Kirk Ferentz, Class of 1973
College: University of Connecticut
Current City: Iowa City, Iowa
What is your current occupation/employer?
Head Football Coach at The University of Iowa
How did your experiences at Upper St. Clair help you to reach your educational and/or professional goals?
I felt like I got a good education at Upper St. Clair, but it was not until I went and visited other schools across the country that I realized just how fortunate I was. It was a great time for me at Upper St. Clair, it was a time of growth and we had some tremendous faculty that I am guessing is similar to today.
Beyond that, the people that were there and the teachers I still keep in touch with. We had a great math department, great English teachers, a really great faculty. Whether it was the athletics with coaches or teachers in the academic classes, it was a really good experience.
What was the most valuable lesson that you learned while a student at Upper St. Clair
During that time, I probably didn't know what I was learning, but you look back and start figuring things out. One of the things was, whether it was the coaches or the faculty, they challenge you to do your best, to work hard. They had high standards and that was a good thing, for anything you do, and really tried to pull it out of you.
What is your fondest memory during your time at Upper St. Clair?
That's a tough one. There are some good sports moments that stand out.
My senior year was probably one of the last times the football team had a losing season. We were 4-5, I believe. Our last game that season was against Uniontown, which was coached by Jim Render, and we beat them out in the mud. Since we didn't have a practice field that year we had to practice in the stadium all year and it was a wet fall. If we would have played on a dry field they would have beaten us by 40 points.
While that was a fun sports memory, the things I remember the most are the great people at Upper St. Clair.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
The thing I am happiest and proudest about is the stability we have been able to enjoy here. This is my 19th year as head coach and I spent nine here as an assistant so 28 years overall. I have been fortunate enough to only have three employers since I was a graduate assistant. I work for the University of Iowa, I worked for the University of Maine for three years and then I was with two pro-teams but one ownership group. Unfortunately, the team moved from Cleveland to Baltimore during my six years. I have had a lot of good help. Whether it was my wife with the kids, or the good coaches I have had come through here, they have all been tremendous
Is there anyone in particular who had a major impact on you during your time at Upper St. Clair? Please share who and how he/she made a difference in your life.
The first person that comes to mind is Fred Wickstrom, he took a real interest in me when I got called up to the varsity team mid season in 10th grade. Because of him and Bill Merrit I decided to teach and coach back in the 10th grade. After Bill Merrit, Coach Moore had as big of an impact of anybody in my life, outside my family. I played for him for one season, then ended up coaching with him at Pitt. He just kind of took me under his wing. It ended up he brought me out to Iowa and talked the coach into hiring me. So on the forefront, those people are really prominent. However, there are many teachers that impacted me and continue to impact me.
Describe Upper St. Clair in three words?
Great Community - Opportunity
What advice do you have for current Upper St. Clair students?
Live everyday and enjoy everyday. Respect the opportunity that's available and take advantage of your resources.
In 140 characters or less, what message would you share with your USC classmates?
“Life was great in the 70’s – hope it’s even better for everyone now!”