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Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz answers questions from the media Thursday night at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf.

Kirk Ferentz isn’t exactly a red carpet kind of guy.

The red carpet at big events is for people who want to be seen, who want to show off what they’re wearing and who they’re with.

Iowa’s long-time head football coach would prefer to just slip in and out anonymously so he wasn’t all that disappointed when he missed out on walking the red carpet at last month’s NFL draft in Dallas.

"I never made the red carpet in Dallas," Ferentz said Thursday after arriving a little late to Iowa’s Quad-Cities caravan event at the Waterfront Convention Center. "We got there a little late for that one, too. We had a little bit of trouble getting in. Fortunately, there was a security guy who stepped in and got us where we needed to go.

"We got to the green room but never made the red carpet."

However, Ferentz has gotten the red carpet treatment at least once in recent months. It came when he represented Iowa at the Laureus Sports Awards in Monte Carlo, Monaco, in February.

He and his wife, Mary, strolled up the carpet right behind tennis superhero Roger Federer.

"The station that had the cameras, 99 cameras were on him, one was on us," Ferentz said. "It was great."


Radio play-by-play man Gary Dolphin was the emcee for the Iowa caravan event Thursday, and as he introduced assistant wrestling coach Terry Brands, he asked about Tom Brands, his twin brother and Iowa’s head coach.

"I can never remember which of you is older," Dolphin said. "Tom was born first, right?"

"I shoved him out," Terry said.


One of the most special moments from Monday night’s Quad-City Times Salute to Sports came when long-time Bettendorf wrestling coach Franc Freeman was onstage being honored as the 100th inductee into the Quad-City Sports Hall of Fame.

During Freeman’s years at Bettendorf, the Bulldogs’ varsity starters each were given a black and gold robe to wear at meets. It was a special honor, but the wrestlers were not allowed to keep the robes when they graduated.

As one of his Freeman’s former protégés, Paul Glynn, was speaking about his old coach, one of his old teammates, Hap Peterson, came out with a robe. Together, they draped it around the shoulders of their beloved 79-year-old former coach.

Freeman was visibly moved by the gesture, and there were more than a few moist eyes in the audience.


At Northern Iowa’s annual caravan event last week, also at the Waterfront Convention Center, football coach Mark Farley said he thinks the Panthers’ UNI-Dome is "one of the five best places to play in FCS."

"It might be one of the better places in the entire country at any level," he added. "I’ve been at Nebraska, Texas, Notre Dame, but when the dome is humming, there is no better place to play."


We again were reminded last week how highly regarded the Augustana College men’s basketball program is.

The Vikings released their list of new recruits, and among them is 5-foot-11 Luke Johnson of Longmont, Colorado, who was named his state’s Class 4A player of the year and was the MVP of the state tournament after leading his team to the state title.

It’s not the sort of recruit you often see going to NCAA Division III schools. But Augie is no ordinary D-III program.


New England Patriots haters will love a story by Peter Gammons in The Athletic last week.

Gammons revealed that legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sent a text message to equally legendary major league outfielder Ichiro Suzuki a little over a year ago, saying he wanted to meet him and learn more about how he stretches. Brady apparently got Ichiro’s number from Alex Rodriguez.

Suzuki stared in puzzlement at the text for some time and someone finally asked who it was from.

"Some guy named Tom Brady," Ichiro said. "Who the (expletive) is Tom Brady?"