SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Kirk Ferentz has said he won’t deal with the naming of a new defensive coordinator until after New Year’s.
Wouldn’t Ferentz know by now exactly what he’s going to do to fill two openings on his Iowa football coaching staff? Especially when it comes to the DC. Ferentz has had years to consider what he would do when Norm Parker retired.
Conventional wisdom seems to think Hawkeyes defensive backs coach Phil Parker, who Ferentz brought to Iowa City in early 1999, is the favorite. If true, though, why wouldn’t Ferentz have simply announced that promotion and moved along?
Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema lost offensive line coach Bob Bostad to Pittsburgh and gave his tight ends coach the O-line job. That was all on Tuesday.
Well, maybe Ferentz doesn’t want any overriding story to block out the Arizona sun as his team prepares under it for Friday night’s Insight Bowl against Oklahoma. Not Marcus Coker’s suspension, not a staff opening of significant importance, nothing.
Ferentz takes these bowls a wee bit seriously, as his 3-game win streak in them and bringing his team here eight days before the game attests.
But then I remember how meticulously Ferentz assembled a coaching staff after he replaced Hayden Fry late in 1998. Maybe he really hasn’t fully made up his mind yet.
Tuesday, I asked three Hawkeye defensive backs who they think the new DC should be. Either instinctively or via instruction by their coaches, they didn’t lobby for anyone.
“I don’t really pay any attention to all of that,” junior Micah Hyde said. “I’m just here playing for Norm right now. I don’t really think into the future of who would be DC.”
“I don’t really have any feelings,” said senior Jordan Bernstine. “Whoever it is, I’m sure he can come in and do a great job and get a defense ready and do it the Iowa way.
“Coach Parker’s a great coach. If he were to step in, I’m sure he would help the defense a lot.”
Senior Shaun Prater at least admitted he’d heard rumors Phil Parker will replace Norm. He called Phil “a great guy, great coach. He always preaches discipline and taking care of the job.”
“I’ve been around a lot of good football coaches in my career,” said Considine. “I put Phil Parker up there at the top of the list.
“The guy knows the game of football, knows the fundamentals of the game, and knows how to get his players to respond. I don’t have a problem saying right now that I’d love to see Coach Parker be the defensive coordinator here, but I know at the end of the day Coach Ferentz is going to make the decision he thinks is best for the program. Whether that’s Phil or not, I don’t know. I know Phil is more than capable of doing a great job in that position.”
Considine, whose last game as a Hawkeyes was Iowa’s 30-25 Capital One Bowl win over LSU seven years ago next week, doesn’t hesitate to admit he’s biased.
“When I came in as a walk-on safety, a guy who had a lot to learn, Phil taught me the game,” Considine said. “As a result of what he taught me, that’s why I’ve played seven years in the NFL. I don’t have any problem saying I’d love to see Coach Parker get the job.“I’m an Illinois guy, but I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to the state of Iowa and play for the Hawkeyes. If I could change where I’m from, I’d probably like to say I was an Iowa guy just because I like it so much. I think Phil Parker might say the same thing.”