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6 - The Michigan Daily - Football Saturday - September 25, 2004
The Michigan Daily - Foot ba
MEET THE FEREN7Z
Now in his sixth season, Kirk Ferentz has resuri
By Gennaro Filice . Daily Sports Editor
Predictions against the
spread for 9/25/04
Iowa (+13.5) at No. 18 Michigan
No. 15 Purdue (-20.5) at Illinois
Penn State (+3) at No.20 Wisconsin
Michigan State (-3) at Indiana
Northwestern (+15) at No. 19 Minnesota
Washington (+10.5) at Notre Dame
No. 1 Southern Cal. (-21.5) at Stanford
N.C. State (+9.5) at Virginia Tech
Clemson (+17) at No. 8 Florida State
Boston College (+1.5) at Wake Forest
Oregon State (+7.5) at No. 22 Arizona State
Kentucky (+19) at No. 16 Florida
No. 24 Louisville (-7) at North Carolina
Texas Tech (-6) at Kansas
Alabama (+5.5) at Arkansas
Season record (Best bet)
ESPN the Magazine's
Replacing a legend is never easy. On December 2, 1998,
Kirk Ferentz was presented with that challenge.
With Hayden Fry's retirement after 20 years as
Hawkeye's head man, Iowa hired Ferentz, who had coached
offensive line for nine years under Fry from 1981 to '89. He
had three years of head coaching under his belt - Maine from
1990 to '92 - and was fresh off six years coaching offensive
line for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.
The challenge proved daunting in Ferentz's first year, as
the Hawkeyes suffered their worst football season in 26 years.
Iowa went 1-10 (0-8 in the Big Ten) with a win over Northern
Illinois. Ferentz made slight improvements in year two - the
Hawkeyes won three Big Ten games - but still finished 3-9.
Iowa senior running back Jermelle Lewis - who redshirt-
ed during the 2000 season - recalled how Ferentz dealt with
the pressure of replacing Fry.
"It may have been tough on him, but he never showed it
because from the first time I got here, he's always had the same
attitude and the same mentality - he's always positive," Lewis
said. "I remember, I think we were playing Ohio State at home
(the Hawkeyes lost 38-10). We were really getting beat up on
pretty bad. And he was saying the same things on thesideline
- trying to pick guys up - as he says today and this year."
Possessing a two-year record of 4-19, Ferentz faced some
grumblings around Iowa City. But he had at least one strong
believer: Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.
Carr, who says he had some friends on the Iowa staff, told
people to give Ferentz a chance:
"You could see at some point there, they were in every
ballgame. Any time you're in every ballgame and you have
a chance to win it before the fourth quarter and you've just
taken over a program the previous year or two ... you can just
feel they are starting to turn the corner."
In 2001, Ferentz began to fulfill Carr's prophecy, as the
Hawkeyes finished 7-5, including a 19-16 win in the Alamo
Bowl over Texas Tech. But 2002 was the year that brought
Ferentz and Iowa national acclaim.
a share of the Big T
ing dead last) for the
named Associated Pr
Ten Coach of the Year
Ferentz enjoyed an
a 10-3 record that inc
the Outback Bowl.
Finishing eighth in
Ferentz has compiled
history. And in doing
on each of his players.
"I really love Coach
good coach and he ma
in line, but he's also a
many coaches can do
"He's helping me b
being on the field. He
the-field things taken
It's evident that Fer
his ability to form clo
"He's very footballs
Iowa senior defensive
of humor. He's that k
and down on the prac
he's a hands-on coach
Although he's tight
problem cracking the
"I'd say he's a playe
on somebody if they'r
Lewis agrees: "Whi
presence is felt. It's ar
Ferentz also boasts
his players. Although
ing classes that have
Michigan, Ferentz dev
Ann Arbor native puts
celebrity lead on line
Born at University Hospital and
a native of Ann Arbor, ESPN
the Magazine senior writer Eric
Adelson has always been a big
follower of the Maize and Blue.
Although he didn't attend Michi-
gan (he went to Harvard), he's
written numerous storiesnon
the Wolverines. Now Adelson
faces his biggest challenge, try-
ing to follow in the footsteps of
Keith Hafner's 10-3-2 run last
week and extend the celebrities'
three-game lead. He starts out
0-1 for that picture. Nice shirt.
"We had an excellent football team (in 2002)," Ferentz
said. "We had a very large and very strong senior class. In
my time here, that was by far the most talented group of guys
that we've put together."
Led by quarterback Brad Banks - a Heisman Trophy
finalist - the Hawkeyes won the most games in school his-
tory, going 11-2 and earning an Orange Bowl bid. Iowa took
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