Assistant Coach Kirk Speraw announces retirement

Lumas Etima

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We also still have an opening for Eldridge's old position, right? I believe he was "director of recruiting and player development" before being named assistant coach last month.

With two spots to fill, there are some creative ways you could reshape the staff.
 
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BBHawk

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Obviously, you are exactly right. It's far more important to hire a quality coach than to hire someone for sentimental or nostalgic reasons.

That said, it's also important to get someone who is the right fit. And the right fit usually means someone who truly wants to be at Iowa -- ideally, someone who will work tirelessly to see the Hawkeye program succeed. And therein lies a potential advantage with former players. It doesn't mean you can't find the same quality in other guys -- it just might come naturally for guys who are already Hawkeyes.
We would hope but that's not always the case.
 
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SDHawkDoc

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I'll join the group who wants to see this opportunity go to a coach who is very defense oriented. That's long overdue.

If it's a former Hawk that's a bonus, but not a requirement by any means.

Alongside the defensive priority, I'd like to see it be someone with unique recruiting ties. Maybe someone with a history outside of the US. NIL money will be dominating the market for top 100 US born players. Might not be a bad strategy to look elsewhere.
 

amahawk

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Assistant Coach Kirk Speraw Announces Retirement

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa men’s basketball assistant coach Kirk Speraw announced his retirement, effective June 30, after 43 years of coaching college basketball. The announcement was made Wednesday by head coach Fran McCaffery.

Speraw began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Hall of Fame head coach Lute Olson on Iowa’s 1980 Final Four team and concludes as a 12-year assistant coach on McCaffery’s staff that won the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship.

“Kirk has been the ultimate professional and an important part of our basketball program since I arrived in Iowa City,” said McCaffery. “Kirk was well-respected by the players and was one of the key components of rebuilding the program. His knowledge of the game and relationships that he developed with the players, families and fans will be greatly missed. It has been an honor to work alongside Kirk all these years.”

“I was fortunate that Coach Olson gave me my start in coaching here at the University of Iowa and I am grateful that Coach McCaffery and Gary Barta brought me back to my alma mater to finish my coaching career with a Big Ten championship,” Speraw said. “I want to thank my wife, Tracy, and our four kids (Drew, Brooke, Dustin, Bailey) for their support and patience throughout my coaching career. And I want to thank all the student-athletes that I have had the honor to coach throughout my career. Go Hawks!”

The Sioux City, Iowa, native helped guide the Hawkeyes to 20 or more wins eight of the last 10 years. Speraw and the Hawkeyes placed fifth or better in the Big Ten standings six of the last eight seasons, including a third-place finish in 2021.

In 2022, the Hawkeyes won four games in four days to capture the Big Ten Tournament title, their third in program history. Iowa finished fourth in the conference standings and won 26 games; the second highest single season win total in program history.

Speraw and the coaching staff recruited and coached a first-team All-Big Ten honoree seven of the last nine years, including two of the most dominating players in college basketball each of the last three years. Luka Garza was twice named national player of the year and a consensus first-team All-America selection in 2020 and 2021, while Keegan Murray was a finalist for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, earned consensus first-team All-America laurels and was named the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year in 2022.

Over the last three seasons, Iowa combined to win 68 games -- fourth most over a three-year stretch in program history and most since 1987-89 -- finished each season ranked in the AP Poll -- something that has not been accomplished in more than three decades -- and won 17 contests over AP Top 25 opponents. Additionally, Iowa has had the Big Ten scoring champion each of the past three seasons, which is something that has not been accomplished by any team in the league in more than 50 years.

In 2021, Iowa won 14 Big Ten regular season games, its highest total since 1987. The Hawkeyes earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, tying its highest ever seed in the tournament.

Speraw and the Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in scoring each of the past three seasons, including ranking fifth nationally in 2021 (83.7) and 2022 (83.2). Iowa averaged more than 83 points in consecutive seasons for the first time in 27 years. Iowa was also tops in Division I in assist-to-turnover ratio in 2021 (2.0) and 2022 (1.74).

Speraw was the primary assistant who worked with Iowa’s perimeter players. In 2017, shooting guard Peter Jok became Iowa’s fifth Big Ten scoring champion in school history, averaging 19.9 points per game. Two years ago, Joe Wieskamp earned second-team all-conference laurels and was the only Division I player in the country with 400+ points, 200+ rebounds, 70+ 3-pointers and 25+ steals.

Speraw also helped mentor guard Jordan Bohannon to historic heights. Bohannon is Iowa’s career leader in assists (704), 3-pointers (455), free throw percentage (.887), double-doubles in points and assists (8) and games played (179). Jok and Bohannon combined for 174 triples in 2017, the most by a duo in a single season at Iowa. Bohannon is the only player in program history to total more than 2,000 points and 700 assists. Lastly, his 10 3-pointers at Maryland in 2022 established a new benchmark for 3-point field goals made in a game by a Hawkeye and broke the Xfinity Arena record.

As both an assistant and head coach, Speraw mentored dozens of players who played professionally, including Iowa’s Ronnie Lester, Steve Krafcisin, Vince Brookins, Steve Waite, Kenny Arnold, Kevin Boyle, Mark Gannon, Bobby Hansen, Devyn Marble, Aaron White, Jarrod Uthoff, Anthony Clemmons, Adam Woodbury, Jok, Garza and Wieskamp.

Prior to his successful coaching career, Speraw was on Olson’s Hawkeye roster for four seasons (1976-79), including lettering on the 1979 Big Ten regular season championship team.

After advancing to the 1980 Final Four as a graduate assistant, Speraw moved to Denver University, where he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for former Iowa assistant coach Floyd Theard for two years (1981-82).

Speraw rejoined the Hawkeyes after serving 17 years as head coach at the University of Central Florida (1994-2010). During his tenure, 18 players received all-league honors, including four first-team honorees and 54 student-athletes earned academic all-conference recognition. His tenure included four NCAA Tournament berths (1994, ’96, ’04 and ‘05). In 2007, he was recognized as Conference USA Coach of the Year after guiding the Knights to 22 victories and a second-place league finish. His most successful season at UCF was in 2004, when the Knights won 25 games, received votes in the Top 25 and won the Atlantic Sun Championship, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Prior to his head coaching job at UCF, Speraw served as an assistant coach at the University of Florida for three seasons (1991-93) under head coach Lon Kruger. While on the Florida staff, the Gators participated in two NIT’s, including advancing to the semifinals in 1992.

Prior to his three years in Gainesville, Speraw was the head coach at Pensacola Junior College (PJC) from 1988-90. At PJC, he led the Pirates to an 82-21 record and three consecutive Panhandle Conference titles. Speraw was tabbed the NABC/Kodak National Junior College Coach of the Year, as well as the state’s Coach of the Year after his 1990 team won 31 games and finished fifth nationally.

Speraw also had a coaching stop at Florida Southern, serving as an assistant from 1983-87. The Moccasins made four appearances in the Division II NCAA Tournament, including a third-place finish in 1986.
Good luck and best wishes to him.
 

amahawk

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I'll join the group who wants to see this opportunity go to a coach who is very defense oriented. That's long overdue.

If it's a former Hawk that's a bonus, but not a requirement by any means.

Alongside the defensive priority, I'd like to see it be someone with unique recruiting ties. Maybe someone with a history outside of the US. NIL money will be dominating the market for top 100 US born players. Might not be a bad strategy to look elsewhere.
Elon Musk?
 

Franisdaman

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Go outside of any past connections.

The idea of Oliver/Koch connection for one recruit??????? Nah.

This. It might be popular to have a former Iowa player with some fans and/or parents of Iowa kids but it really has little to no effect on national recruiting. Iowa needs someone who adds something to the staff. Not saying that the 3 former players mentioned wouldn't do that but are they the top assistant coaches out there? That's my question.

Obviously, you are exactly right. It's far more important to hire a quality coach than to hire someone for sentimental or nostalgic reasons.

That said, it's also important to get someone who is the right fit. And the right fit usually means someone who truly wants to be at Iowa -- ideally, someone who will work tirelessly to see the Hawkeye program succeed. And therein lies a potential advantage with former players. It doesn't mean you can't find the same quality in other guys -- it just might come naturally for guys who are already Hawkeyes.


You 3 are in agreement. But I simply ask this: do any of you have any evidence that says Dean is not a quality coach and is not a good recruiter?

And for Mitch to write and for BBHawk to agree that Fran would only go for Dean because of the Cooper and JR Koch connection is simply not true.
 

Franisdaman

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FSf8J0kXsAQx0zZ
 

HawkHoops80

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Keep in mind that Kirk was the main assistant with the guards. Getting a guard who started every game for 4 years at Iowa and is a young coach with some good experience sounds like a win in my books.
 

MitchLL

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You 3 are in agreement. But I simply ask this: do any of you have any evidence that says Dean is not a quality coach and is not a good recruiter?

And for Mitch to write and for BBHawk to agree that Fran would only go for Dean because of the Cooper and JR Koch connection is simply not true.
Someone mentioned it, I just said I didn't think it wasn't prudent for a specific recruit.
 

Franisdaman

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This is a column from today (Chad Leistikow, HawkCentral).

Some excerpts;

The usual names of ex-Hawkeye players now in the coaching business were immediately floated: Dean Oliver (a five-year Wisconsin assistant), Jeff Horner (head coach at Division III Truman State) and Matt Gatens. Of the three, Gatens — who has spent the last three years on staff under Darian DeVries at Drake — makes a lot of mutual sense. Gatens is an Iowa City kid; a player who helped keep Iowa’s early teams under McCaffery afloat; a masterful shooter and offensive player; and someone who understands the value of in-state recruiting.

At the same time, though, McCaffery has an opportunity here to go outside the box. The calls for a defensive guru are also already out there, but I don’t see McCaffery — who turns 63 on May 23 — going that route. He’s an offensive-minded coach and always will be.

He also wasn’t caught off-guard by Speraw’s announcement. Long before the press-release emerged at 10:47 a.m. Wednesday, McCaffery likely already had a short list of replacements in his mind.

Speraw’s was known as the Hawkeyes’ “Shot Doctor” and could quickly identify flaws in a shooting stroke and fix them. Iowa is annually one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country. Speraw, with 43 years of coaching experience, has had a huge role in that.

Until Andrew Francis left in the spring of 2019, McCaffery’s three core assistants had been with him since he was hired at Iowa in 2010. Now, only Sherman Dillard remains from McCaffery's original staff.

In Speraw's final year as a Hawkeye player, Iowa shared the regular-season Big Ten championship in 1979. And now in his final season as a Hawkeye coach, he leaves as a Big Ten Tournament champion.



 

HawkLogic

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Fran is very much a circle of trust guy so wouldn’t surprise me if his first call is to try to get Andrew Francis back.
I agree he will reach out to someone he already knows that will be another yes man.

Fran needs a placeholder assistant or maybe Dillard is the guy with known expiration date 3-4 years in the future..Fran will want to hire CMAC down the road. That is what you do at Nep U.

Place CMAC at an entry level gig for 2 years at one of his coaching buddies......then bring him back.
 
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MonmouthHawk

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Gonna need someone big and strong enough to tackle Fran, gotta keep him from getting ejected. Billy Taylor had the size and strength. Speraw is the real deal, hope they can find a high character guy that can recruit and teach D.
 

herkyihawks

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There is a defensive-minded former B1G head-coach who is recently unemployed. Maybe Iowa should call him and his son could be the recruitment director too.
 

hawksense

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Here are some choices everyone can shoot down: John Wooden. Bruce Pearl. Jay Bilas. Jay Wright. Lite Olsen. Jim Bartels. Ronnie Lester. Kevin Boyle. Luka Garza. Frank Garza. Gene Hackman.
 

truehawkfan45

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The suggestion of Fran hiring a defensive guru as assistant is too funny. Have y’all ever seen the team practice? They literally don’t focus on defense and never will, I can’t believe some fans and reporters still think that might not be the case.
 

The Deplorable Sleeping Dog

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The position has been filled (hasn’t been announced yet, obviously). Matt Gatens is Iowa’s new Assistant Coach.

He was a coach this past season. Judging from the body language even the officials treated him more like a coach. He also did a lot of pointing and talking on the floor. He seems like the kind of a guy that would become a good coach.

But there are two jobs available, and Connor is not an option. at this point. Love to see Deano and certainly good with Jeff Horner but maybe not both. Iowa needs a younger guy for recruiting and a guy that understands and creates defenses. Pretty specific job description and I don't know if there's market availability but the guy that answers the job description would fill a gaping hole in the program.
 

K OKeefe

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Yeah, just like Nebraska football! Let’s fire the coach that just won the B10 tournament and the 2nd most wins in school history….brilliant
Sounds like a plan let us do it. After all, what I have observed watching the B1G in the NCAA Tournament suggests that winning the B1G Tournament is not that big of a deal. Heck, the Clowns clubbed B1G powerhouse Wisky in the Round of 32. I almost forgot the Clowns pounded Iowa as well. Does that make the Clowns the B1G champ?
 
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unoHawkeye

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Hope Coach Speraw enjoys retirement… been an incredibly valuable member of the staff it sounds like.

Connor’s not an option this year, so this is a bit OT, but I hope that Fran ships him off for a few years post-graduation a la Brian Ferentz to the Pats in order to give him some different perspectives etc. I’m sure that there are plenty of colleges that would see the value in having a guy like CMC on staff, and could maybe even get a couple years of NBA experience before coming back to Iowa
 

perryhawk

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Sounds like a plan let us do it. After all, what I have observed watching the B1G in the NCAA Tournament suggests that winning the B1G Tournament is not that big of a deal. Heck, the Clowns clubbed B1G powerhouse Wisky in the Round of 32.
Wow….that’s weak! Winning the B10 tournament isn’t that big of a deal? Jebus, when’s the last time Iowa won it? What are the other teams that won it in the interim?

Sounds like you love you some clowns! Go ahead and follow them (or is that your real team?) so you don’t have to live in such misery! It would be appreciated by many.
 

vgshwk

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You 3 are in agreement. But I simply ask this: do any of you have any evidence that says Dean is not a quality coach and is not a good recruiter?

And for Mitch to write and for BBHawk to agree that Fran would only go for Dean because of the Cooper and JR Koch connection is simply not true.
They are going to hire Connor to make sure they get Jack.
 

K OKeefe

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Wow….that’s weak! Winning the B10 tournament isn’t that big of a deal? Jebus, when’s the last time Iowa won it? What are the other teams that won it in the interim?

Sounds like you love you some clowns! Go ahead and follow them (or is that your real team?) so you don’t have to live in such misery! It would be appreciated by many.
Just speaking truth and presenting facts. Definitely not a Clowns fan. Sorry you and others do not like it- I guess that is on you.
 
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LGEND24

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Wow….that’s weak! Winning the B10 tournament isn’t that big of a deal? Jebus, when’s the last time Iowa won it? What are the other teams that won it in the interim?

Sounds like you love you some clowns! Go ahead and follow them (or is that your real team?) so you don’t have to live in such misery! It would be appreciated by many.
Yeah, Iowa usually flames out in the B1G tournament (much like the NCAA tournament). What a great endorsement of Fran McCaffery there.
 

BBHawk

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You 3 are in agreement. But I simply ask this: do any of you have any evidence that says Dean is not a quality coach and is not a good recruiter?

And for Mitch to write and for BBHawk to agree that Fran would only go for Dean because of the Cooper and JR Koch connection is simply not true.
Where did I say that?
 
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The suggestion of Fran hiring a defensive guru as assistant is too funny. Have y’all ever seen the team practice? They literally don’t focus on defense and never will, I can’t believe some fans and reporters still think that might not be the case.
Agree! You don't think that Fran & 3 assistants haven't addressed their defensive woes and dont know how to teach defense? Will another new coach really make a difference?
 
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