Iowa rehires Kirk Ferentz's son-in-law for staff position

AP News
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Posted: Apr 29, 2016 6:56 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has rehired the son-in-law of football coach Kirk Ferentz to a staff position, three years after he departed following questions about nepotism.

This time, Tyler Barnes will have more responsibilities and a salary more than twice as big.

Iowa announced Friday that Barnes would be the team's recruiting director, in charge of identifying prospects and helping coordinate recruiting trips and visits. The 30-year-old Barnes had been working as an assistant at Vanderbilt since 2013.

Barnes was hired in 2012 to work as an administrative assistant for the Hawkeyes when he was dating Ferentz's daughter, Joanne. Ferentz later pushed to extend Barnes' temporary position for a second year without disclosing to athletic director Gary Barta or others that Barnes was his future son-in-law. That avoided a public search for the position, but later drew scrutiny and a university review.

The university moved Barnes' supervision outside the football program after their relationship was reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The lack of disclosure was in conflict with the university's anti-nepotism policy, which says familial relationships "should be avoided where possible otherwise, and disclosed and managed" to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

Barnes, who had worked as an undergraduate and graduate assistant for Iowa dating to 2009, left the Hawkeyes for Vanderbilt months later.

Barnes will earn $85,000 annually, according to Iowa spokesman Steve Roe, more than twice the $38,000 salary he had in 2013.

In a statement, Ferentz praised Barnes' experience at Iowa and Vanderbilt, saying he would bring "valuable input and insights to our program."

Barta said that this time, "we made certain all UI policies and procedures in place for this type of situation were followed from the very beginning of the process." Barnes will report to Barta's deputy, Gene Taylor, to avoid any potential conflict.

Ferentz's son, Brian Ferentz, is Iowa's offensive line coach and run-game coordinator.