Iowa has had the same coach for 21 seasons and has only had two coaches in the past 41. By comparison, Arkansas has had nine head coaches since then, and that’s if you don’t count what was basically a full year by Joe Kines. There is something to be said for longevity and how it stabilizes a program. Think of Arkansas baseball under DeBriyn and Van Horn.
From what I understand, there have been many howls from the fan base for Ferentz to be fired over the years, but the Iowa administration sticks with him because he fields a winning team more often than not. He also has a lopsided contract that has been renegotiated several times by Neil Cornrich, who is Bret Bielema’s agent.
Iowa under Ferentz reminds me a lot of Arkansas under Houston Nutt - a good program that produces NFL players and will occasionally have a one- or two-year uptick when it is in the conversation to win a conference championship.
I agree Matt. Looking at Arkansas’ records, the Nutt years mirror Iowa very closely. I talk to quite a few Iowa fans and yes, some think they deserve to be 10-12 win team EVERY year and would give away a good, competitive program for that shot. In my opinion, that would be disastrous for them.
I guess my main point is I don’t recall seeing many if any Iowa loses that are blowouts. They seemingly take classes ranked in the 30-40 range and win 7-9 games. I haven’t done a ton of research, but thats just my gut feeling.
I think I counted since 2004 Iowa has had maybe 2 seasons with 5 or less wins and Arkansas has had 8.
Iowa has had a long run with two stable coaches but the record is somewhat a reflection of Big Ten schedule during many of those years–More like old SWC where you had one or two big games a year.
They also have attracted many assistants that were successful later on in their careers , including the last one fired at Arkansas. IE, those lower ranked recruiting classes also got developed and coached up so to say.
Most coaches are not really bad coaches but many are bad fits either in jobs they took, support from their bosses, or ability to change or adapt as quickly as warranted (Broyles was a master at this and not many are). Virgina Tech is another example similar to Iowa but that coaching staff was pretty much the same until Beamer retired. Arkansas has not done a good job of keeping the good coaches it has been blessed to have had coach here and some of that is the coaches blame too. Holtz, Hatfield, Richardson were top drawer and having other interested but not selected also are what ifs (J. Johnson). Being a broken program requires fixing but not necessarily in the form or substance of what it was before (fan expectations). Today’s world would be easier if coaches communicated with fanbase more directly (Broyles had Henry,) but those days have passed (Agents and big business Athletic Dept budgets) except for coaches that secured that right–Saban and Dabo. Those in that select group would not be able to field a basketball team as so few, but every fan and many schools expect their’s to one of those select schools. Winning is not easy and staying a winner is hard so Iowa should be highlighted for it’s success.
With regards to HDN, it was not just his record that frustrated UofA fans.
He was flirting with jobs from other universities (NE & LSU) while claiming to be a diehard Razorback & his endless texting to a girlfriend while at the SEC championship game against FL made fans question his commitment to & focus on UofA football. The bad publicity from his wife’s texting & meddling in football personnel matters did not help. In the end, OM realized that HDN was not a good coach that for the most part ended his coaching career. UofA & OM did enable him to live well on buyouts.
Understand. I’m just talking about the record. Fans will always want Arkansas to get to the next level of wins. Instead of an occasional 10 win season, I think fans want to see two to three 10 win seasons out of five or six.
Believe that HY is the right AD that we need to resolve this mess. We will soon find out.
NCAA football coaches on average have a 3.8 year tenure with any one team. Avg HC tenure on SEC teams ranges from 3.3 to 5.1 yrs. Broyles was definitely the exception at 19 yrs (58-76). With CCM being the 7th coach since since we joined the SEC in '92 we avg 3.8 yrs per coach. Our coaching turmoil & the depth of our current 3 yr. low point makes it seem much longer.
The folks at Nebraska used to look down on both Iowa State and Iowa. They don’t now. There was a time that Arkansas used to talk about how similar they were to Nebraska. But that was in the 60s and 70s. Now, they are similar again, but not for a good reason. Both have fallen, but Arkansas has fallen further.
Iowa actually has some similarities to Arkansas. Bielema saw them and that’s one of the reasons he wanted the Arkansas job.
Hayden Fry was strikingly similar to Morris in that they both were successful high school coaches from Texas. Both had marginal success at SMU (or North Texas) when they got their big job promotion.
Fry was/is a neat guy. A little old school, a little new school. He liked that all-black look. He wore sun glasses on the sidelines before anyone else. And, may did he like to throw to the tight end.
If you want to look at a coaching tree, Fry had/has a good one. Snyder, Stoops and many others came from that tree.
Of course, he coached one year at Arkansas with a very simple assignment: draw up plays for Lance Alworth.
I love to study the Iowa history. It’s pretty cool.
Do some research. Hayden Fry turned the Iowa program around in the 1970’s. He came to Iowa from SMU and was part of the Arkansas staff in the mid-1960’s. I believe he may have played for Coach Broyles when Broyles was an assistant at possibly Baylor. I can recall listening talk radio when Hayden was at Iowa and he gave a lot of credit to Coach Broyles for his success. Iowa’s program is based on defense, a kicking game and not turning the ball over on offense. They have 3 stasr and walk- ons that are truly developed at players. The present Iowa coach was an assistant to Hayden. I tell people in Iowa that Arkansas built their program
Newton has some of it correct. Hayden did play QB for Broyles at Baylor. Then, he was hired for one year at Arkansas to coach the backfield. That was 61. He called plays with Lance Alworth the central figure in his assignment from Broyles.
Then, he was at SMU from 62-72. After SMU fired him, he coached at North Texas State for six years. Then, made the jump to Iowa. Many people think Fry went from SMU to Iowa. But there was that little six years of rebuilding at North Texas State in between. North Texas had back-to-back 10-1 and 9-2 seasons during his time there. North Texas had talked about giving up football before he turned around the program.
I interviewed Fry after Bielema came to Arkansas. He told me that he made a huge mistake when he left Arkansas for SMU. He forgot to ask them about pay. He just assumed head coaches made more than assistants. His first pay check at SMU was under what Broyles had been paying him.
I got a chance to be around a dinner party in Mountain Home that included Frank and Hayden about 10 years ago. Hayden came to Mountain Home each summer to fish on the White River. The guides loved him because he made it fun for everyone.
One thing that I loved hearing Frank tell about Hayden is that he fought hard at SMU to keep the big boosters out of the football locker room. They wanted a slush fund to pay players. Hayden stopped it. That’s one of the reasons he was let go at SMU. I asked Hayden about it once and it was clear that he was proud of that. Of course, that would eventually surface later at SMU under Bobby Collins and we know what happened.
Lots of good information here now that I didn’t know or follow. Nicely done.
So, pure hypothetical, but IF CCM finished 3-9 this year, then 5-7 next year, then rips off 7-8 years of 6-6 to 9-3 seasons, maybe a 10-2 in there somewhere, but NO SEC championships, who would sign up for that?
I’m sure it would be fine for awhile, but fans are fans. You gotta feed the monster. But, after what Arkansas has been through of late, gotta start somewhere. I am of the mindset that you can win at Arkansas in any sport. It takes a lot of players in football, so it stands to reason, that it takes more than one good recruiting class and development of those classes. Continuity is important. But it has to be good continuity. I guess that goes without saying.
So Clay, would you then say that Iowa is making a mistake keeping Ferentz around (contract issues notwithstanding) since they haven’t won a championship and seemingly never or hardly ever will? They have reached a level of competitiveness but can’t seem to take the final step.
And you’re saying that fans cannot support a competitive program long term without the top-tier status or records…that “fans will be fans.”? Again, I don’t follow them too closely, but Iowa still seems to have stable fan support. Maybe they are an exception.
I am not Clay of course, but isn’t that the $1,000,000 question when you have a coach like that? You have a coach that year in, year out has winning teams, usually goes to bowls (not always), occasionally has a very good year and get ranked pretty high, but isn’t really a threat to win it all. Probably won’t ever win it all.
Do you let him go and hope the next guy can take you to the next level? Or, do you keep him?
I don’t have an answer. How many of us would love to have HDN type season’s over the last 7 years? But, if you aren’t going to ever challenge for the whole thing, what is the point???
Clay thanks for clarifying Hayden’s move to North Texas State. Clay could you find the data that would reflect head coaches and assistant coaches pay scales at both Iowa and Arkansas? I am sure during the Broyles’s tenure the overall dollar figure was significantly higher, but how do they compare today. Also if you consider Hayden as part of Frank’s coaching tree, the number coaches that could be linked to Frank is significant.