It happened. Brian Ferentz has (essentially) been fired. But we likely knew this would be the result after Brian quickly fell behind his points-per-game objective.
Making a change mid-season — or rather assessing coaches mid-season — elicited what was easily the most telling statement head coach Kirk Ferentz made at his availability Tuesday.
“I’ll basically say this: For 25 years, I’ve tried to operate with the singular focus of doing what I feel is best for the program and that’s mainly the players and everybody that works in this building. That’s my first obligation,” Ferentz said.
“Basically, my philosophy and my practice has been pretty consistent. Typically we go through the season and then run an evaluation of the program top to bottom afterwards. Yesterday’s announcement is certainly a departure from that practice, but that’s really what we’ve tried to do for the past 24 years.”
Ferentz made his stance clear: He’s focused on the rest of the season, and not worried about anything other than that.
“Really what I’m worried about right now are the next four weeks,” Ferentz said. “I think anything beyond that is getting way ahead. I’d be foolish to be giving thoughts to things that are outside the realm of that.”
Interim AD Beth Goetz was the one who pulled the plug on Brian.
“There’s a chain of command in everything we do,” Ferentz said.
As for how this will affect Kirk and Brian’s personal relationship?
“Obviously we have a biological relationship. I’m very fond of him,” Kirk said. “But I’ve had a lot of strong relationships with a lot of people who worked here and that’s one of the beauties of what we do. If anybody on our staff fell in this category, I’d feel bad about it.”
Perhaps the biggest question mark was if this would affect coach Ferentz’s future plans in Iowa City beyond 2023.
“My plans are like they always are — to worry about this game. And bigger, bigger scale. Bigger picture for these four games. That’s where my focus has been this entire season. That’s what I think each and every year. It’s been pretty consistent.”
Iowa’s offense is dead last in yards per game in the entire country. It’s been 123rd in the country or worse each of the last three seasons. Brian Ferentz will coach the last four games and a bowl game before being dismissed at the conclusion of the year.