Iowa football: Three possible replacements when Kirk Ferentz retires

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IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 7: Offensive line coach Brian Ferentz of the Iowa Hawkeyes walks the sidelines in the third quarter against the Missouri State Bears on September 7, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 28-14. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

It’s inevitable that Kirk Ferentz will retire one day. Here are three potential future replacements for the legendary Iowa football head coach.

It’s going to be a few years off, but at some point, Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz will retire, and when that happens, it will be the end of one of the greatest eras in college football. It will be the end of an era of one of the winningest head coaches in college football.

Unlike many college football programs, the Iowa football team has enjoyed unprecedented stability at the head coaching position. They’ve had two coaches in 41 years, with Hayden Fry reviving the stale program in his 20-year career with the Hawks, and Kirk Ferentz taking over after him.

This coaching search will be one of the more interesting coaching searches in the history of college football, and I don’t use that sentence lightly. Whereas big schools such as Alabama can go out and find the best guy on the market, a school like Iowa will likely be searching for a broader set of qualities, most importantly, the understanding of what it means to be a part of the Iowa football program.

It’s not just a football team’s identity, but it’s a fan base’s identity that is at stake with a new hire. While fans can get impatient at times, very few people would actually trade what the Iowa football team has done over the past 21 years for other programs.

Hawkeye nation loves the underdog story. We love seeing no-star and 2-star recruits become big-time NFL players. We love the grinding, hard-working mentality that the Iowa football program instills in its players, and it’s pertinent that Gary Barta (or whoever the new AD is at the time) gets this decision right and finds a coach who innately understands this as well.

Here are the three possible replacements we will like would make the most sense upon Kirk’s eventual retirement.

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