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Ferentz tells donors football program has holes

BY CLARK CAHILL | JULY 27, 2009 7:15 AM

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz, speaking at the 43rd-annual Golden Harvest on July 25, said the Hawkeyes have some holes to fill, and that will be pivotal for any success in the upcoming season.

The team not only lost some excellent players from last year’s squad, he said, but excellent leadership, too. He is counting on such veterans as seniors A.J. Edds and Tony Moeaki to step into those roles.

“We have a good foundation and a nucleus of guys on offense and defense,” Ferentz said. “We are anxious to see how that develops.”

Ferentz also said the team’s success always relies on “good stories.” He used former Hawkeyes Shonn Greene and Bradley Fletcher as examples of players who became large contributors after previously not playing much.

The coach said that how well the team plays on the road will be significant. Iowa will face a tough road schedule, with games at Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

“I’m not saying we don’t need to worry about our home schedule, either,” he said. “But if we are going to be a good football team, we are going to have to be able to handle our challenging road schedule.”

The Golden Harvest is an annual golf outing and dinner program hosted by the National I-Club. It is the organization’s way to provide recognition to contributors to the Hawkeye Fund and Iowa Scholarship Fund.

“A lot of people who come are our leaders from our local chapters and member of the National I-Club Board,” said Darryl Borcherding, the National I-Club director of development for athletics. “This is our way to say thank you for all of their work throughout the spring working on their grass-roots support and getting local energy to support the Hawks.”

The event also included an optional tour of the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex hosted by assistant wrestling coach Terry Brands.

He described the expansion of the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex and said it will be the best facility in which he has ever worked.

“I have been all over the world and seen just about every wrestling facility there is,” said Brands, who won a bronze medal during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. “This will be the premier institution in the world.”

Before Ferentz spoke at the dinner, four awards were given to those who contributed most to the I-Club last year — Hawk of the Year, I-Club Volunteer of the Year, I-Club of the Year, and a Special Commendation.

Dale and Marilyn Howard of Iowa Falls won the Hawk of the Year award. The Howards have been I-Club members for 33 years and have contributed to several projects, including the current Carver-Hawkeye Arena renovations. Dale Howard is the owner and president of Dale Howard Inc., an automobile dealership in the central Iowa town of 5,000.

Last year, the couple made a gift commitment of $5 million.

“They are great examples. The tradition of their interest, tradition of giving, and their support is absolutely phenomenal,” Ferentz said. “I think it’s very symbolic of the kind of support we have been able to enjoy over the years.”

Dale Howard, who earned a degree in physical education from the UI in 1955, said the award was a tremendous honor for him and his wife.

“It is probably the top thing that could ever happen to us,” he said. “To have them bestow this honor is really special.”


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