Kirk Ferentz is an American Football coach and the head football coach at the University of Iowa (IU), and he has held this position since the 1999 football season. For a while – approximately two years – he was the head football coach of the University of Maine, achieving a record of 12 wins and 21 losses. He served for a time as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL. Long before all this, Kirk Ferentz played college football as a linebacker at the University of Connecticut, from 1974 to 1976.
As we can see, he has quite a bit of experience, and that experience was just what Iowa needed. Much of Kirk Ferentz’s renown as a coach comes from his coaching of Iowa University and leading them on the road to glory. Here are some of arguably the best wins Iowa University has ever had since Mr. Ferentz became head coach – ranked.
1. The 2002 Orange Bowl Game (12-2, 8-0 Big Ten)
This match was and is considered by many to be the best game Iowa played in recent years – at least under Kirk Ferentz. Iowa went in hard with a score of 8-0 in the Big Ten and claimed a share of its title. They went in so hard they stole Minnesota’s goalposts, and by a large margin, earned top honors in the Orange Bowl, even though they ultimately didn’t win the Orange Bowl, the 2002 season is still considered by many to be a big win for Iowa.
This game and its Iowa team frankly made history in the world of American College Football. The 2002 season is considered by many fans an incredibly exciting and eventful one, and most importantly one that put Iowa University at a level they hadn’t been in nearly two decades. And one that would pave the way for the next 13 years of success Iowa would enjoy.
2. The 2009 Orange Bowl Game (11-2, 6-2 Big Ten)
This victory is set so far ahead of their 2002 ‘victory’ only by a factor of how monumental this season was for Iowa. Their 2009 squad brought their A-game to the Orange Bowl, starting out 9-0 and rose swiftly to the Top 5 in the polls. They achieved a historic milestone by winning the University’s first major bowl game in over 50 YEARS. Very, very impressive. And it’s all thanks to the flawless coaching and leadership of Kirk Ferentz, and his faith in Iowa’s drive to succeed.
3. The 2004 Capital One Bowl Game (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten)
The last season in which Iowa won the Big Ten championship, the team that brought home the glory also contributed to some of the most incredible moments Iowa team has experienced in the last 20 years. It’s no surprise that such a celebrated and accredited team would win the Capital One Bowl game.
The 2004 season Iowa team was among the most celebrated and likeable teams in recent memory. They were easy to root for, and they won the hearts of fans and newcomers to the world of football alike, and many fans of IU remember this season fondly in their hearts.
5. The 2003 Outback Bowl Game (10-3, 5-3 Big Ten)
Lastly, and fittingly the last 10-win team under Kirk Ferentz’s tenure as the IU head coach, the Outback Bowl game was rather lack-luster for many onlookers, as it didn’t have as many highlights as some of Ferentz’s other teams. They didn’t win any part of the Big Ten titles, but they did come out on top of the Outback Bowl, and their victory over Michigan has become a fond memory many Iowa fans still nurture in their hearts to this day.