DALLAS – Kirk Ferentz, whose Iowa Hawkeyes won 12 games in a season for the first time in school history, has been named the first University of Iowa coach to win the 59th FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, it was announced on Wednesday by the Football Writers Association of America.
Presented for a second straight year by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award honors the top coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision as selected by the membership of the 75-year-old organization.
“It is rewarding to see the hard work of our entire coaching staff and every member of our football program being recognized on the national level,” Ferentz said. “I appreciate the acknowledgement of our accomplishments. I am honored to share this recognition with our staff, our players, and our great fans, and I am grateful to the University of Iowa for providing the necessary support for our success.”
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz
Ferentz’s team had a 7-6 record in 2014 and was selected fourth in a preseason 2015 Big Ten West Division media poll. But the Hawkeyes won their first 12 games in 2015 before falling to Michigan State, 16-13, in the Big Ten championship game. For the first time since the 1990 season, the Hawkeyes will play in the Rose Bowl and face Pac-12 champion Stanford.
The FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be highlighted during a reception on Jan. 9, 2016, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa. Ferentz will accept the Eddie Robinson Award bust at the College Football Playoff National Championship media hotel.
Ferentz, 60, is in his 17th year at Iowa and has a 127-86 overall record in Iowa City. The dean of the current Big Ten coaches trails only Hayden Fry in terms of longevity as the Iowa head football coach. He has guided Iowa to 13 bowl games in 17 seasons.
Ferentz has twice before been a finalist for the FWAA coaching award, in 2002 and ’04. But the last Big Ten Conference coach to win it was Ohio State’s Jim Tressel in 2002, the year the Buckeyes won the national championship in the Fiesta Bowl with an overtime victory over Miami.
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award
What they are saying about Coach Ferentz:
“On behalf of the Eddie Robinson family, I want to extend congratulations to coach Kirk Ferentz, his family and the Iowa Hawkeyes’ football program on him becoming the 2015 Eddie Robinson Award winner,” said Eddie Robinson III. “This is so special to me because my grandfather, coach Eddie Robinson, was an Iowa Hawkeye (obtaining a master’s degree from the school). Coach Ferentz is well deserving of this award and is an institution at Iowa.”
“Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes, in a preseason poll of writers compiled by cleveland.com, were picked to finish fourth in the seven-team Big Ten West Division,” said 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. “They garnered zero first-place votes. By the end of the regular season, Iowa was 12-0, ranked nationally in the Top 5 and was the undisputed West champion. Ferentz’s success in retooling his program after a 7-6 season has earned him the FWAA’s national coaching honor.”