Period of Transition is Complete
Feb. 22, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The period of transition is over, and University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz is excited for the Hawkeyes to move forward in 2013.
"We're really happy with the way things have gone," Ferentz said Friday at a news conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex. "We've been through a period of transition, but we're enthused about the direction things of things and the group of guys that we have here."
Ferentz announced the completion of his coaching staff Friday when Chris White was hired as the running backs coach and special teams' coordinator. White spent the past five seasons as a special teams coach with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.
Iowa has now replaced six full-time assistant coaches, including both coordinators, since the 2011 season.
"It happens at other places," said Ferentz when asked about the turnover over the past 14 months. "Bob Stoops comes to mind. I think we're the only two survivors from our class that are still at the same schools.
"I don't know if it's a five-year span or a 10-year span, but at the end of the day, if you look at it over the last 15 years, we've probably had less transition than most schools in the same time period."
Ferentz sees the staff movement as an opportunity.
"When you have an opening, an opportunity comes, and it's a chance for people to join," he said. "It's a chance for people to grow internally, and it's an opportunity for good things to happen. Just like when you hate to see a senior graduate, but it gives an opportunity for a young guy to get on the field and maybe be the next great player."
With new faces, it translates to new ideas.
"We're open to anything," said Ferentz. "That's true every year, new coaches or not. You have to hope you're looking at what people are doing in all areas of football and that includes recruiting as well. That's part of growing and getting better.
"I don't think we need to throw out our whole system. But fresh ideas are good and if there is someone that can do something to supplement what we're already doing, that's a great thing. Getting people to throw ideas out is a good and healthy thing."
On the recruiting trail, Ferentz is tweaking some of the recruiting territories. The Hawkeyes will have three coaches split Ohio after having one coach in the state in the past. Iowa will also have two coaches (Brian Ferentz and Jim Reid) in the Chicagoland, two coaches (LeVar Woods and Bobby Kennedy) in Texas, and White on the East Coast.
"We try to be as thorough as we possibly can," said Ferentz. "It's important that the coaches in the Midwest and Big Ten areas have a comfort level with who we are and what we are, and the people that come into our schools."
Ferentz said offensive lineman Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal will be ready for spring practice, while defensive lineman Louis Trinca-Pasat and offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan will miss spring practice.
Iowa will hold its spring practices from March 27 through April 27.
"I think all of us are excited about what's in front of us," said Ferentz. "We have a chance to coach here in a couple of weeks, and we're excited to get back to work. I don't have any reason why we can't be successful, but we have to go out and do it."