Outback Bowl

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, left, checks a replay board during the team's NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File

Charlie Neibergall

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz acknowledged Thursday the departure of wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy and running backs and special teams coach Chris White from the Hawkeye staff.

"I want to thank coach Kennedy and coach White for their efforts and contributions to the University of Iowa and our Hawkeye football program," Ferentz said in a statement. "I wish Bobby and Chris the best as they move forward in their coaching careers."

The moves, which follow the last week's retirement of offensive coordinator Greg Davis and the naming of offensive line coach Brian Ferentz on Monday.

Both Kennedy and White had been part of the Iowa staff for the past four seasons.

Ferentz labeled the decision to not renew their contracts as part of a "re-organizational effort" to reshape the Iowa offensive coaching staff.

With the decision to not retain Kennedy and White, the Hawkeyes now have three vacant assistant coaching positions on the football staff and in all probability will have a fourth position to fill as well if, as expected, NCAA members in the Football Bowl Subdivision approve the addition of a 10th assistant coaching position for each program beginning with the upcoming season.

Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta said prior to the Hawkeyes' appearance in the Outback Bowl that Iowa supported the proposal to be voted on in April.

"It appears to have quite a bit of support nationally, so I do believe there is a good chance of it happening," Barta said. "When you breakdown the number of student-athletes our coaches in football are working with compared to other sports, a 10th assistant makes a great deal of sense."

The three current vacancies on the Iowa staff are being advertised on the university's website and the program is looking for candidates with three-to-five years of experience of coaching experience at the collegiate or professional level and candidates with a equal amount of recruiting experience.

Kirk Ferentz indicated Monday that his goal in filling vacancies remains bringing the best coaches into the program regardless of the positions they may have coached in the past.

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At that time, he said his primary focus had been to select the best coordinator to lead the offense.

"Now, we have to make everything fit around it," Ferentz said. "... My responsibility is to make sure we get everybody in the right seats, get all the right people here and go from there."

Ferentz and the remaining members of the Hawkeye staff were on the road Thursday for the start of a contact period on the recruiting calendar.

He indicated he plans a nationwide search to fill the staff vacancies, expecting to have the three existing vacancies filled before the start of spring ball in late March. The fourth spot - if the NCAA approves the 10th position - would not be filled until after spring practices conclude.

"Sounds like it is pretty much a given, but it would be easier to plan now if you knew for certain if it was going to be 10 or nine and go accordingly," Ferentz said. "We can't bank on that, but it will factor into things."

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