Skip to main content

Kirk Ferentz Reacts To Wisconsin's Surprising Firing Decision

Kirk Ferentz wearing an Iowa pullover.

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 17: Head coach Kirk Ferentz of the Iowa Hawkeyes walks off the field after their win over Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 17, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. Iowa Hawkeyes won 40-10. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Kirk Ferentz has already witnessed two fellow Big Ten coaches get fired this season.

Nebraska dismissed Scott Frost following a 1-2 start, and Wisconsin fired Paul Chryst on Sunday. On Tuesday, per Hawkeye Insider's David Eickholt, the Iowa head coach discussed seeing another peer lose his job early in the season.

"Disappointed but not surprised," Ferentz said. "I think it's the fifth one this season, right? The toll has mounted. Ball kind of got rolling last year."

He recalled USC firing Clay Helton two games into the 2021 season as a tipping point for coaches getting an early axe.

"My question would be if it's that bad, why didn't you do it a year ago or a half year ago? But that's the world we're living in right now."

The Badgers have gone 67-26 since hiring Chryst in 2015, but that wasn't enough to save his job after starting his eighth season at 2-3. Last weekend's 34-10 loss to Illinois proved the last straw for Wisconsin, who elevated Jim Leonhard to interim coach.

Ferentz has conversely received much more job security with the Hawkeyes, who brought him aboard in 1999. He's the longest-tenured Division I college football coach.

Ferentz is unlikely to receive the same fate as Chryst if Iowa loses to Illinois this Saturday night. His Hawkeyes will later face the Badgers on Nov. 12.