IOWA CITY, Ia. — A Twitter post by Iowa assistant football coach Brian Ferentz launched discussion and speculation about the game-day atmosphere at Kinnick Stadium.
Ferentz wrote Friday: “I know that the stadium experience is lacking but this team needs your support — do it on your own. Best fans in the country! #MelroseMagic”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Brian’s father, said after Saturday’s 28-9 loss to No. 22 Wisconsin that the atmosphere is “lacking” at times as the university tweaks a new system for scoreboards and sound.
“We go into venues where the sound system and the scoreboards and all that stuff are pretty good,” Kirk said.
Iowa’s coach said the scoreboards are “outstanding,” then added: “A year from now, the sound system will be where we all want it to be.”
Hawkeye athletic director Gary Barta called the game-day atmosphere and execution Saturday “spectacular,” but acknowledged some inconsistency exists.
“Last week (against Northwestern) felt a little (flat) at times,” Barta said. “We constantly evaluate things to provide the best experience possible. This is one of the great venues in the country and continues to be that. We’ll just keep working on it.”
Barta said the focus will be on continued improvement, rather than wholesale changes.
Iowa associate athletic director Rick Klatt said during the first half of Saturday’s game that he had not had the chance to gather feedback directly from Brian Ferentz, but had received indirect thoughts from Iowa’s head coach.
“We needed to work on our game experience,” said Klatt, when asked when asked for his sense of what Kirk Ferentz would like to see improve. “That’s a piece of our day that we need to keep working on.
“Sometimes it’s something as silly as, ‘Where is the wind coming from?’ Because with our sound system, there’s a big difference if the wind is blowing from the north.”
Kirk Ferentz made it clear that any discussion about improving the atmosphere at home games does not include fans.
“That’s no suggestion that our fans aren’t into it,” he said. “… It’s our job to generate the electricity and the energy. The fans have been great forever.”
Ferentz was asked whether he endorsed the thoughts from his assistant coach and son.
“I think I know what his intentions were, and I’m OK with those,” he said.
“I’m not sure anyone’s trying to start a firestorm, which apparently it did.
“… I’m not sure it came out the way he wanted it to, quite frankly — or anybody wanted it to. If that’s the case, I apologize as the guy in charge of the program.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football