Ferentz talks Skype and social media, some great stuff on Hayden Fry, Michigan reporter stuff and a little more on Kyle Spading.
INTERVIEWER: I read a story that Joe Paterno was on Skype.
COACH FERENTZ: I read that, too.
INTERVIEWER: Have you embraced it?
COACH FERENTZ: I’ve been on it.
INTERVIEWER: Are you texting now?
COACH FERENTZ: Are you kidding? I read them all the time. Absolutely not. I might ask my wife to text our daughter. I might get that far. I think texting has a place. I’m still trying to figure out the value of Twitter. What an absurd concept. But it’s an industry. And Skyping. I Skyped a conference in Ames, ironically, a group of students, this past year. It did not function twice during the conference. My session was only a ten-minute thing. I Skyped with a student on our campus. It was in a career thing. It was fun. And I think I’ve Skyped with one or two prospects. It wasn’t quite, I didn’t gain any notoriety.
INTERVIEWER: …You have your coaches use Twitter, right?
COACH FERENTZ: We have a program on Twitter I think. I mean, I’m okay with that. That’s why you have young guys on your staff.
INTERVIEWER: …this summer.
COACH FERENTZ: Well, this is a Hawkeye… That’s the way it goes.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a policy for the kids?
COACH FERENTZ: You have to re-remind players now and then. But I don’t think we need to be Twittering. Probably the biggest message, and I have to remind them all the time, that any social media they choose to use and I’ve got nothing against any of that stuff, I don’t understand it. I understand it, but I don’t understand the phenomenon, but that’s just me. I just like to talk to people voice to voice or face to face. But if they use it, I have to remind them that anything they do, they’ve got to consider it to be trouble. And this friend stuff, you know. What if your friend is really not your friend? It just takes one friend to — So you know, whatever you do. It might be a season ticket holder in Ottumwa that’s looking at it. It might be a future boss. Or it might be somebody’s office you’re sitting in ten years from now where you’re going to have some explaining to do. And you know, when you’re 18 or 20 you’re not thinking about that. Why would you? And thank goodness, people don’t k now what we know about a lot of our players today. And you know, if they’d known that about us when we were that age, you know, it’s not as much fun to be a player any more. Or a college kid.
INTERVIEWER: More social media
COACH FERENTZ: Oh, yeah. I remember when we started movies in VCR’s. I remember that. That was entertaining. Even with the remote.
INTERVIEWER: Earlier you guys said that there was maybe a misnomer that Coach Fry was maybe more wide open … but –
COACH FERENTZ: You know, his exotics, all that stuff we would do. The Purdue game, you know we broke into, we were in the same place. When we were in the stretch formation back in ’81. The crowd went crazy. We ran the same plays. But if you looked at it, a lot of the stuff he did, yeah, he’d do when we were winning 38, nothing. With the stuff that, oh, wow. That stuff. Because we were playing Michigan in that 1 versus 2 game. You know, he wasn’t, you know, turn it over, play good defense. And that’s how you win big games. Usually at the end of the day big games, it just comes down to the execution and the little things, the things that are really important. Not beating yourself and he understood that better than anybody. Really, he had everybody thinking that, so it was kind of comical. I always thought. It was entertaining. It still is.
INTERVIEWER: And what percentage of time did he run exotics?
COACH FERENTZ: We’re winning 20 to nothing and he runs one, right? It’s just, and he’d call them exotic. Who in the heck calls it exotic? The screens were convoys. So you know, he had that, he’s a genius. He’s just a genius. I mean, he’s doing okay. I think he’s done okay.
INTERVIEWER: He would have enjoyed coaching now, in this media age.
COACH FERENTZ: He would enjoy anything. He’s like Coach Paterno. That’s why he’s a legendary Hall of Fame coach. Because he could adjust and adapt to anything. The only thing I knew about back in those days when there was no Internet or anything, he used to have that blue book. Some of you guys weren’t alive, so I don’t know, but he had a blue book of all the college programs. All I knew was he was a square-jawed Texas, ex-Marine. He said get a haircut and put a suit on. That’s all I knew.
INTERVIEWER: Did you really lie about your age?
COACH FERENTZ: No. Absolutely not. That’s another one of his stories. And he’s still telling that one. It’s a good story. He could tell stories.
INTERVIEWER: I heard that he also likes to give us wrong information.
COACH FERENTZ: He think he just laughs every night. He used to laugh every day. He would do something with the staff and he walked out and I knew he laughed when he walked down the hall. Because he’d have us all talking to ourselves. You know. So, yeah, Coach Fry, he always has a good time. You may not know it, but he’s definitely have a good time.
INTERVIEWER: Maybe some of the stories… [Hayden told tall tales?]
COACH FERENTZ: You know, I can’t verify one way or the other.
INTERVIEWER: …understand the importance of continuity in the program and that sort of thing. …And Michigan has had so much upheaval in the last four years. What do you expect out of them–
COACH FERENTZ: Trouble. In a word, trouble. You know, they were a much better football team. You know, Iowa was a much better football team last year, in my opinion. But you know, they’ve got the potential to be real good, real fast, like this year. And I think, we got to coach Brady Hoke years ago when he was at Ball State. They opened up at Kinnick at one time. And they weren’t very good quite frankly. The year we played them. But you probably know the year we played them better than I do. But I do know this. Several years later, they run the table. And we saw them on … that year. Very well coached football team. Before he went to San Diego State and then last December. Probably the tape that helped us the most for Missouri was San Diego State. Watching that tape. That was a very well coached football team. And I’ve known Greg Madison for quite some time. And I’ve had a chance to watch Brady now for a while and watch him from afar. They’re good players. They have a tremendous staff. There will be continuity and they will do very well. It’s gonna happen.
INTERVIEWER: Will it be more like the Michigan that you — [Michigan being Michigan again]
COACH FERENTZ: I’d bet on it. I mean, I know what … defensively, and I know the kind of coach he is. I’ve seen him, his work, at Notre Dame. And A & M, going back to then. And then you know, I’ve seen what Brady’s done in those two venues. And they’re going line up and they’re going to be tough and they’re going to play well. They’ve got good players. So it’s going to be, to me it’s going to be a real challenge for us in the years ahead. It always has been.
INTERVIEWER: You’ve got a kid going from a … How big of a challenge is that? [Michigan QB Denard Robinson]
COACH FERENTZ: My guess is he’ll do really well. And my guess is that they’re going to steer it to what works for him. I think we’ve all seen he’s a very dynamic player, a great performer, and a great leader and you know, they’ll play to his strengths, I’d imagine. He’s a great football player so it’s gonna be a challenge. They’ll be doing okay. Don’t worry about them.
INTERVIEWER: How disappointing is it, your job, when people take shots from afar, have a chance to address things face to face . . . [rhabdo, Forde, Dodd, Doyel (two of these three, I think]
INTERVIEWER: I gotta think about that one.
INTERVIEWER: I mean, it just seems if somebody has the chance to discuss something that’s pretty critical position …
COACH FERENTZ: I can think of two individuals. The one guy I wouldn’t know if he walked up to me today. He’d have to introduce himself to me. And yeah, but I’ve had conversations with another individual and moving on.
INTERVIEWER: In fairness to the guy that you know, you’ve had communication with him …
COACH FERENTZ: I’m moving on, that’s why I’m there. I’m moving on.
INTERVIEWER: Has any one asked you about what happened in January?
COACH FERENTZ: I had one question at the end of the round robin yesterday, just one question. And that’s been it. And that’s really all there ought to be.
INTERVIEWER: Are you surprised?
COACH FERENTZ: Well, no. I was hopeful. You know, as I told all the Iowa folks, back in the spring, you know, we were done talking about it after the spring game. The 18th, whatever day that was. I had to correct the individual yesterday who made the assumption, everybody was ready to leave after spring practice and nobody transferred. You know, despite somebody, theories that might have been out there. And nobody’s minimizing anything that happened. But it passed pretty quickly. Nobody’s minimizing it. It’s been handled appropriately. But it’s yesterday’s news. I thought there might be an out-of-town person to ask.
INTERVIEWER: … [Kyle Spading] pretty serious accident. Are you going to recognize [him sometime this season?]
COACH FERENTZ: I mentioned that earlier. I really haven’t given that much thought in terms of what we’re doing down the road, but it’s certainly a very unfortunate thing. And as I mentioned earlier, if you look back, we’ve had three now, if you include Ed Podalak, close calls, since February. And it’s just a reminder how quickly life can change. And it’s a scary thing, but obviously all of our thoughts are with Kyle’s family and I’ve seen Kyle twice. I saw him at an I-Club late May or early June, and my daughter graduated from her program back in May, and Kyle’s fiancée is in that program, too, so I saw him at that graduation. So I’ve seen him twice. But it’s a tough thing.
INTERVIEWER: Marvin was saying that his status as a former player — [Spading]
COACH FERENTZ: Hopefully you know, I’ve heard some of the prognosis. But you never know. It’s a long road here and we’ll have to see what happens. But nevertheless it’s very tragic.