Iowa's Kirk Ferentz says midseason announcement on son's 2024 removal against program's philosophy

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Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa interim athletic director Beth Goetz announced on Monday that Ferentz's son, Brian, would not return as offensive coordinator next year. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Kirk Ferentz's longstanding philosophy has been to evaluate the various facets of his Iowa football program at the end of each season.

Interim athletic director Beth Goetz took matters into her own hands and did a midseason assessment of one of the 25th-year coach's staff members, announcing offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz would be out in 2024.

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Kirk Ferentz deflected most questions Tuesday about his son's looming removal but indicated he was not on board with the timing of the announcement. He said the end of the season is a better time for making decisions because less emotion is involved.

“I can give you a lot of reasons why I’ve done it that way, but it really doesn’t matter,” he said. "It’s really not significant right now because we’re dealing with something that we have to deal with, and we will.”

Iowa ranks 133rd, and last, in the Bowl Subdivision in total offense. The Hawkeyes are 108th in rushing, 128th in passing and 118th in scoring.

Goetz made her decision during Iowa's off week following a 12-10 home loss to Minnesota in which the Hawkeyes had just 12 second-half yards.

Neither Kirk Ferentz nor Goetz, who met with reporters after the coach's weekly news conference, would get into the details of the decision or its timeline.

“Those are private conversations,” Goetz said. “We’re going to keep it that way.”

Asked when he was notified of Goetz's decision, Ferentz said, “I had access to the announcement that you read, that we all read, over the weekend.”

Brian Ferentz, who will remain as the offensive coordinator for the rest of the season, has been working under a revised contract that required Iowa to average 25 points per game and win seven games or the contract would be terminated.

Kirk Ferentz said it served no purpose to discuss the mandate now.

“Brian is the one who signed it, and I think he thought it was the best option available, and I would have co-signed it. Not that it was my business,” the head coach said.

Goetz declined comment on the conditions of the contract.

“What you do is you look at what’s right in front of you and you take that information, what you can navigate and you make the best decisions that you can," she said.

Goetz has been Brian Ferentz's direct supervisor because of university nepotism regulations. She said she was not pressured from anyone outside the program to make the decision.

“I think any time you’re in situations like these, you tune out what’s around,” she said.

The hiring of a new offensive coordinator will be done by Kirk Ferentz at the end of the season, Goetz said.

“Just like with any of our sports and any of our coaches, we empower our head coaches to make decisions that they think are best in the hiring process,” she said. “And, of course, administrators are involved in how we engage with them and exchange ideas but those are decisions that we’ll leave up to that coach.”

Kirk Ferentz said his immediate focus is on the next four games, starting Saturday against Northwestern at Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Hawkeyes are 6-2 overall and in a four-way tie for first place in the Big Ten West at 3-2.

Iowa, which has had one of the nation's worst offenses for three years, was hoping for a revival when quarterback Cade McNamara transferred from Michigan in the offseason. But McNamara is out for the season with a knee injury. Injuries also have ended the seasons of tight ends Luke Lachey and Erick All, who have combined for 31 receptions this season.

Asked what could have been done differently on offense this season, Kirk Ferentz said, “Yeah, kept everybody healthy. Again, you can’t play that game. It is what it is. We’re where we’re at, and we’re moving forward. That’s all you can do.”

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