City of Iowa, 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 Final Four team in 1980 and ends as as a 12-year-old assistant coach on the McCaffery staff that won the 2022 Big Ten Tournament Championship.
“I was fortunate that Coach Olson gave me my coaching debut here at the University of Iowa and I’m grateful that Coach McCaffery and Gary Barta brought me back to my alma mater. to end my coaching career with a Big Ten championship,” Speraw said. . “I want to thank my wife, Tracy, and our four children (Drew, Brooke, Dustin, Bailey) for their support and patience throughout my coaching career. And I want to thank all of the student-athletes that I’ve had the honor of coaching throughout my career. Go hawks!”
The Sioux City, Iowa native has helped guide the Hawkeyes to 20 or more wins eight of the last 10 years. Speraw and the Hawkeyes have ranked fifth or better in the Big Ten standings six of the past 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 conference standings and won 26 games; the second-highest single-season win total in program history.
Speraw and the coaching staff have recruited and coached an honored All-Big Ten first team seven of the past nine years, including two of college basketball’s most dominant players each of the past 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 runner-up for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, won the consensus laurels of the All-America First Team and was named Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year in 2022.
Speraw was the primary assistant working with Iowa’s perimeter players. In 2017, shooter Peter Jok became the fifth champion in Iowa Big Ten school history, averaging 19.9 points per game. Two years ago, Joe Wieskamp won second-team all-conference laurels and was the only Division I player in the nation with 400+ points, 200+ rebounds, 70+ 3-pointers and more. of 25 interceptions.
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Speraw also helped coach goaltender Jordan Bohannon to all-time highs. 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 174 triples in 2017, the most by a duo in a single season in Iowa. Bohannon is the only player in program history to total more than 2,000 points and 700 assists. Finally, his 10 3-pointers at Maryland in 2022 set a new benchmark for 3-point field goals made in a game by a Hawkeye and broke the Xfinity Arena record.
As 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 stellar coaching career, Speraw was part of Olson’s Hawkeye roster for four seasons (1976-79), including lettering for the 1979 Big Ten regular season championship team.
After reaching the 1980 Final Four as a graduate assistant, Speraw moved to the University of Denver, where he served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for former Iowa assistant coach Floyd Theard for two years. (1981-82).
Speraw joined the Hawkeyes after serving 17 years as a 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 all-conference academic recognition. His tenure included four NCAA Tournament berths (1994, ’96, ’04 and ’05). In 2007, he was named American Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Knights to 22 wins and a second-place finish in the league. His most successful season at UCF came in 2004, when the Knights won 25 games, received Top 25 votes, and won the Atlantic Sun Championship, earning an automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
Prior to his head coaching position 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 appeared in two NITs, including advancing to the semifinals in 1992.
Prior to his three years in Gainesville, Speraw was the head coach of Pensacola Junior College (PJC) from 1988 to 1990. At PJC, he led the Pirates to an 82-21 record and three consecutive Panhandle Conference titles. . Speraw was named 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 stint at Florida Southern, serving as an assistant from 1983 to 1987. The Moccasins made four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, including a third-place finish in 1986.