If you think about it, the Ferentzes might make an interesting reality TV show.
No, it’d never happen, but consider the scenario.
Dad is football coach at a Big Ten school, earns $3.02 million a year and has the spotlight of the state media on him. Oldest son played for dad and is now on his way to becoming a professional football exec. Son No. 2 plays for dad and has to take the good and the bad that comes with it.
“It’s tough,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday at Big Ten media days. “I would suspect most families go through things, the difference is ours are a lot more public. That hasn’t bothered me as much, but I worry about how any kid would feel about it and certainly one of our (he and wife, Mary) kids.”
The “public” part came into focus last year when James, a freshman center, was involved in two alcohol arrests. It was statewide news. Coach Ferentz said Monday that James will serve a one-game suspension this fall.
“You could argue whether it’s fair or not, but he knew that when he signed on,” Coach Ferentz said. “His older brother knew it when he signed on, too.”
Ferentz made his way as an offensive line coach. Brian played center for him at Iowa (2003-05). James is following the same path. Coach Ferentz spends a lot of time with the O-line, focusing mostly on tackles.
“It’s really no different than if I were his position coach,” Ferentz said. “The downside for him is I’m probably a little firmer with him than I am with the other guys. That’s just the way it is, but he knew and understood that coming in.
“That’s part of the challenge when your old man is the coach, I guess.”
Ferentz isn’t his son’s direct position coach. That’s O-line coach Reese Morgan.
“If I was his position coach, I’m not so sure it would’ve been a great idea for him to be there,” Ferentz said. “It would’ve been tough for Brian and it would’ve been tough for James and me. But being head coach, I think it’s doable.”