Kansas City Chiefs fans are well aware of Scott Pioli's relationship with Kirk Ferentz, head coach at the University of Iowa. It's the point of ad nauseam as you will never hear Tony Moeaki or Ricky Stanzi being talked about, without the reference to Pioli's ongoing friendship with Ferentz.
As much as Pioli is mentioned as being a New England guy, he is also mentioned as being Ferentz's friend.
Well I am writing this to alert you that Kirk Ferentz will not be the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Many Chiefs fans will be relieved, some may be indifferent and few likely will be sad as many fans don't think Ferentz necessarily has the experience to captain the Chiefs in the future.
Besides, would Kansas City fans really want two head coaches in a row that graduated from the same high school? That has no bearing on the future at all, but I do find it an amusing anecdote that Todd Haley and Ferentz are both graduates of Pittsburgh's Upper St. Clair High School.
This may be the one time where a sports bias can help you, as I am both a fan of the University of Iowa, and the Chiefs. I am educated when it comes to the background of Ferentz.
Let's look at what qualifies Ferentz to be the next Kansas City head coach. The 56-year old played linebacker at Connecticut and has been involved in coaching at the college or NFL level since 1977. From 1993-1998 Ferentz was offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens franchise. He was on staff with Bill Belichick, further cementing his New England/Pioli ties.
In 1999, Ferentz, who had been the offensive line coach at Iowa from 1981-1989, took over the Hawkeyes program from the retiring Hayden Fry. He has taken an Iowa program from 1-10 and 3-9 records in his first two seasons to a 98-65 overall record, including four seasons of double digit wins and two BCS bowls.
At Iowa, Ferentz has commonly done less with more than many other programs in college football. For the size of the state, Ferentz has generally exceeded expectations and continually taken unheralded prospects and turned them into NFL prospects. Currently, Iowa has the eighth most players in the NFL of any college program. Offensive line play has continued to be a staple of Iowa's program under his watch.
Does that necessarily mean that Ferentz would be able to translate into an NFL head coach? The jury is out. Ferentz isn't a fiery coach and is more laid back. That is unlike Haley, and likely something Pioli would be looking for.
Though Ferentz has never jumped back into the NFL, he certainly has been mentioned for head coaching jobs before. However Ferentz has continually pledged his allegiance to Iowa.
Now looking at why Ferentz won't be the coach, it has nothing to do with experience, as it does with wanting to stay committed to Iowa.
His son James is a junior at Iowa and the starting center on the football team. Their youngest son, Steve is a senior at Iowa City High, and likely to join sons James and Brian as Ferentz boys who have played under their father at Iowa. Would Kirk pass up his son's senior season at Iowa and the possibility of having two sons on his team at the same time? I doubt it.
If one thing can be said, Ferentz is a loyal man. With Iowa's long-time defensive coordinator Norm Parker retiring on Sunday after a long coaching career, Ferentz doesn't seem to be the type of person who would leave the program with that much uncertainty going on at campus.
Now with Iowa finishing 8-5 last season and being 7-5 this season there certainly is pressure on Ferentz to get back to a stronger winning percentage. With a $3.65 million annual salary, many Iowa fans are wanting to see better results. That would spell a perfect time for an exit, and NFL Network's Charles Davis agrees, saying this-
Can't say that the news of Todd Haley's dismissal is surprising. In a lot of ways, it was a matter of when, not if. Now speculation turns to who's next. The name that intrigues me the most is Kirk Ferentz, head coach at Iowa. In the past he has resisted the siren song of the NFL, but to me, if he's ever going to make the move, this would be the time and place for it.
However, getting back the timing of Norm Parker's retirement and the chance to not only coach James' senior year, but also possibly have two sons on the team at Iowa next season, I don't see Ferentz taking the bait this time either.
Now if he did take the job, I imagine the Chiefs would have Brian Ferentz as their TE coach next season. Currently the TE coach with the Patriots (again, notice the connection?), the Patriots tight ends have been barnstorming through the league this season. While a lot of that has to do with pure talent on their roster, you can't argue that what Brian Ferentz is doing is working.
This writing probably comes off as a Ferentz love fest to many Chiefs fans, but let me just assure those of you that are skeptics of his possibility of coaching the Chiefs next year. Don't worry, Kirk Ferentz is not coming to Kansas City.