Put me in the group of people that thought Brian Ferentz wanted to blaze his own path, maybe work up the ladder in the NFL ranks. Put in me in the group of people that were wrong. Per this piece by Marc Morehouse,
"It was time to go back to Boston. Kirk drove Brian up to the Eastern Iowa Airport. And, as we've seen Kirk do a few times after big wins, he started to choke up a little bit. Brian said, well, you know you could hire me. He then turned and got on the plane, according to Mary Ferentz, Brian's mom and Kirk's wife."
During the week leading up the Super Bowl Brian was asked about the possibility of coaching with his dad. He spoke candidly about Iowa and his father. Per the Boston Globe,
"I'm extremely blessed to be born into the family I was born into, to have the father I have," Ferentz said on media day. "I never take that for granted. Of course it's hard when you go into the same profession, you want to have an identity of your own, you don't want to be Kirk Ferentz' son. But one thing I remind myself, if that's all I'm ever known as, that's not such a bad thing. You just go out and forge your own identity by doing what you do. Just be good at your job, and the rest of it will take care of itself. . . . It's not a burden, it's just something you live with."
The Hawkeye coaching staff gets younger with the addition of Woods (34) and Ferentz (28). It's interesting that Brian is two years older than his dad when Hayden Fry hired him to coach the offensive line at Iowa. Hayden hired a 26 year old Ferentz fresh off a one year stint as a graduate assistant at Pittsburgh. Kirk had worked as a defensive line coach and defensive coordinator at Worcester Academy, a prep school, when he was 23.
Instead of working as a grad assistant Brian spent a year on an NFL practice squad. Both Woods and Brian have NFL experience; Woods as a player, Brian as a coach. They both will coach the position they played in college and the NFL.
It's apparent now that coaching for his father was something Brian wanted to do. It's also something Woods has worked towards since starting with the coaching staff as an administrative assistant, a large decrease in pay from an NFL linebacker.
Administrative assistants work long hours, especially during football season. They run recruits to the airport and assist with film editing. It's a job that requires a lot of dedication for little pay. Brian began his career with the Patriots with similar responsibilities. You have to love what you do. If you can say anything about Woods and Ferentz, they obviously love the game of football.
Brian has the coach speak down. How it's absorbed by his players will be determined by their play on the field. He was the honorary captain for Iowa's homecoming game against Indiana in October. Brian told the team,
"Being a champion is a lifestyle, it's how you do things every day; every decision you make goes into being a champion. You don't decide 30 minutes before kickoff, it doesn't work like that."
"The minute you embrace your role, that's when you're really part of the team, pain, suffering and sacrifice is what it's like to be part of a team. Be excellent, don't be mediocre. Nobody can be perfect, but everybody can be excellent."
Iowa won that game with Indiana 45-24.
Some more links from around the web about Woods and Brian Ferentz:
- A story from 2000, Woods' senior season at Iowa before he made it to the NFL
- Here's a Brian Ferentz story, prior the 2006 Outback Bowl
- One-on-one with LeVar Woods (from June)
- One-on-one with LeVar Woods (part two)
- Football journey: Brian Ferentz
Matt Gatens dropped seven threes on his way to a career high 30 points against Indiana last night. According to McCaffery, "he's just been playing as well, if not better, than anybody in this league." Melsahn Basabe came off the bench to add 15 points, seven boards and high five blocks. The Hawkeyes beat Indiana 78-66 earning their third win over a Top 25 team this season.
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