Emails to Iowa AD suggest fans want head-coaching change

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz addresses the media during an NCAA college news conference, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Tennessee takes on Iowa the TaxSlayer Bowl on Friday. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz addresses the media during an NCAA college news conference, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Tennessee takes on Iowa the TaxSlayer Bowl on Friday. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky)

After another mediocre season in 2014, many Iowa football fans are getting restless with the stagnant nature of the program under Kirk Ferentz. The team is 26-25 and just 15-17 in conference play in the past four seasons, and after the Hawkeyes blew a 17-point lead against Nebraska in the regular season finale, frustrations boiled over and led some fans to email athletic director Gary Barta.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette was able to obtain more than 250 emails sent to Barta in the week after the game via a Freedom of Information Act request. Some voiced support for Ferentz to continue as head coach, but many, while respecting the work Ferentz has done for the program, would like to see a coaching change.

Wrote one fan:

“I consider myself to be a sensible fan. I am never going to throw people under the bus or make idle threats because of a 7‐5 season, but I felt that I would be remiss if I did not at least reach out with my view. I love Coach Ferentz. I have been in his camp for many years even when others have voiced opposition. Furthermore, I have never been concerned with his salary. He has done great things for our program and university and, quite frankly, the revenues and profits that he has helped to produce warrant a sizable income. Despite my respect and admiration of the man, I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that it simply is time to move on.”

The Gazette broke down the emails it obtained and many were upset that Michigan and Nebraska pulled the trigger and moved on from their head coaches (Brady Hoke and Bo Pelini) while the Hawkeyes stuck with Ferentz, who has a worse record than the other two in recent years.

Others voiced frustration with the style of play and the lack of team speed, including the play calling of offensive coordinator Greg Davis. Many even went as far as to say that they would no longer support Iowa football by buying tickets or merchandise.

“I will never attend another game or spend another dime as long as Ferentz is the coach,” one fan wrote. “I hope everyone burns their season tickets.”

Wrote another: “After 17 years, I’m calling it quits. I am finally giving up on your ability to run the athletic department as well as Kirk Ferentz’s ability to run the football program. I would rather get a vasectomy with someone’s false teeth than watch that bull**** product you put on the field.”

One even offered to coach the team himself (for much smaller price than Ferentz’s $3.65 million per year).

Many others pointed to Ferentz's huge contract.

Another fan said that having Ferentz as a head coach is like "paying for a Ferrari and driving a Pinto."

These more-extreme examples certainly don't represent the majority of the sentiment coming from Hawkeyes fans. Even if they think it's time to change gears, many expressed their respect for Ferentz and his 16 years with the program. Some were even 100 percent supportive of Ferentz and think he should keep his job.

“Kirk Ferentz is a great coach and even a better person," one wrote. "He represents Iowa University in such a positive manner ... I fully support Kirk and his staff!!! I don’t want to ever get complacent, But believe with the facilities and an energized staff there are good things to come!”

Above all, these fans want what all other fans want: winning. If the Hawkeyes can contend in the Big Ten in 2015, you could see many opinions sway back in favor of Ferentz.

For more Iowa news, visit HawkeyeReport.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!