Raw Chicago: Kirk Ferentz Part 9

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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: Iíve 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. Iím still trying to figure out the value of Twitter. What an absurd concept. But itís 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 Iíve Skyped with one or two prospects. It wasnít quite, I didnít gain any notoriety.

INTERVIEWER: ÖYou have your coaches use Twitter, right?

COACH FERENTZ: We have a program on Twitter I think. I mean, Iím okay with that. Thatís why you have young guys on your staff.

INTERVIEWER: Öthis summer.

COACH FERENTZ: Well, this is a HawkeyeÖ Thatís 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 donít 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 Iíve got nothing against any of that stuff, I donít understand it. I understand it, but I donít understand the phenomenon, but thatís 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, theyíve 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 thatís looking at it. It might be a future boss. Or it might be somebodyís office youíre sitting in ten years from now where youíre going to have some explaining to do. And you know, when youíre 18 or 20 youíre not thinking about that. Why would you? And thank goodness, people donít k now what we know about a lot of our players today. And you know, if theyíd known that about us when we were that age, you know, itís 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 VCRís. 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 Ö 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 í81. The crowd went crazy. We ran the same plays. But if you looked at it, a lot of the stuff he did, yeah, heíd 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 wasnít, you know, turn it over, play good defense. And thatís 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: Weíre winning 20 to nothing and he runs one, right? Itís just, and heíd call them exotic. Who in the heck calls it exotic? The screens were convoys. So you know, he had that, heís a genius. Heís just a genius. I mean, heís doing okay. I think heís done okay.

INTERVIEWER:†He would have enjoyed coaching now, in this media age.

COACH FERENTZ: He would enjoy anything. Heís like†Coach Paterno. Thatís why heís 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 werenít alive, so I donít 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. Thatís all I knew.

INTERVIEWER: Did you really lie about your age?

COACH FERENTZ: No. Absolutely not. Thatís another one of his stories. And heís still telling that one. Itís 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 heíd have us all talking to ourselves. You know. So, yeah, Coach Fry, he always has a good time. You may not know it, but heís definitely have a good time.

INTERVIEWER: Maybe some of the storiesÖ [Hayden told tall tales?]

COACH FERENTZ:†You know, I canít verify one way or the other.

INTERVIEWER: Öunderstand the importance of continuity in the program and that sort of thing. ÖAnd 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, theyíve 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 werenít 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 Ö 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 Iíve known Greg Madison for quite some time. And Iíve had a chance to watch Brady now for a while and watch him from afar. Theyíre good players. They have a tremendous staff. There will be continuity and they will do very well. Itís gonna happen.

INTERVIEWER:† Will it be more like the Michigan that you -- [Michigan being Michigan again]

COACH FERENTZ: Iíd bet on it. I mean, I know what Ö defensively, and I know the kind of coach he is. Iíve seen him, his work, at Notre Dame. And A & M, going back to then. And then you know, Iíve seen what Bradyís done in those two venues. And theyíre going line up and theyíre going to be tough and theyíre going to play well. Theyíve got good players. So itís going to be, to me itís going to be a real challenge for us in the years ahead. It always has been.

INTERVIEWER: Youíve got a kid going from a Ö How big of a challenge is that? [Michigan QB Denard Robinson]

COACH FERENTZ:†My guess is heíll do really well. And my guess is that theyíre going to steer it to what works for him. I think weíve all seen heís a very dynamic player, a great performer, and a great leader and you know, theyíll play to his strengths, Iíd imagine. Heís a great football player so itís gonna be a challenge. Theyíll be doing okay. Donít 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 thatís pretty critical position Ö

COACH FERENTZ: I can think of two individuals. The one guy I wouldnít know if he walked up to me today. Heíd have to introduce himself to me. And yeah, but Iíve had conversations with another individual and moving on.

INTERVIEWER: In fairness to the guy that you know, youíve had communication with him Ö

COACH FERENTZ: Iím moving on, thatís why Iím there. Iím 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 thatís been it. And thatís 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 nobodyís minimizing anything that happened. But it passed pretty quickly. Nobodyís minimizing it. Itís been handled appropriately. But itís yesterdayís news. I thought there might be an out-of-town person to ask.

INTERVIEWER: Ö [Kyle Spading] pretty serious accident. Are you going to recognize [him sometime this season?]

COACH FERENTZ: I mentioned that earlier. I really havenít given that much thought in terms of what weíre doing down the road, but itís certainly a very unfortunate thing. And as I mentioned earlier, if you look back, weíve had three now, if you include†Ed Podalak, close calls, since February. And itís just a reminder how quickly life can change. And itís a scary thing, but obviously all of our thoughts are with Kyleís family and Iíve 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 Kyleís fiancťe is in that program, too, so I saw him at that graduation. So Iíve seen him twice. But itís a tough thing.

INTERVIEWER: Marvin was saying that his status as a former player -- [Spading]

COACH FERENTZ: Hopefully you know, Iíve heard some of the prognosis. But you never know. Itís a long road here and weíll have to see what happens. But nevertheless itís very tragic.

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