Late-night news releases typically aren't good, but Iowa got some good news Tuesday night as coach Kirk Ferentz reaffirmed his commitment to the program.
Ferentz had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the head-coaching vacancy with the Kansas City Chiefs, primarily because of his friendship with Chiefs GM Scott Pioli. His name also had come up for the Penn State job, although only as a fringe candidate.
Never mind all of that chatter. Ferentz has no plans to leave Iowa, where he's under contract through 2020 and receives a hefty salary ($3.675 million annually).
"There continues to be public speculation and questions, as recently as the December 4th press conference, regarding my coaching future at Iowa or elsewhere," Ferentz said in a prepared statement. "To emphasize what I have said previously, I am very happy at Iowa. We have a great staff and group of student athletes, and we receive outstanding support from president Sally Mason and director of athletics Gary Barta. I fully intend to be at Iowa next year and well beyond 2012."
Ferentz is in his 13th season at Iowa and is the Big Ten's longest-tenured head coach. The 56-year-old is 96-65 and has guided Iowa to two BCS bowl appearances and 10 bowls, including a Dec. 30 matchup against Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl.
The Pioli connection made the Chiefs' job interesting, but Ferentz never gave any indication he wanted to leave Iowa. He has a great situation in Iowa City, where's he's paid well and has strong job security. It's also fair for Iowa fans to expect more than what they've gotten the past two seasons from Ferentz and the Hawkeyes.
Ferentz's statement capped a busy night of news for Iowa, which announced the suspension of starting running back Marcus Coker for the bowl game and the departure of defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski. Nebraska is a possible destination for Kaczenski, in the mix for the Huskers' vacant defensive coordinator job, although Nebraska as of Tuesday night had no staff additions to announce.