Ferentz: Thanks to the Iowa Hawkeye Fans

In his opening press conference statements, Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz thanks the Iowa fans for their energy and support and he heaps praise on his players and coaching staff for their efforts this season.

KIRK FERENTZ OPENING STATEMENTS

I want to start out again by thanking our fans. What a tremendous environment that was out there on Saturday. I talked to several people that have been coming to games here for decades, and they said that was about as good as they can remember, and in my 15 years, it ranks right up there.

As I have said many times, our players are energized by our fans, and we had plenty of energy at 3:32 or whenever we kicked off. It was great. I cannot say enough about how our team performed out there. They played a tough football game. It was fun to watch it from the sideline, most of the time.

For the season to end up like it did, I can't say enough about the effort of our players and staff; they have done a fantastic job. To end up being co-champions of the league and end up in the Capital One Bowl, what a great story it has been.

We will all take this week and enjoy it. We have all been floating around here for a couple of days, I know that I am in that group, and I suspect our players are doing the same thing; they have all earned that right to enjoy life a little bit. We will back to business a little bit next Monday.

Obviously, we will have a great challenge and end up playing an outstanding team from the SEC.

The last news item is to congratulate Jonathon Babineaux being named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. He earned that; I thought he played a fantastic game. I thought his associates up front did a pretty good job overall. I thought those guys got after their front pretty well.

I also want to congratulate all of our guys that earned all Big Ten honors. There are a lot of great stories in there. I felt some guys that made honorable mention might have come up higher than they did, but that is the way it goes.

I talked about my good buddy Larry Izzo last week. The #2 guy in the Patriots organization was in last week He got in Wednesday night, was here through the game and joined the team Sunday morning in Kansas City. He was here with their head of scouting, and we got to talking a little bit on Thursday.

We talked about Izzo, and something that he pointed out that I missed was that five Kansas City Chiefs made that midseason All Pro list (in Sports Illustrated). (Kirk remarked last week that just one player from the Patriots made that list, special teamer Larry Izzo)

I guess the comparison is that you look at their record, and you look at New England's record; you don't have to have all first team guys. That is kind of the way our season was, the credit goes to the entire team. Our football team played as a team, and that is how we got it done.

I could not be more proud of them, I am happy for the guys that got honors, but as far as I am concerned, everybody that was out there for us, I am a little biased, but we'll take them.

We'll take them and we will go to Florida.

Q: And you also had the coach of the year

Yeah, he snuck in there. It's probably true every time there is a coach of the year, but especially this year; I think it's staff of the year and team of the year.

We sure as heck didn't do it with any one person. This year really illustrates the importance of teamwork. I am really honored and flattered, but this year more than any other I have been associated with, you have to give the credit to a lot of people here.

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