New men’s basketball coach bungles first hire



New UNI men’s basketball Head Coach Ben Jacobsen spoke to the media after accidentally hiring Brian Ferentz, Iowa football’s Offensive Coordinator.

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New UNI men’s basketball Head Coach Ben Jacobsen hired his first assistant coach as he attempts to prepare for basketball season. It was an unusual hire, and seems to be the result of more paperwork errors and misunderstandings. The assistant Jacobsen hired was Brian Ferentz, the Iowa offensive coordinator for football, not basketball. Ferentz has spent his whole coaching career as a football coach.

In the press conference announcing the move, Jacobsen seemed positive about the move. “I hired Brian Ferentz because his resume talked extensively about his work with centers. He told me, ‘I have lots of experience teaching centers to block.’ I really want to have a great post defense this year, and teaching centers to block shots is going to be a key part.”

When a reporter explained that Ferentz was a football coach, and not a basketball coach, Jacobsen was taken aback. “Oh no! I knew I would mess something up. I don’t even follow football. How was I supposed to know that they had centers in football too?”

Ferentz was equally shocked at the news that he had been hired as a basketball coach. “I spoke on the phone with Coach Jacobsen. He told me he was the new coach, and so I just assumed he was the new football coach. He really spoke my lingo. He said he wanted to have strong center play to win the war in the trenches. He wanted to build his team around defense, and that’s how I feel about it too.”

After the press conference, reporters went to talk to the Director of Athletics, David Harris. This was not the first mistake he’s made recently, as a bungled contract extension was what led to Coach Jacobsen getting the job instead of Ben Jacobson, who had been the head basketball coach for 17 seasons. Harris was defensive. “Look, the hire of Coach Jacobsen was a simple spelling mistake. It’s really easy to miss one letter. Now, I think he’s going to do a great job. I didn’t want to butt in on his first hire. He was really excited about getting a coach to sign so quickly, and he assured me he had it all under control. We’ll just roll with it.”

Despite the mixup, the plan is to go forward with the hire. Firing Ferentz or reassigning him to the football team would require more paperwork and contracts, and we know how that goes. “Yeah, no more paperwork if I can help it. Who knows, I might accidentally fire myself,” Jacobsen joked.

The next day, Jacobsen had another press conference about the first practice with Brian Ferentz. “I actually think it went pretty well. Brian has taught the players to be more physical, and I think that could be good. I did have to call some offensive fouls and moving screens on our big men, but I think they’ll adjust with time.”

Ferentz agreed. “I mean, basketball and football are basically the same thing. I’m pretty sure I’ll only need a couple more practices to really get the hang of it. I was a little confused when my guys opened up space for Bowen Born to go to the end zone and he pulled up for a three instead, but hey, I was used to only getting three points each trip at Iowa, too.”

There are still questions about the fit and whether Jacobsen really has everything under control, but administrators are still giving him freedom to try out this job and see if he and Ferentz are the right fit for UNI’s men’s basketball program.