Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday.
Ferentz, 65, tested positive Thursday during his daily antigen test and had the result confirmed by a PCR test. He is asymptomatic and will self-isolate at home until Dec. 27.
Iowa had its home game with Michigan scheduled for Saturday canceled because of COVID-19 issues with the Wolverines program. The 16th-ranked Hawkeyes won their final six games of the regular season after an 0-2 start. Iowa will learn its bowl destination Sunday.
“We have been fortunate this season to have played eight games and to have very few positive cases,” Ferentz said in a prepared statement. “When the team returns to practice on Tuesday, I will participate via Zoom and our collective focus will be on preparing for the bowl game.”
Ferentz appeared Thursday afternoon on KXNO radio in Des Moines, Iowa, and was coughing throughout his segment with hosts Keith Murphy and Andy Fales, who let the coach go a bit early. The hosts referenced Ferentz’s coughing and asked if he has greater concerns because of COVID-19, noting that Iowa coaches are players are tested daily.
“This whole thing has created a new level of stress, going back eight, 10 weeks ago,” Ferentz said. “Every time I see Kammy Powell, our trainer, coming down the hall, or when she sends a text, I’m like, ‘Oh boy,’ because you just don’t know with our players, coaches, et cetera. Not that I wanted to get sick. I’m not even suggesting that, that would be really stupid. But it wasn’t that big of a deal back in July and June. But once the season got going, I don’t think any of us wanted to miss anything, so there’s a whole new level level of stress and anxiety that this has created.”
Ferentz is the fifth Big Ten head coach known to test positive for COVID-19, joining Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, Mayland’s Mike Locksley and Ohio State’s Ryan Day.