Thankfully, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz Is No Brian Kelly

B.Senior Analyst IDecember 11, 2009

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 22: Head coach Kirk Ferentz  of the Iowa Hawkeyes gets ready to lead his team onto the field before the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium September 22, 2007 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Ethically speaking, a football coach telling his players he's in it for the long haul should mean something. 

For Iowa Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz, it definitely does. 

Year after year, Hawkeye players and fans endure rumors of Ferentz being offered lucrative head coaching jobs at elite schools or in the NFL. And year after year, Ferentz squashes the rumors by reminding the media that he loves where he is.

This year, Cincinnati Bearcat head coach Brian Kelly had to deal with a similar rumor situation. For the better part of the last month, it has been widely suggested that Kelly would take over the head coaching job at Notre Dame.

So, did Kelly take the Kirk Ferentz approach to handling these types of rumors?

Not so much.

Despite telling his players he was in it for the long haul, and despite still having a BCS bowl game against the defending national champions left on his plate, Kelly opted to sign a five-year contract as Notre Dame's new head football coach. 

This means Kelly will not coach in the Sugar Bowl when the Bearcats play the Florida Gators. And his players aren't too happy about that.

"We don't really care what he has to say anymore," tight end Ben Guidugli said after a team meeting. "He can go talk to his Notre Dame team. We're ready to move forward with whoever wants to move forward with us. He's not on the boat anymore, so we've got to continue on."

Guidugli wasn't the only one speaking his mind about things.

"I'm fairly disgusted with the situation," expressed senior wide receiver Mardy Gilyard . "Everybody and their mamma knew what was going on. I feel like he did our team an injustice. Hopefully he'll pack his things up and get to South Bend in a hurry."

Cincinnati players have every right to be bent out of shape. Kelly seemed more concerned about updating his Twitter profile than he did about telling his own team his decision. 

Not long after the announcement of his intentions were made public, Kelly updated his location on Twitter to "South Bend, Ind," changed his web address to the official Notre Dame athletics site and uploaded a custom background picture of Notre Dame Stadium.

Thankfully, Iowa's Ferentz is the opposite of Kelly.

"You never say never, but if you see me with a Twitter account, just hit me with a baseball bat. Go ahead, take a whack at me," Ferentz told reporters in August.

As Iowa prepares for one of its finest moments at the Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech, the Hawkeye players and fans don't have to worry about their coach updating his Twitter page and bolting for another job.

They can sit back, watch highlight videos, prepare bowl game tailgating plans and thank whatever god they believe in that Kirk Ferentz is no Brian Kelly.


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