Meet the team that brings you the Hawks on Q107.5:
A Cascade, Iowa native, Gary handles all play-by-play action of both Iowa football and men’s basketball. In addition, Dolphin also serves as the host of the weekly coach’s shows during the season with football Coach Kirk Ferentz and men’s basketball Coach Fran McCaffery. Dolphin is a three-time Iowa Sportscaster of the Year. He is in his 21st year of broadcasting Iowa football and basketball on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Dolphin, overall, is in his 45th year of play-by-play broadcasting, which includes seven years of broadcasting basketball games for Northwestern University. He served as the Network Television Coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 1989-99.
Dolphin is joined on all University of Iowa football broadcasts by former Hawkeye and NFL great Ed Podolak. A native of Atlantic, Iowa, Podolak was a three-year letterman for the Hawkeyes (1966- 68) as a quarterback and running back. He enjoyed a lengthy professional career with the Kansas City Chiefs and is a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame. He has been a part of Iowa football broadcasts for 35 years and over 425 games.
COACH KIRK FERENTZ
Kirk Ferentz is in his 20th season as head football coach and 29th season overall at the University of Iowa. His tenure as Iowa’s head football coach trails only Hayden Fry, who led the Hawkeyes for 20 seasons (1979-98). Ferentz shares the distinction of being the longest tenured head football coach in the nation.
With three straight wins to close the 2016 regular season (two over ranked opponents), Ferentz guided the Hawkeyes to as many as eight wins (8-5) for the ninth season since 2002. Iowa posted a 6-3 record in Big Ten play to tie for second place in the West Division.
Iowa defeated second-ranked Michigan and 15th-ranked Nebraska in the final month of the 2016 season, earning the 10th January bowl invitation of the Ferentz era. Iowa closed the year with its fifth appearance in the Outback Bowl under Ferentz.
Ferentz led the 2015 Hawkeyes to a perfect regular season, setting a school record with 12 wins (12-2). The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten Conference West Division (8-0) before falling to Michigan State (16-13) in the championship game. The Hawkeyes earned Iowa’s sixth invitation to the Rose Bowl, the first appearance for Iowa in Pasadena in 25 years.
Ferentz was recognized with both the Hayes-Schembecher and Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year awards in 2015. He was named Eddie Robinson (FWAA) and Woody Hayes national Coach of the Year (Columbus Touchdown Club), and received the Dodd Trophy, presented by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. He was also named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region 3 Coach of the Year.
Ferentz joined the Iowa staff after serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He had been a part of the Baltimore (Cleveland Browns prior to the move) organization for six years.
Ferentz’ coaching career began as a student assistant (1977) at his alma mater, Connecticut. The next two years (1978-79) were spent at Worcester Academy, where he also taught English literature. He served as a graduate assistant offensive line coach at Pittsburgh during the 1980 season. That Pittsburgh team (coached by Jackie Sherrill) finished with an 11-1 record and a number two national ranking.
He joined Fry’s staff in 1981 as offensive line coach and the Hawkeyes won their first conference title and Rose Bowl berth in over 20 years. A string of 19 straight non-winning seasons came to an end in 1981. Ferentz continued as Iowa’s line coach thru the 1989 season.
Offensive lines under the direction of Ferentz anchored four of Iowa’s highest scoring offenses. Eight of Iowa’s top 10 offensive teams, in terms of yards gained per game, have operated with Ferentz as the head coach or offensive line coach. And, Iowa’s top nine passing teams of all time have occurred with Ferentz as the head coach or offensive line coach.
Eleven Hawkeyes, coached by Ferentz (the assistant), went on to play in the National Football League. They were John Alt, Rob Baxley, Dave Croston, Scott Davis, Mike Devlin, Chris Gambol, Mike Haight, Ron Hallstrom, Joel Hilgenberg, Bob Kratch and Brett Miller. Alt, Haight and Hallstrom were first round picks in the NFL Draft and five of his players were first team all-Big Ten.
Ferentz was named head coach of the Maine Bears in 1990 and held that position for three years before being hired by Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns.
Ferentz served as the honorary chair of the University of Iowa’s 1999-00 United Way campaign. He and his wife, Mary, have given multiple major financial gifts to the University of Iowa. Those gifts include a $400,000 gift to the University’s College of Liberal Arts and University Children’s Hospital and a $100,000 gift to the University’s College of Liberal Arts in 2003.
The most recent gift is a commitment of $500,000 to support the Iowa Football Legacy Campaign. The Iowa Football Legacy Campaign comprises two key projects for the Hawkeye football program: the new indoor practice facility, completed in 2012; and the Stew and LeNore Hansen Football Performance Center, completed in 2015.
Kirk and Mary are very enthusiastic supporters of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. From serving as advocates for the hospital across the state; to hosting and speaking at events to raise support for UI Children’s Hospital; to their personal generosity in establishing the “Ferentz Family Pediatric Research and Education Endowment Fund” in 2007. In addition, the Iowa Women’s Football Academy has donated more than $1 million to the University of Iowa’s new Children’s Hospital, which opened recently across the street from Kinnick Stadium.
Ferentz was born Aug. 1, 1955, in Royal Oak, Michigan. He attended Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. He was a football captain and an academic all-Yankee Conference linebacker at UConn.
Ferentz received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in May, 2009. He was inducted into the Upper St. Clair High School Hall of Fame in September, 2002 and the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in May, 2003.
Ferentz and his wife, Mary, have five children, and one granddaughter (Presley), and two grandsons (John and Forest). They are Brian, Kelly, Joanne, James and Steven. Brian was a three-year letterman and captain (2003-05) with the Hawkeye football team. He was named Iowa’s offensive coordinator following the 2016 season. He joined the Iowa coaching staff in 2012 as offensive line coach, and was named run-game coordinator prior to the 2015 season. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa in 2006. James was also a three-year letterman and captain (2010-12) for the Hawkeyes. He started at center in all 38 games in his last three seasons and has played for the Denver Broncos the last two seasons. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa in 2012. Steven completed his Iowa playing career as a fifth-year senior offensive lineman in 2016. Joanne earned her bachelor’s degree from Iowa in 2010 and Kelly earned her JD and MHA degrees from Iowa in 2010 and 2011.