Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz opened Wednesday’s media gathering by touting the accomplishments of former Hawkeye star Dallas Clark.
Clark joined the Hawkeyes in 1998 as a walk-on linebacker, but eventually earned all-America honors as a tight end. He continued into the NFL, where Clark was an All-Pro with 5,665 career receiving yards and 53 touchdowns.
Clark retired Wednesday.
“Dallas is just a hall-of-fame guy,” Ferentz said. “Really personifies everything that is good about football. What an illustrious career he had here, and an interesting career.
“He’s never changed. He’s still the same guy now, after reaching the pinnacle of pro football and certainly college football. He’s pretty much achieved everything you could achieve and still just a very humble, great guy, quality guy.”
It was also a week of mourning for Ferentz. He grew up in the Pittsburgh area, following the career of former Steelers coach Chuck Noll, who died last week at 82.
“It’s fair to say he was an idol of mine,” Ferentz said. “I knew at a pretty early age … I wanted to coach and teach. Of course, that was right when they were starting to make their move in the early 1970s.”
Ferentz’s father would send him newspaper clippings chronicling the Steelers success, including four Super Bowl titles under Noll.
“I read every article,” Ferentz said Wednesday. “I’ve still got a lot of them in my file, and I’ve got everything that’s been written over the last several days.
“Probably one of the highlights of my career is, I got to listen to him speak,” Ferentz said of a clinic he attended in 1995. “I got to hear coach Noll talk about the art of hitting for 50 minutes. For me, that was a thrill. I was just mesmerized an NFL coach could talk for 50 straight minutes just about technique and fundamentals.
“But if you watched their teams play, that was a trademark.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football