Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, whose name has been linked with every open job save one in President Bush's cabinet, said Saturday that he is not interested in replacing Tyrone Willingham at Notre Dame.
With the decision by Urban Meyer to spurn Notre Dame for Florida, Ferentz's name surfaced as a candidate to go to South Bend. Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White held the same job at Maine when Ferentz coached the Black Bears in the early 1990s.
Ferentz said he has turned aside "several third-party inquiries" for jobs in Division I-A and the NFL this fall as the Hawkeyes surprised the Big Ten by going 9-2 and tying Michigan for the conference title.
"The only reason to go for the NFL would be for the money," Ferentz said Saturday. "That's never been the number one factor. There are very few jobs that would interest me. People out here are unique. It's like Disneyland. Everybody smiles. What I saw in the '80s [as an Iowa assistant under Hayden Fry] convinced me that if you do things right here, you can win. I don't know if we can win the Big Ten two out of three years all the time. But we can be there in November. I can't ever envision getting fired for going 9-3. The guy in the next state [Frank Solich of Nebraska] did."
Ferentz is 41-31 in six seasons at Iowa. In the last three seasons, the Hawkeyes have gone 30-7.
"I know it sounds corny. I really thought about it. To be in coaching and have a good job and allow your kids to know where home is, is ideal."