Iowa athletic director Gary Barta took over the hiring process for Iowa’s offensive line coach and selected Brian Ferentz out of a field of four applicants, an athletic document released Wednesday shows.
In addition, Ferentz, a former Hawkeye lineman, will report directly to Barta and not his father, head coach Kirk Ferentz, so the hiring remains in compliance with the university’s nepotism policy, the document discloses.
Iowa officials released copies of the management plan today put together by Barta in response to a state open records request by the Des Moines Register. Officials said they believe the management plan was protected by confidentiality exceptions in the open-records law, but the release of the plan was approved by both Kirk and Brian Ferentz.
Barta’s plan included a summary of his search for a new offensive line coach in which the athletic director said he “was very interested in pursuing Brian Ferentz to become a member of our football staff due to his strong experience and success in the professional coaching ranks.” Brian Ferentz was on the staff of the NFL’s New England Patriots last season.
Brian Ferentz was with the Patriots the past four seasons — rising from a scouting assistant in 2008 to tight ends coach last season. The three-year Iowa letterman, whose final season was 2006, played on 2002 and 2004 Big Ten Conference championship teams. He also played in the Orange, Outback and Capital One bowls.
“At the conclusion of the interviews, it was apparent to me that Brian’s credentials and candidacy were worthy of recommending for hire,” Barta added.
Barta said he will conduct Brian Ferentz’ annual performance review and determine his compensation. Barta said he would also prepare a written report on the effectives of the management plan no later than a year after approval of the plan.
The preparation and approval of a management plan is required by university policy, which strongly advises against the hiring of immediate family members.
The policy states: “For the purpose of protecting both the integrity and objectivity of its employees in the performance of their University obligations, and to create a workplace environment based in equity and fairness, it is the policy of the University that conflicts of interest should be avoided where possible, and otherwise disclosed and managed.”
Similar steps related to Iowa athletics have been taken in the past, including when former basketball coach Steve Alford wanted to employ his father, Sam, as a member of the staff, and former football assistant Bobby Elliott worked on Hayden Fry’s staff when his father, Bump, was athletic director.
State law prohibits any person elected or appointed to a public position from hiring immediate family unless the employee is to receive less than $600 annually, is a public school teacher or a clerk in the Iowa General Assembly.
Other athletic departments have made similar hires. Iowa State, for example, also temporarily waived its affirmative action policy in 2010 to hire current men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg.
Check back to HawkCentral.com today for more on this story, along with coverage of an Iowa football press conference with Brian Ferentz and new assistant coach LeVar Woods.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football