The head coach at the University of Iowa since 1998, Kirk Ferentz is the longest-tenured head coach in the Big Ten. In 2015, he led the Hawkeyes to one of the best seasons in university history, going undefeated in the regular season, recording a school record 12 wins, claiming a Big Ten Conference West championship, and a bid to the Rose Bowl.
Ferentz has been very involved in his local community, having served 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. They 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.
With a head coach leading by example, members of the Hawkeye squad have also thrived in the community. A crucial component of character building for the Hawkeyes is community service. From 2013 to 2015, the Iowa football team combined for more than 1,500 community service hours. That includes May 2—one of the most anticipated events of the year—when Camp Courageous, a year-round camp for individuals of all ages with disabilities, makes its trek to the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center in Iowa City.
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, Iowa’s football team compiled a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) that ranked above the national average. The 2014-15 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.