With the stunning news that Bob Stoops would stepping down, effective immediately, Kirk Ferentz, in effect becomes the longest tenured coach in college football.
The two friends Ferentz and Stoops’ history dates back to the early 80’s when Stoops played for the Hawkeyes, and Ferentz was the offensive line coach. They also spent five seasons as assistant coaches together on the heralded Hayden Fry coaching staffs that enjoyed great success in the 80’s.
The two would again be linked as they were hired within one day of each other, and both have outlasted all others in a profession that does not necessarily provide great degrees of job security.
The start of their respective careers in the Big Ten and Big 12 were very different. In Stoops’ second season in Norman, he led the Sooners to a consensus National Championship, while in the first two years in Iowa City, Kirk Ferentz won a total of four games.
Both coaches have won their share of games and awards. Stoops won 10 Big 12 titles while at Oklahoma. Six times he was named the Coach of The Year in the conference, and was named the Walter Camp National Coach of The Year both in 2000 & 2003.
Kirk Ferentz hasn’t captured a national title at Iowa, but twice has won the Big Ten, was was named Big Ten Coach of The Year four times to date. He has also won National Coach of The Year honors in both 2002 & 2015.
With the sudden departure of Stoops from the game, Ferentz is the only coach to start before the new milennium. Gary Patterson’s is next on the list at TCU starting during the 2000 season.
Ferentz needs 9 more wins to pass Hayden Fry for all-time wins at Iowa.