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Kirk Ferentz to be a grandfather, and other Big Ten football notes

[ 1 ] July 27, 2012 |

CHICAGO — Kirk Ferentz is going to be a first-time grandpa — son Brian and wife Nikki are expecting.

The baby is due in late October.

“That’s the kind of news we like,” Kirk Ferentz said at Big Ten media days Friday. “I’ve heard it’s a great deal. I’ve never heard anyone complain.”

Brian is Iowa’s offensive line coach, and Kirk is uncertain if the due date coincides with a game.

“Rookie mistake,” Kirk cracked. “I had one of those myself — (with) No.5.

Ferentz was an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns when his youngest son, Steven, was born.

“Mary (his wife) went into labor early on a Saturday morning and I got her settled in the hospital, which was about five minutes from our facility,” Ferentz said.

“We got her settled in, then I went over and did our meetings.

“Steve arrived in the afternoon, and we beat New Orleans on Sunday.”

Kirk and Mary Ferentz have five children — Brian, Kelly, Joanne, James and Steven.

Barta on billboards

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta has been so busy flying or driving to one meeting after another that he hasn’t seen Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard’s latest billboard masterpiece.

Six years after placing a billboard in eastern Iowa that said “It’s a Cyclone State,” the Cyclones’ crafty athletic department are putting up another, this one welcoming Bob Bowlsby to the Big12 Conference.

A former Iowa and Northern Iowa athletic director, Bowlsby is the Big12’s new commissioner.

The boards are going up in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Des Moines.

“I’ve heard about it,” Barta said. “It’s not very high on my things to worry about.”

Barta became Iowa’s athletic director after Bowlsby went to Stanford. They also worked together at Northern Iowa.

“It’s great for Bob; I’m thrilled for him,” Barta said of Bowlsby’s new job, not the billboard. “It’s something that he’s been interested in over the years. He’s good for college athletics.”

Meyer on Big Ten

Coachspeak?

Not new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, at least on this occasion.

“The Big Ten for many, many years was without question the No.1 conference in America,” said Meyer, who worked in television last season after coaching at Florida.

“Right now, we’re not, but there’s a lot of coaches and players right now very intent on making it the best conference in America.”

O’Brien on Brady

And here’s a gem from new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, whose job the past three seasons with the New England Patriots included coaching all-pro quarterback Tom Brady.

“When I was hired at Penn State, and we started to get ready for spring practice, we sat down and obviously we were watching a bunch of Patriot film from the last couple of years, and I looked back at the team and I saw a lot of wide eyes, because they were watching that film as fans,” O’Brien said.

“So I shut the clicker on the projector off and I said: ‘Look, guys, we’re looking at the schemes here. Don’t worry that that’s Tom Brady, and don’t worry that that’s Wes Welker and (Rob) Gronkowski and the other guys,’ and that was a pretty fun moment in our team meeting room.

“What we’re trying to do is put in the foundation of what we did in New England.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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