As Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz tours the state on the I-Club circuit he is constantly being asked about changes on his staff. Known for its stability the staff saw several changes following the past season. Defensive coordinator Norm Parker retired, offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe left for the Miami Dolphins, and the entire staff was shuffled when Phil Parker and Greg Davis were brought in to replace them.
“We went 13 years with the same two coordinators and feel very fortunate to just have such outstanding coaches as Norm and Ken,” Ferentz says. He says hiring the new coaches and filling in the spots has been a fun experience.
Davis takes over as offensive coordinator, a position he also held at Texas. Ferentz says he’s excited to have Davis on board as he is very impressed with the veteran coach who he says is flexible in his thinking.
The staff changes have also included the additions of two former Hawkeyes. Ferentz’s son Brian and LeVar Woods are new assistant coaches. The elder Ferentz says he’s not surprised to see either of those former players joining the coaching ranks. “When they were playing, you just saw some traits in both of those guys in terms of the way they were thinking things, the way they were aware of other people and the influence they had on other people,” Ferentz says. He says they bring a nice new perspective to the staff.
The Hawkeyes open the season on September 1 against Northern Illinois. That game will be played at Soldier Field in Chicago.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls