Posted by: marcmwm | January 15, 2009

Barta talks Ferentz contract, Podolak fall out

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta popped into an Iowa men’s basketball press conference Thursday to discuss the direction of the program under coach Todd Lickliter and basketball attendance.

Some football questions were also addressed, coach Kirk Ferentz’s contract was among those items.

Ferentz will make more than $3 million this season. His contract expires after the 2012 season. After three seasons with a .500 or near-.500 record, the Hawkeyes rebounded in 2008 with a 9-4 record that was capped by Iowa’s 31-10 romp over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

Iowa has 12 seasons in its history with nine or more victories. Hayden Fry is responsible for six. Ferentz has four of those in his 10 seasons.

“We’ve talked about his future in general terms but nothing has been finalized,” Barta said Thursday. “It’s all part of the normal process. . . . We’ve had several conversations and, obviously, I’m very pleased with how this season went.

“We’ve talked about what went well, what we still have to improve upon. Whether that means what he’s trying to do with his staff and his future with the University.

“He’s a tremendous fit at the University of Iowa. He’s proven himself. He loves the University. He loves the state. It’s great to have him as our head coach.”

Barta was also asked about Ferentz and the NFL. Scott Pioli, a Ferentz friend from the Cleveland/Baltimore days, was hired this week as general manager with the Kansas City Chiefs. Herm Edwards is the Chiefs coach now, but his future is up in the air after a 2-14 season.

Barta was asked if he’d been contacted by an NFL team.

“No,” Barta said. “Kirk and I have talked many times since the end of the season. Generally, over the years, when he talks to NFL teams and what he wants to accomplish here, but, no, there’s been no specific talks about this team, that team. We’ve just had great talks about our future here with him as our head coach.”

Barta also discussed some of the fall out from the sudden retirement of Ed Podolak, the longtime radio analyst for Iowa football. Podolak announced Wednesday that he was going to retire. The announcement came in the wake of photos that appeared on the internet that showed Podolak looking down the blouse of an unidentified woman and another in which he appears to be intoxicated.

Barta was asked about the fan reaction.

“I know there’s going to be a group that doesn’t like my decision and a group that likes it,” Barta said. “So, I try to focus on where we’re headed and what we’re trying to do to the best of our ability and understand that we’re going to get feedback.

“I’ve heard feedback both ways. I understand the feedback of people who say, ‘How could this happen? He was the best.’ I agree with that. I love working with Ed. I’m going to miss him. . . . (Fans) that are angry at me, there’s nothing I can do about that.”

hawkeyes_55 by hawkeyebowlgame.

Iowa Hawkeyes Coach Kirk Ferentz on the sideline during the first quarter of the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla., Jan. 1, 2009. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette) 
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Responses

  1. “I know there’s going to be a group that doesn’t like my decision and a group that likes it,” Barta said

    If he’s referring to Ed I thought it was Ed’s decision to retire?

    Am I missing something here as I quickly glanced at this artice.

  2. […] athletic director Gary Barta talks about a possible contract extension for Kirk Ferentz and the controversial retirement of radio analyst Ed Podolak, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc […]

  3. […] athletic director Gary Barta talks about a possible contract extension for Kirk Ferentz and the controversial retirement of radio analyst Ed Podolak, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc […]

  4. It’s a shame when a guy like podolak can’t relax and have a little fun as most humans like to do occasionally with out some Fudd with a camera taking an unflattering picture . What harm could there be in that. We all have pics of us we wish didn’t exist I’m sure.

  5. He’s the most overpaid coach in America! $3million a year and how many arrests?!

  6. Any truth to the rumor they want Marc in Des Moines to do color next fall?

  7. My trademark call would be, “Sweet fancy Moses!!!!”

  8. Last time I checked KF hasn’t been arrested for anything. I guess a $1m/yr for 2 wins is OK. I don’t.

  9. I think your sig call would be, “Ah, criminy!” Oh, sorry, Harry took that one to the grave.

  10. What’s Tim Dwight doing these days? I think he would make a GREAT color commintator!

  11. I did find it interesting Barta called it “my decision” regarding Podolak’s “retirement” or whatever it’s called.

  12. […] athletic director Gary Barta talks about a possible contract extension for Kirk Ferentz and the controversial retirement of radio analyst Ed Podolak, The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc […]

  13. My same thoughts also, EP. I thought this was Ed’s decision.

    Sweet fancy Moses!


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