted a 6-3 record in Big Ten play to tie for second place in the West Division and finished the season at 8-5 overall.

Highlights of the year included Iowa defeating second-ranked Michigan and 15th-ranked Nebraska in the final month of the season, as well as earning a January bowl invitation for the 10th time during the Ferentz era.

The Iowa football program enjoyed a historic season in 2015, posting a final 12-2 record.  Ferentz led the 2015 Hawkeyes to a perfect regular season, setting a school record with 12 wins. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten Conference West Division (8-0) before falling to Michigan State, 16-13, in a close championship game that was decided in the final minute of play. The Hawkeyes earned their sixth invitation to the Rose Bowl, which was Iowa’s first appearance in Pasadena in 25 years.

Ferentz was recognized with both the Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year awards in 2015. 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.

Coaching History
Ferentz’ coaching career began as a student assistant (1977) at his alma mater, the University of Connecticut. The next two years (1978-79) were spent at Worcester Academy, where he also taught English literature. He then served as a graduate assistant offensive line coach at the University of Pittsburgh during the 1980 season. That Pittsburgh team (coached by Jackie Sherrill) finished with an 11-1 record and a number two national ranking.

Ferentz joined Hayden Fry’s Iowa staff as the offensive line coach in 1981, which became Iowa’s first winning seasons in 19 years. The season was highlighted by the Hawkeyes winning a conference title and earning a Rose Bowl berth – both of which had not occurred in 20 years.

He continued as Iowa’s offensive line coach through the 1989 season and had great success coaching offensive lines that, to date, have anchored four of Iowa’s highest scoring offenses. In addition, eight of Iowa’s top 10 offensive teams, in terms of yards gained per game, have operated with Ferentz as the head coach or offensive line coach. And Iowa’s top nine passing teams of all time have occurred with Ferentz as the head coach, or offensive line coach.

Ferentz was named head coach of the University of Maine Black Bears in 1990 and held that position for three years before being hired by Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns to coach the offensive line. He remained with the organization after it moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Ravens, serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. In all, he worked six years with the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.

He rejoined the Hawkeyes as head coach in 1999 and is Iowa’s longest tenured head football coach.

Personal History
Off the field, family is the top priority for Ferentz. Ferentz and his wife, Mary, have been married for 42 years. They have five children: Brian, Kelly, Joanne, James, and Steven. They also have four granddaughters (Presley, Blakely, Connolly, and Jolie), and five grandsons (John, Forest, Nixon, Lincoln, and Beckett). All five of their children graduated from City High School in Iowa City and earned degrees from the University of Iowa; and each of the boys had the incredible experience of playing football at the University of Iowa with their father as head coach.

Kirk and Mary are very enthusiastic supporters of the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. They serve as advocates for the Children’s Hospital, hosting and speaking at events across the state to raise awareness and support for the hospital. Kirk and Mary established the “Ferentz Family Pediatric Research and Education Endowment Fund” in 2007. In honor of their granddaughter, Mary and Kirk donated more than $1 million in 2017 to establish the Savvy Elizabeth Ferentz Neonatology Research Fund. In addition, the Iowa Ladies’ Football Academy has donated more than $3 million to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which opened across the street from Kinnick Stadium in December, 2016.

Ferentz has also been involved in supporting a number of community and university-related initiatives, including serving as the honorary chair of the University of Iowa’s United Way campaign. Kirk and Mary have also contributed generously to the University of Iowa, including donations to the University’s College of Liberal Arts. Another significant gift was a $500,000 commitment to support the Iowa Football Legacy Campaign, which included two key projects benefitting the Hawkeye football program; the indoor practice facility; and the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center.

Ferentz was born August 1, 1955, in Royal Oak, Michigan. He attended Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. He was a football captain and an academic all-Yankee Conference linebacker at Connecticut.

Ferentz received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in May, 2009. He was inducted into the Upper St. Clair High School Hall of Fame in September, 2002, and the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in May, 2003.

Coaching Career
Team —  Position, Years 
Iowa — Head Coach, 1999-present
Baltimore/Cleveland — Offensive Line, 1993-98
Maine — Head Coach, 1990-92
Iowa — Offensive Line, 1981-89
Pittsburgh — Graduate Assistant, 1980
Worcester Academy — Offensive Line, Defensive Coordinator, 1978-79
Connecticut — Student Assistant, 1977

Career Record
Overall: 180-127 (25 years)
At Iowa: 168-106 (22 years)
Big Ten: 103-77

•    Ranks fourth all-time in Big Ten conference game wins (103) and in overall wins (168)
•    Ranks first all-time at Iowa in coaching victories with 168
•    One of just seven Big Ten coaches ever to guide a team to 10 wins or more in three straight seasons

Year-By-Year Record at Iowa

Year Overall Record (%) Big Ten Record (%) Bowl Game
2020 6-2 (.750) 6-2 (.75o) Music City
2019 10-3 (.769) 6-3 (.667) Holiday
2018 9-4 (.692) 5-4 (.556) Outback
2017 8-5 (.615) 4-5 (.444) Pinstripe
2016 8-5 (.615) 6-3 (.667) Outback
2015 12-2 (.857) 8-0 (1.000) Rose
2014 7-6 (.538) 4-4 (.500) TaxSlayer
2013 8-5 (.615) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2012 4-8 (.333) 2-6 (.250) – – –
2011 7-6 (.538) 4-4 (.500) Insight
2010 8-5 (.615) 4-4 (.500) Insight
2009 11-2 (.846) 6-2 (.750) Orange
2008 9-4 (.692) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2007 6-6 (.500) 4-4 (.500) – – –
2006 6-7 (.462) 2-6 (.250) Alamo
2005 7-5 (.583) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2004 10-2 (.833) 7-1 (.875) Capital One
2003 10-3 (.769) 5-3 (.625) Outback
2002 11-2 (.846) 8-0 (1.000) Orange
2001 7-5 (.583) 4-4 (.500) Alamo
2000 3-9 (.250) 3-5 (.375) – – –
1999 1-10 (.091) 0-8 (.000) – – –
Overall 168-106 (.613) 103-77 (.572) 18 bowl games

Coaching Honors 
2015 Eddie Robinson FWAA Coach of the Year
2015 Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year
2015 Woody Hayes Coach of the Year (Columbus Touchdown Club)
2015 AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year
2015 Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year
2015 Hayes-Schembechler Big Ten Coach of the Year
2015 Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Finalist
2015 Maxwell Club George Munger Coach of the Year Finalist
2015 Associated Press Big Ten Coach of the Year
2009 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year
2009 Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year
2004 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year
2002 Associated Press national Coach of the Year
2002 Walter Camp national Coach of the Year
2002 Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year
Joins Bo Schembechler (Michigan) in being named Big Ten Coach of the Year more than three times

Post-Season Success
Has guided Iowa to 18 bowl appearances in 22 seasons

• 2020 Music City Bowl
• 2019 Holiday Bowl
• 2019 Outback Bowl
• 2017 Pinstripe Bowl
• 2017 Outback Bowl
• 2016 Rose Bowl
• 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl
• 2014 Outback Bowl
• 2011 Insight Bowl
• 2010 Insight Bowl
• 2010 Orange Bowl
• 2009 Outback Bowl
• 2006 Alamo Bowl
• 2006 Outback Bowl
• 2005 Capital One Bowl
• 2004 Outback Bowl
• 2003 Orange Bowl
• 2001 Alamo Bowl

• Nine bowl victories tied for second all-time among Big Ten coaches
• Has twice led Iowa to three straight bowl wins (2008-10 and 2017-19)
• Iowa appeared in four straight January bowls, 2002-05; four straight from 2013-16, and 11 overall under Ferentz
• Iowa was one of just eight schools in the nation to appear in six January bowl games between 2002-09
• Iowa has earned eight straight bowl invitations between 2013 and 2020, matching the longest bowl streak in school history (1981-88)

In the Final Rankings
2020    15th (CFP)/15th (Coaches)/16th (AP)
2019    15th (AP)/15th (Coaches)/16th (CFP)
2018    25th (AP)
2015    9th (AP)/10th (Coaches)/5th (CFP)
2009    7th (AP)/7th (USA Today)
2008    20th (AP)/20th (USA Today)
2004    8th (AP)/8th (USA Today)
2003    8th (AP)/8th (USA Today)
2002    8th (AP)/8th (USA Today)

As Iowa Offensive Line Coach
Overall record of 73-33-4 in nine seasons

•    1988 Peach Bowl
•    1987 Holiday Bowl
•    1986 Holiday Bowl
•    1986 Rose Bowl
•    1984 Freedom Bowl
•    1983 Gator Bowl
•    1982 Peach Bowl
•    1982 Rose Bowl

First Round NFL Draft Selections
OL Tristan Wirfs, 2020 (13th selection, Tampa Bay)
TE T.J. Hockenson, 2019 (8th selection, Detroit)
TE Noah Fant, 2019 (20th selection, Denver)
OL Brandon Scherff, 2014 (5th selection, Washington)
OL Riley Reiff, 2012 (23rd selection, Detroit)
DL Adrian Clayborn, 2011 (20th selection, Tampa Bay)
OL Bryan Bulaga, 2010 (23rd selection, Green Bay)
LB Chad Greenway, 2006 (17th selection, Minnesota)
OL Robert Gallery, 2004 (2nd selection, Oakland)
TE Dallas Clark, 2003 (24th selection, Indianapolis)

NFL Draft Highlights
• 10 first round selections
• 10 second round selections
• 79 NFL Draft selections overall
• 88% of Iowa’s senior starters the last 19 years were selected in the NFL Draft or signed to an NFL free agent contract
• Iowa ranks third among Big Ten leaders in number of players drafted (50) over the past 13 years

NFL Honors
NFL Defensive Player of the Year (1)
DB Bob Sanders, Indianapolis, 2007

NFL All-Pro Honors (12)    
TE T.J. Hockenson (Detroit)
TE George Kittle (San Francisco)
DB Desmond King (LA Chargers)
DL Mike Daniels (Green Bay)
DB Micah Hyde (Buffalo)
OL Brandan Scherff (Washington)
TE Dallas Clark (Indianapolis)
LB Chad Greenway (Minnesota)
DL Aaron Kampman (Green Bay)
PK Nate Kaeding (San Diego)
DB Bob Sanders (Indianapolis)
OL Marshal Yanda (Baltimore)

Consensus All-Americans (12)
DT Daviyon Nixon, 2020
K Keith Duncan, 2019
DB Josh Jackson, 2017
LB Josey Jewell, 2017
DB Desmond King, 2015
OL Brandon Scherff, 2014
DE Adrian Clayborn, 2010
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
OL Robert Gallery, 2003
PK Nate Kaeding, 2003
OL Eric Steinbach, 2002
TE Dallas Clark, 2002

First Team All-Americans (21)
DT Daviyon Nixon, 2020 *
K Keith Duncan, 2019
OL Tristan Wirfs, 2019
TE T.J. Hockenson, 2018
DB Josh Jackson, 2017 *
LB Josey Jewell, 2017 *
DB Desmond King, 2016
DB Desmond King, 2015 *
OL Brandon Scherff, 2014 *
OL Riley Reiff, 2011
DE Adrian Clayborn, 2010
LB Pat Angerer, 2009
OL Bryan Bulaga, 2009
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
OL Robert Gallery, 2003
PK Nate Kaeding, 2003
QB Brad Banks, 2002
TE Dallas Clark, 2002
PK Nate Kaeding, 2002
OL Bruce Nelson, 2002
OL Eric Steinbach, 2002
* – unanimous, consensus

National Honors
Nine Hawkeyes have earned national Player of the Year honors on 10 occasions

T.J. Hockenson, 2018 John Mackey Award
Josey Jewell, 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy
Desmond King, 2015 Jim Thorpe Award
Brandon Scherff, 2014 Outland Trophy
Shonn Greene, 2008 Doak Walker Award
Robert Gallery, 2003 Outland Trophy
Brad Banks, 2002 Davey O’Brien Award
Brad Banks, 2002 Associated Press Player of the Year
Dallas Clark, 2002 John Mackey Award
Nate Kaeding, 2002 Lou Groza Award

Joe Moore Offensive Line Award, 2016

Big Ten Honors
Big Ten Most Valuable Player (2)
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
QB Brad Banks, 2002

Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (2)
RB Shonn Greene, 2008
QB Brad Banks, 2002

Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2)
DT Daviyon Nixon, 2020
LB Josey Jewell, 2017

Big Ten Player of the Year, by Position (19)
Daviyon Nixon, 2020 (defensive line)
Tory Taylor, 2020 (punter)
Keith Duncan, 2019 (kicker)
Tristan Wirfs, 2019 (offensive line)
T.J. Hockenson, 2018 (tight end)
Amani Hooker, 2018 (defensive back)
Ihmir Smith-Marsette, 2018 (return specialist)
Josh Jackson, 2017 (defensive back)
Josey Jewell, 2017 (linebacker)
Desmond King, 2015 (defensive back)
Brandon Scherff, 2014 (offensive line)
Micah Hyde, 2012 (defensive back)
Marvin McNutt, Jr., 2011 (wide receiver)
Bryan Bulaga, 2009 (offensive line)
Shonn Greene, 2008 (running back)
Mitch King, 2008 (defensive line)
Robert Gallery, 2003 (offensive line)
Brad Banks, 2002 (quarterback)
Eric Steinbach, 2002 (offensive line)

Academic Honors
Academic All-America Honors (16)
Anthony Nelson, second-team Academic All-America, 2018
Anthony Nelson, first team Academic All-America, 2017
Parker Hesse, second team Academic All-America, 2017
Jordan Lomax, second team Academic All-America, 2015
Mark Weisman, second team Academic All-America, 2014
James Morris, NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award, 2013
James Morris, first team Academic All-America, 2013
Mike Klinkenborg, first team Academic All-America, 2007
Adam Shada, first team Academic All-America, 2007
Mike Klinkenborg, first team Academic All-America, 2006
Adam Shada, first team Academic All-America, 2006
Mike Elgin, first team Academic All-America, 2006
Mike Elgin, first team Academic All-America, 2005
Nate Kaeding, second team Academic All-America, 2002
Aaron Kampman, first team Academic All-America, 2001
Aaron Kampman, second team Academic All-America, 2000

384 Academic All-Big Ten honorees

Assistant Coach Recognition
Jim Reid, FootballScoop Linebacker Coach of the Year, 2013
LeVar Woods, FootballScoop Linebacker Coach of the Year, 2013
Norm Parker, AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, 2011
Norm Parker, Frank Broyles Award Finalist, 2005
Norm Parker, Frank Broyles Award Finalist, 2004
Ron Aiken, AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year, 2002