IOWA CITY – Some college teams may fill the air more frequently with footballs. Others have more wardrobe changes than a Hollywood starlet.
But, Iowa assistant football coach Brian Ferentz vehemently disputes the notion that the Hawkeyes and their 57-year old head coach are stuck in the past.
Kirk Ferentz has been painted by some as an old-school coach whose preference for power football might be outdated in a collegiate landscape dotted by spread offenses.
Brian Ferentz, who played for his father and is now in his second season as Iowa’s offensive line coach, said the suggestion simply isn’t true.
“I do bristle at the notion that we are archaic or that our head coach is – I want to make sure I pronounce this right – is it Luddite? … Because, he’s not,’’ Brian Ferentz said. “He’s got an iPhone and he’s got an iPad and he uses them.’’
A Luddite is an individual who fears technology, a term which refers to Ned Ludd, a man who led a group of craftsmen in the 19th century to dismantle machinery and destroy the factories they were being used in to protest mass production and the industrial revolution.
“I would say that we have been in the 21st century here since Y2K,’’ Brian Ferentz said.
Although Kirk Ferentz has repeatedly said he does not frequent social media sites and requires his players to refrain from using Twitter, Brian Ferentz said the Iowa coach is not oblivious to the importance such things carry with today’s recruits.
Brian Ferentz is one of six Hawkeye staff members who have Twitter accounts and he said it would be a mistake for coaches to believe that social media interaction is unimportant in the recruitment of players.
“That’s how kids communicate,’’ he said. “Facebook is still pretty prevalent with high school-age guys, but Twitter and Instagram, that’s where these guys communicate with each other. It does make a difference and we have to do it or else you can’t talk with (recruits) because they certainly do not like talking on the phone. That’s changed a ton.’’
Still, Brian Ferentz concedes that use of social media by coaches is in reality an individual decision and more a function of their personality.
“I think it’s unique to every person. I really think if you saw our head coach on Twitter or doing those kinds of things, those would be things that aren’t part of his personality. That’s not natural for him,’’ he said.
Brian Ferentz said his father is comfortable using the iPhone and iPad he has, but acknowledges even progress has its limits.
Don’t expect the Iowa coach to dabble in alternate uniforms any more than the occasional throwbacks the Hawkeyes have worn from time to time in recent seasons.
“Alternate uniforms? That’s not really in his personality. I’ve seen his closet,’’ Brian Ferentz said.