ATLANTA – Officials from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl today announced that Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz has been selected as The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.
The award honors the football coach whose program embodies The Dodd Trophy’s three pillars: scholarship, leadership and integrity, while also enjoying success on the playing field during the previous week.
“It is a very exciting time for Iowa football right now and Coach Ferentz is a big reason for that,” said Jim Terry, Chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Under his leadership and guidance, he has led the Hawkeyes to an unblemished record thus far and a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Add in that his student-athletes have performed at a high level in the classroom and that he is extremely involved in the local Iowa City community, it’s easy to see why he is being awarded this honor.”
While Ferentz has guided the Iowa program to great success on the field, the Hawkeyes have also made their mark in the classroom. In the most recent release on academic standings (October, 2014), Iowa’s football team, once again, compiled a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) that ranked above the national average. The 2013-14 Academic Progress Report (APR) showed a score of 966 for Iowa football, a score that ranked 10 points above the national average for football programs. Furthermore in 2013, senior linebacker James Morris was one of 16 players in the nation to earn a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Award. Morris was named a Capital One first team Academic All-American and received post-graduate scholarships from both the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.
Coach Ferentz has been very involved in the local community, previously serving as the honorary chair of the University of Iowa’s United Way campaign and currently serving on the National Advisory Board of the Bethesda Family Services Foundation. He and his wife, Mary, have given multiple major financial gifts to the University of Iowa, including a $400,000 gift to the University’s College of Liberal Arts and University’s Children’s Hospital and a $100,000 gift to the University’s College of Liberal Arts in 2003. Ferentz and his wife have also served as advocates for the Children’s Hospital across the state by hosting and speaking at events to raise support for UI Children’s Hospital, to their personal generosity in establishing the “Ferentz Family Pediatric Research and Education Endowment Fund” in 2007.
On Saturday afternoon in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes defeated Purdue 40-20 to remain unbeaten and improve their overall record to 11-0 and 7-0 in the Big Ten. With the victory, Iowa is one of two undefeated teams left in the country and climbed three spots in the AP Top 25 Poll to No. 3. In addition to the victory, the Hawkeyes also clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game on December 5.
Now in his 17th year as head coach, Ferentz is the longest-tenured head coach in the Big Ten and has guided the Hawkeyes to 126 wins over that time. Iowa has reached a bowl game in 12 of those years and Ferentz’s six bowl victories put him in a tie for third all-time among Big Ten coaches.
The Dodd Trophy – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
The winner of the 2015 Dodd Trophy will be announced in Atlanta during Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Week. A panel consisting of all previous winners, national media, a member of the Dodd family and a College Football Hall of Fame member will identify the final list of potential recipients at the conclusion of the 2015 season.