Hawkeye coaches upbeat at I-Club Banquet - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Hawkeye coaches upbeat at I-Club Banquet

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Iowa assistant basketball coach Kirk Speraw talks with reporters at Monday's I-Club Banquet in Sioux City. Iowa assistant basketball coach Kirk Speraw talks with reporters at Monday's I-Club Banquet in Sioux City.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) - One of the easiest tickets to sell is one that gets you into the annual I-Club Banquet. A sellout crowd of about 500 Hawkeye fans turn out in Sioux City to talk to their favorite coaches and players in person.

The headliner for this year's visit was head football coach Kirk Ferentz. Entering his 16th year, expectations are high after went 8-5 last year, losing to LSU in the Outback Bowl.

The Hawks have a favorable schedule; they don't play Michigan, Michigan State or  Ohio State. Iowa is 18th in an ESPN preseason poll and Nebraska and Wisconsin are the only ranked teams they'll play.

"The wins that we had, we had to fight hard for and we're going to have to fight again hard to win eight," Ferentz said. "Then, to get beyond that, you have to take it up another level.  It's easier said than done.  Those are the things we're looking at, but first things first we haven't won a game this year. We have a lot of pieces of the puzzle to put together and a lot of hard work between now and August."

Assistant men's basketball coach Kirk Speraw was back in his hometown. The Sioux City North grad helped Iowa reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in eight years. With several starters back, including Sioux City East grad Adam Woodbury and South Sioux's Mike Gesell -- a longer tourney run is expected.

"There were high expectations going into this year and we like that," said Speraw. "We like that the fact that a lot is expected of our guys. They embrace that. They've worked very, very hard this spring since the end of the season. We're excited for next year and looking forward to it."

Women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder also attended the I-Club Banquet at the Sioux City Convention Center.
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