IOWA CITY, Iowa - Derrick Foster is so excited and honored to be the newest member of the Iowa football team's coaching staff that he doesn't mind some of the unpleasant demands that come with his new job.
That includes scraping ice off the windows of his car, which is something new for the Alabama native.
"Everyone here has been very friendly and very welcoming," Foster said. "Me and my wife, we gladly and greatly appreciate it and we look forward to developing relationships on campus and we look forward to whatever Iowa has to bring, including the snow. So I had an opportunity to go out and get me an ice scraper right before the snow hit. So like you can imagine, I was out at six in the morning scraping ice off my windows."
Foster's wife Bianca is from Jacksonville, Fla., so neither has spent much time around snow until now.
But they both are more than willing to adjust to cold weather because joining Kirk Ferentz's staff as running backs coach is a significant step up for Foster.
"It is a big break for a young man like myself," Foster said while meeting with the Iowa media for the first time on Wednesday. "But I'm eager to learn and everybody does it differently. So I want to learn how we're going to do it here. I want to learn the best way of reaching my players here. I want to learn how coach Ferentz has been so successful through the years."
Foster spent the last two seasons as running backs coach and running game coordinator at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He has coached wide receivers and running backs at Tennessee, Northwestern State University, and Valdosta State University.
He and Iowa linebackers coach Seth Wallace both coached together at Valdosta State and that helped put Foster on Iowa's radar.
"I want to thank coach Ferentz for this tremendous opportunity," Foster said. "It is an honor to be part of an outstanding staff, and outstanding program that is well represented and has a lot of rich tradition."
Foster had previously interviewed for a job on the Iowa staff slightly less than a year ago when Ferentz was looking to fill two assistant positions. Foster wasn't hired back then, but he made a positive impression that stuck with Ferentz.
"He made a great impression on everybody involved in the process, whether it be staff members, support staff, et cetera," Ferentz said. "Basically, when we're looking at coaches, we're trying to get good people who we think can be good coaches and good teachers. Guys that are going to be effective in recruiting. That's really important certainly in what we do.
"But I think what is maybe as important as anything are guys that are going to be really good staff members, work with the other guys on the staff, and then also be good mentors for our players. And I can say with confidence, that's what we have on our staff right now. And I'll also say with confidence that that's got us very excited about Derrick joining the staff, and I'm very confident he's going to add a lot to our football program and be really good for our players."
Ferentz confirmed that his son, Brian Ferentz, will now coach the tight ends in addition to being the offensive coordinator, while LeVar Woods will handle special teams.
Foster is expected to help Iowa recruit in the talent-rich southeastern part of the United States, although, nothing was confirmed on Wednesday.
Foster told the media on Wednesday that his ultimate goal is to be a head coach and he feels that working under Kirtk Ferentz will help him achoeve that goal.
The 62-year old Ferentz is the longest-tenured college football coach in the countrty with 19 seasons under his belt at Iowa.
"I think that's the great thing about this relationship is learning how he's done things over the 19, 20 years he's been here at Iowa," Foster said.
Foster was a three-year starting receiver at Southwest Baptist College in Missouri, where he produced a record-shattering 2007 campaign. He ranked sixth in the conference with 44 catches in 2007. Foster played in 41 of 44 games and had 93 career receptions. As a prep, he was a 1,000-yard rusher at Goshen (Alabama) High School, where he was an All-County running back.
Foster is a native of Goshen, Alabama. He earned a bachelor's degree in sport management from Southwest Baptist in 2010 and a master's in public administration from Valdosta State University in 2013. Foster is married to the former Bianca Cooper.
Foster's hiring comes as a result of the NCAA allowing FBS programs to add a 10th fulltime assistant.
Spring game set; Iowa's annual spring game will be held on Friday night April 20 at Kinnick Stadium.
Iowa Sports Information Director Steve Roe made the announcement before Wednesday's press conference. This will mark the second consecutive year that Iowa will end spring practice on a Friday night.
It doesn't appear, though, that Iowa will hold a spring practice in West Des Moines this year. That had been a recent tradition.