IOWA CITY, Iowa – A great family and a great head coach were our guests on the Allhawkeyes radio show and podcast on Friday, and needless to say, it was two hours of pure joy.
We were first joined by Eppy Epenesa and his family from their home in Glen Carbon, Ill., and spent about 40 minutes speaking with Eppy and his wife Stephanie, along with their three sons A.J., Eric and Lose, whose name is pronounced Yo-say.
The Epenesas are the ultimate Hawkeye family, a bond that started when Eppy transferred to Iowa from Iowa Wesleyan in the mid-1990s to play as a defensive lineman for Hayden Fry.
Eppy’s oldest son, A.J. Epenesa, followed in his father footsteps by attending Iowa where he became an All-America defensive end and is now preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft where he projects as a first-round pick as a junior.
Under normal circumstances, A.J. would’ve been in Iowa City on Friday training for the draft, but instead, he’was back home with his family and doing his part to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. A.J. still is working out on a daily basis, as is his younger brother, Eric, who will continue the family’s pipeline to Iowa as a member of the Iowa football team’s incoming recruiting class.
Eric projects as a linebacker for Iowa, and is also a long snapper.
We addressed a number of topics, and paid tribute to Hayden Fry, who passed away on Dec. 17, 2019 at the age of 90, and to former Iowa quarterback Ryan Driscoll, who passed away on Dec. 5, 2018 at the age of 44.
Fry gave Eppy Epenesa the chance to be a Hawkeye and that changed the course of Eppy’s life, on and off the field.
Driscoll already was a Hawkeye when Eppy joined the program and they immediately became close friends.
Eppy paid his respects to Driscoll during this past football season by wearing Driscoll’s Hawkeye jersey No. 7 to all of the Iowa games.
Ferentz, meanwhile joined us approximately 80 minutes into the two-hour and 15-minute podcast and told some great stories, including one about Bob Sanders and how he helped to change the culture within the Iowa program.
Ferentz also talked about how he is dealing with the global pandemic on a personal level, and about how it has affected his job and the sport he loves.
Ferentz would normally be heavily involved with spring football practice, but instead, he’s staying at home with his wife, Mary, and doing his part to contain the virus.
Ferentz still speaks with his assistant coaches through Zoom video conferencing, and in fact, they had a staff meeting prior to our interview on Friday.
He also stays busy by doing yard work under the supervision of his wife, and by watching more television in the past two weeks than he has in the past 15 years combined.
Both interviews were very informal and laid back, and they served as a nice diversion at a scary and surreal time when we need something to smile about.
Here is the link to today's podcast