Kirk Ferentz shares an interesting perspective on coaching jobs

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday October 29, 2015


Kirk Ferentz’s head coaching career at Iowa began with 18 losses in his first 20 games. In today’s coaching landscape, would he have stuck around?

Ferentz reached the Orange Bowl in his fourth season and is now in year 17, sitting at 7-0 and ranked No. 10. He’s had ups and downs, but with this year’s coaching carousel already off and running, Ferentz is thankful he’s been given patience and knows it's not typical.

“The people in our administration have been very understanding that some years are going to be better than others,” Ferentz said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “They give you an opportunity if things don’t go the way you want. They allow you to work through problems.

It’s kind of how this country was built. We’ve kind of moved away from that, not only in sports, but in a lot of areas. Everybody’s more interested in the blame game, and that’s not how you fix problems.”

Ferentz’s sizable buyout has also been a factor, but his relaxed personality reflects how he approaches jobs. From the beginning, he doesn’t believe he needs a certain job.

It's a different perspective in a profession with so much work and stress and guys always looking for the next step.

“My first job in the NFL, in Cleveland, I got a one-year contract. I was a little nervous about that, because we had a three-year lease with our house in Maine,” he said. “My goal in the NFL was just to make it long enough that if I got fired, I’d be able to pay off that house in Maine. That was my only goal. … I never had to have this job (at Iowa), so my attitude was, if it didn’t work out, I was going to do things the way I believed were right.

“If it didn’t work out, I’d go back to coaching the line or coaching high school. I’ve kept that attitude all the way through. I’ve never had to have this job. I love this job, and I love being at Iowa. If they move me on, I’ll be fine. I enjoy coaching football. That being said, the goal’s been to be here for a long time. I feel very fortunate.”

No. 10 Iowa hosts Maryland this Saturday. 

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.