Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has tested positive for COVID-19; bowl preparations will continue

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central
Kirk Ferentz is in his 22nd year at Iowa.

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a university release.

Ferentz, 65, initially tested positive Thursday as part of the Big Ten Conference's daily testing in return-to-play protocols. A PCR test confirmed the positive diagnosis.

According to the university, he is asymptomatic and will remain home until Dec. 27. Ferentz was coughing frequently during a signing-day news conference with reporters Wednesday and again that night on his weekly radio show with host Gary Dolphin, then again on Thursday during a radio appearance on KXnO in Des Moines.

Iowa, which has a 6-2 record and is ranked No. 16 in the College Football Playoff rankings, is waiting to learn its bowl fate Sunday. The Hawkeyes plan to prepare for their bowl game without Ferentz.

Players, coaches, and staff members are tested daily as part of the Big Ten Conference return to play protocols. According to a UI spokesman, Ferentz tested negative on Wednesday.

“We have been fortunate this season to have played eight games and to have very few positive cases,“ Ferentz said in a statement. “When the team returns to practice on Tuesday, I will participate via zoom and our collective focus will be on preparing for the bowl game.”

According to the CDC, adults from the ages of 65 to 74 are five times more likely to require hospitalization than 18-to-29-year-olds as a result of contracting the novel coronavirus and 90 times more likely to die. Ferentz is known to be physically fit and work out five or more times per week.