Kirk Ferentz will turn 60 when his new contract runs out.
Is this a lifetime deal?
This is $21 million, give or take, for the next seven years. That’s financial security for generations, but I’ve never gotten the feeling it’s been about money for Ferentz. This also is seven more years of doing things his way at Iowa. One of Ferentz’s early mantras was, paraphrasing, that if it all falls apart, there’s only one person the finger needs to point to.
This would also be 17 years at Iowa. Iowa will have had two — TWO!!!!!!!!!! — coaches in a 37-year span.
By the way, Ferentz’s response to recruiters who told high school kids that he’s going to the NFL this year was brilliant.
“My answer to that one was . . . All you have to do is bring it up and ask that coach how long he has been at that school,” Ferentz said. “Outside of Penn State, I’ll give you that one. They have us, but outside of that, there aren’t many schools nationally that have coaches at the same school as long as we’ve had.
“I saw a list of how many coaches are out there past a decade at their schools and its just a handful right now. I’ve been here 19 years (nine as an assistant). Factor onto that the stability of our staff. Two guys left to be coordinators, and now they are head coaches. Three guys went to the NFL and we allowed Carl to retire at 68. We have good stability here. That is our answer, typically.”
Now, there are plenty of 60-year-old coaches in the NFL. It certainly wouldn’t be out of the realm for Ferentz.
Remember this quote from somewhere around the Orange Bowl in 2002?
“I don’t know what it would take to get me out of here,” Ferentz said. “The NFL? If you pinned me down, maybe the NFL when I’m 58. If you get your butt shot off when you’re 58, who cares? You’ll be 60 soon. I’m not going to worry about it then. I know this: players last an average of 3.3 years in the NFL, and head coaches are probably under that.”
If this newest contract goes full term — it probably won’t, one way or the other — would the NFL be all that appealing? If Ferentz is here when he’s 60, Iowa is going to be to the point of naming something after him. Iowa will also have built an entirely new football building (offices, weightrooms and all of that) to go along with renovated Kinnick.
Ferentz’s goodwill bank is full at Iowa. The account took a hit in 2007 and filled back up in ’08. In the NFL, that account would need to be opened, first, and then filled.
Is this a lifetime deal?
I think it’s close. What do you think?