IOWA CITY, Iowa – Chuck Long, in addition to being arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the Iowa football program, has also coached quarterbacks, and been an offensive coordinator and a head coach at the collegiate level.
So, when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks and quarterback coaches, it would be hard to find anyone more qualified than Chuck Long, who finished runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1985.
Long was a our guest on Wednesday’s episode of the Hawk Fanatic radio show and podcast.
We had him on to mark the start of spring practice on Wednesday and to talk about the recent coaching changes on the Iowa staff.
Ken O’Keefe recently stepped away from coaching the Iowa quarterbacks, while offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz has switched from coaching tight ends to coaching the quarterbacks.
Long said he feels that Kirk Ferentz missed an opportunity to jump start the sputtering Iowa offense by not hiring an assistant coach who has experience with coaching quarterbacks.
Long said it’s rare for a quarterback coach to have no experience with coaching quarterbacks, but that’s the situation at Iowa with Brian Ferentz, a former Iowa offensive lineman, now coaching the quarterbacks.
Brian Ferentz has coached tight ends for Iowa, and previously for the New England Patriots, and he also has coached running backs at Iowa, and has been the Iowa running game coordinator.
But he has no experience coaching quarterbacks, besides having had Ken O’Keefe as the Iowa quarterback coach for the past five seasons.
Kirk Ferentz said Wednesday that O’Keefe’s influence over Brian Ferentz over the past five seasons was a factor that helped to convince him that Brian Ferentz was ready to take on this challenge.
The fact that Brian Ferentz is Kirk Ferentz’s son, obviously, makes the situation more unique, more complicated, and more controversial as Long points out in the podcast.
The interview with Long starts approximately 30 minutes into the podcast and lasts for about 40 minutes.
Long also reflected on where he was 40 years ago this month as a redshirt freshman quarterback at Iowa. He won the job in the spring of 1982 and would go on to be a four-year starter and the first player in Big Ten history to surpassed 10,000 career passing yards.