Iowa State offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz will not return in 2024

Adam RittenbergSenior writer at ESPNOctober 31, 2023 at 04:28 am5 minutes to read

Deacon Hill punches a TD for Iowa State

Deacon Hill rushes through the pile to give Iowa State its first touchdown of the game.

yeah Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, the son of longtime coach Kirk Ferentz and whose contract amid the offense’s historic struggles has drawn national attention, will not return for the 2024 season.

Interim athletic director Beth Goetz, who is supervising Brian Ferentz due to nepotism laws, made the announcement Monday after discussing the situation with Brian Ferentz, Kirk Ferentz and university President Barbara Wilson. Goetz noted in a statement that Iowa’s struggles on offense this season, coupled with Ferentz’s contract situation, created a “unique situation” for the program.

The Hawkeyes did not play last week and are scheduled to face off Northwest Saturday at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

“Today’s announcement is in the best interest of the show and its loyal fans, providing clarity during this pivotal time in the schedule,” Goetz said in the statement.

“It is not my practice to be involved in assistant coaching decisions and certainly not to announce such a change during the season. Our priority is to put all of our student-athletes in the best position for short- and long-term success, on and off the field. Our football team includes a group of young men.” “The outstanding, talented athletes, who are 6-2, have a lot to play for. As a former athlete, I know that every opportunity to wear the jersey is an opportunity. Aziza.”

Ferentz, the eldest son of Kirk Ferentz and a former Iowa State offensive lineman, has served as the team’s offensive coordinator since 2017 and has been on his father’s staff since 2012. In February, Iowa announced contract modifications to him that included unusual points — a per-game clause — the team would need To average 25 points per game during the 2023 season and win at least seven games until Ferentz’s two-year renewable contract is reactivated after June 30, 2024.

Longtime athletic director Gary Barta, who designed the so-called Drive to 325 provision and supervised Ferentz, announced his retirement on Aug. 1. Since then, Ferentz has been reporting to Goetz, who is considered a strong candidate for the permanent sporting director job.

“The way it’s organized is unique,” Goetz told ESPN in August. “This will create a lot of talk, so how do we allow it and understand that it is what it is? This is the agreement in place, so let’s just focus on what we are doing. You beat another team by beating them on goal difference.” “Pick your sport for a second or a tenth of a second. That’s the way these guys deal.”

Iowa State is well below the 25 points per game requirement in Ferentz’s contract, ranking 118th nationally in scoring offense (19.5). The Hawkeyes rank last nationally in yards per play at 232.4, well behind the next worst offense (Eastern Michigan, 258.8). They faced several setbacks, losing their starting quarterback Kid McNamara And tight ends Luke Lachey And Eric Al to major injuries.

Since 2017, Iowa State ranks 98th nationally in scoring with 25.3 points per game, but the offense has averaged just 20.4 since the start of the 2021 season.

“For the vast majority of my adult life, I have had the honor of representing the University of Iowa as a football player and coach,” Brian Ferentz told ESPN’s Pete Thamel. “I have always considered it and will always consider it an honor. At that time my only goal was to contribute to the success of the football team. As long as I am an employee of the University of Iowa, my stated goal will not change. My priority will be the continued well-being of our students and the success of our team.”

In August, Brian Ferentz told ESPN that he was solely focused on how to improve Iowa’s offense and would accept any recruiting decisions the team made.

“We’ve been fortunate in this organization because we value experience, we value continuity, and most importantly, we value people,” he said. “But if a head coach walks in here and says, ‘I don’t think you’re the guy who does this anymore,’ I’m going to respect that very much. I’m going to walk out the front door.”

Kirk Ferentz, who has led Iowa State since the 1999 season and is the longest-serving coach in the country, has only had three offensive coordinators in Ken O’Keefe, Greg Davis and Brian Ferentz. O’Keefe voluntarily left the Iowa State staff to join the Miami Dolphins after the 2011 season and Davis retired from coaching after the 2016 campaign.

Kirk Ferentz is scheduled to address reporters Tuesday afternoon in Iowa City.

“I’ve been here 34 years, at two different times, and I’ve never seen a coordinator relieved of his duties,” Kirk Ferentz, an assistant at Iowa State from 1981 to 1989, told ESPN in August. “If you don’t think someone is getting the job done, then yeah, you have to suggest that maybe it’s time to move on or whatever. You’re just trying to evaluate your employees, that’s part of your job. We haven’t had a lot of turnover here.”

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