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Bowlsby not unhappy with 'snapshot'

Iowa AD has seen 'clear improvement' since spring drills

Posted September 7, 1999

By Chad Leistikow
Gazette sportswriter

More coverage: Photos | Boxscore

IOWA CITY -- Bob Bowlsby went through hell last year. The University of Iowa athletics director was questioned and criticized for the mayhem that followed the hiring of football coach Hayden Fry's successor.

Saturday, the man under the gun last December got his first chance to evaluate the new man under the gun, Kirk Ferentz.

"This was designed to be a snapshot, to let us know where we were at," Bowlsby said.

So how did this big picture turn out?

The score was Nebraska 42, Iowa 7. But it was 0-0 for 22 minutes, and the Hawkeyes trailed the No.5 team 7-0 at halftime.

Bowlsby can live with that.

"I've seen clear improvement since last spring. I'm very pleased," Bowlsby said. "I think this is one of the better defenses we'll play against all year.

"I don't think there are any moral victories, but I think we came out and played as hard as we could, and represented ourselves with pride."

Bowlsby doesn't talk much about it, but he is aware he and Ferentz are under a watchful public eye after what happened following Fry's departure.

Ferentz, an offensive coach of a slumping NFL franchise at the time, won the job a few days after former Florida defensive coordinator Bob Stoops -- a young, energetic, successful former Hawkeye and the people's choice to succeed Fry -- unexpectedly took the head coaching job at Oklahoma.

"From the very beginning, I've known (Ferentz) was an outstanding football coach. He's put together a very good staff," Bowlsby said.

"I probably have fewer apprehensions along those lines than what other folks might have.

"My only job is to go out and hire the very best coaches I can hire.

"And I think we hired a terrific person and a terrific coach in Kirk Ferentz."

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