CHICAGO (AP) Kirk Ferentz enters his 19th season as Iowa as the longest tenured Bowl Subdivision coach in the country. He isn't dwelling much on his longevity.
''I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it,'' Ferentz said Monday at Big Ten media days. ''I feel very, very fortunate. This will be my, I guess, 28th year at Iowa and feel fortunate that, in 1981, I somehow, some way, ended up there as an assistant.''
Bob Stoops was the longest-tenured active coach in major college football, taking the job at Oklahoma a day before Ferentz started at Iowa. But Stoops retired this summer after 18 seasons, leaving the stage to Ferentz.
The Hawkeyes are coming off an 8-5 season and Ferentz has promoted his son, Brian, to run the offense. Former coordinator Ken O'Keefe is back as the quarterbacks coach in hopes of sparking what has been a lackluster offense.
Ferentz, who is 135-92 at Iowa, recalled Stoops and called him a good friend. Stoops was a player at Iowa when Ferentz arrived in 1981 and they later worked together.
''So in my mind, we lost one of the good coaches in this game, one of the best coaches that's ever coached,'' Ferentz said. ''But I'm happy for him. He's totally at peace.''
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany praised Ferentz.
''I've gotten to know him in a good way over a couple of decades and have tremendous respect for him as a leader of young people, as a football coach and as a consistent coach leader,'' he said. ''I count him as a friend and I count his contribution as a college football coach among the very best in the country.''
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