When asked recently about the 2023 season, Iowa Hawkeyes’ head football coach, Kirk Ferentz said that he did not anticipate any changes to the coaching staff before next season. At 67 years old and having just completed his 24th year as the head coach of the Hawkeyes, retirement is definitely a topic for the longest-tenured head in college football.
With that said, given recent activity with the press, retirement is not something on Coach Ferentz’s mind going into the 2023 football season. While it seems that the only way that the Hawkeyes and Coach Ferentz would part ways would be through retirement, which could be on the horizon for one of the oldest coaches in college football.
It may not be before the 2023 season, but Hawkeyes fans definitely could start thinking about who might replace Kirk Ferentz when he does decide to retire. One potential replacement could be Josh Gattis.
Could ex-Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Josh Gattis be one of the Iowa Hawkeyes’ top targets if the position opens up in Iowa City? https://t.co/DSfwElbGfS
— Hawkeyes Wire (@HawkeyesWire) January 29, 2023
Who is Josh Gattis
Gattis is most recently known as the offensive coordinator for the University of Miami, who was fired after only one season. Prior to his coaching career, Gattis played safety at Wake Forest University, before being drafted in the 5th round of the 2007 draft, by the Jacksonville Jaguars. His playing career would end in 2008, after playing in five games with the Chicago Bears.
Following his football playing career, Josh Gattis would serve as a graduate assistant at North Carolina for one season, in 2010. He would then be hired as the wide receivers coach at Western Michigan, where he would also spend a season.
From there, Gattis would spend 2012 and 2013 as the wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt. He would then move on to Penn State, where he would serve as the passing game coordinator, offensive recruiting coordinator, and wide receivers coach from 2014-2017. Gattis would follow his time at Penn State with one season at Alabama, in 2018, where he would be the team’s co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
Offensive Coordinator at University of Michigan
After falling to Clemson in the National Championship game, Gattis would accept a position to be the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at the University of Michigan, a position he would hold from 2019-2021. Following the 2021 season and a trip to the College Football Playoff, Josh Gattis would be the recipient of the Broyles Award, which is given to the best assistant coach in college football.
He would win the award after a season in which the Wolverines won 11 games in the regular season, with their only loss coming to a Michigan State team that was ranked number eight in the country.
They would go on to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship, before falling to the top seed, Georgia Bulldogs, in the Capital One Orange Bowl, the College Football Playoff Semifinal Game, which would be their lowest-scoring game of the season.
To Gattis’ credit, the offense was the strength of the Wolverines in 2021, as they scored over 30 points in 10 of their 14 games, being held to less than 20 only once, by Georgia.
The University of #Miami have fired Offensive Coordinator Josh Gattis. He won the Broyles Award in 2021 as the top coordinator in the country at #Michigan, but the Hurricanes have decided to move in another direction after being ranked 97th in scoring. #ACC #CFB pic.twitter.com/zIRO4nPFzc
— Justin Time Sports (@JTIMESPORTS) January 27, 2023
Short Tenure At The University Of Miami
Following his time at Michigan, Gattis would move on in 2022, accepting the same position as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at the University of Miami. He would be let go after only one season with the Hurricanes, holding the position for less than one calendar year.
Miami’s season in 2022 was disappointing, to say the least, as the team finished with a record of 5-7. The Hurricanes were held to less than 20 points five times in 2022 and scored over 30 points four times. This certainly was not what Miami hoped for with an offense led by the reigning Broyles Award winner.
Despite Miami’s subpar offense in 2022, Josh Gattis has shown an ability to successfully lead an offense, especially in the Big Ten Conference. Seeing as 2022 was only Gattis’ fourth season as an offensive coordinator, he will likely need to show a few more strong seasons before finding himself in head coaching conversations.
2021: Josh Gattis awarded Broyles Award for best assistant in country.
2022: Miami hires Gattis as their OC
Today: Miami fires Gattis pic.twitter.com/hHFhsw555H
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) January 27, 2023
Can He Be a Good Fit For The Hawkeyes?
As far as the conversation currently goes, Josh Gattis might be a better fit to take over as the Iowa Hawkeyes offensive coordinator, rather than as their head coach.
With the current head coach, Kirk Ferentz’s coaching career likely coming to an end sometime in the coming years, Josh Gattis could very easily make his way into replacement conversations, should he return to that former Broyles Award-winning status wherever he lands in 2023.
This might not be the time for Gattis to take over as Iowa’s head coach, not only due to the status of Kirk Ferentz but also his performance in Miami. However, Josh Gattis will be an intriguing topic in the coming years. If he is able to rebound in 2023, wherever that might be, then Gattis can elevate himself to potential head coach status.
The grass isn’t always greener, my guy. https://t.co/Q0AusbMTL3
— WolverinesWire (@wolverineswire) January 27, 2023
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