A football scheduling conflict will prevent Kirk Ferentz from being the regular keynote speaker at the Johnson County I-Club breakfast events.
However, Ferentz’s absence won’t necessarily mean the end of the event, which dates back to the beginning of the Hayden Fry coaching era at Iowa nearly 40 years ago.
“Due to the scheduling conflict on Friday mornings during the 2015 season, Iowa Athletics Development and the Johnson County I-Club are looking at other event options,” said Patrick Sojka, UI Assistant Director for Athletic Development.
I-Club members were expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss the future of the Johnson I-Club Breakfast, which is traditionally held on Friday morning before each of the seven home games on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Ferentz, who is entering his 17th season as head coach, said in January shortly after Iowa’s 45-28 loss to Tennessee in the TaxSlayer Bowl that he needed to spend more time on football-related matters.
Iowa has a combined record of 19-19 over the past three seasons, including 7-6 last season.
“One of the first things, I’ve got to do a better job as a head coach, spend more time in the building with our people and less time on the outside,” Ferentz said.
Part of that change will come at the expense of the Johnson County I-Club breakfast, which in recent years has been held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City, with doors opening at 6:30 a.m.
Iowa now is expected to hold a walk-through or a shorter practice during that time on Fridays before home games.
Sojka said he expects a release to be sent out within the next month explaining the future of the Johnson I-Club Breakfast, which in its heyday drew as many as 600 fans.
"More information will follow in the coming weeks," Sojka said.
Ferentz picked up where Fry left off in 1998 as the featured speaker for the Johnson County I-Club Breakfast. In addition to eating a buffet breakfast with those in attendance, Ferentz would provide a brief scouting report on the next opponent, while also updating his team’s progress during the $10 event. A raffle also was held and there often was an appearance from a special guest.
One option being considered is to have different keynote speakers throughout the season, including former players. Another option is to have fewer breakfast events.
There is consideration, according to one source, to cut the number of breakfast events from seven to three. The first breakfast would introduce the freshmen on the team. The second breakfast would be held as part of homecoming, while the third breakfast would be a tribute to the departing seniors on the team.