IOWA CITY, Ia. - University of Iowa Head Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery has named former Hawkeye Kirk Speraw an assistant coach on his basketball staff. The hiring of Speraw was announced today and becomes effective immediately.
“I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to return to the University of Iowa and reconnect with friends and fans of the Hawkeye basketball program,” said Speraw. “My family and I are extremely appreciative of Coach McCaffery for this opportunity. I’m eager to help and hit the ground running. I’m very impressed with Coach McCaffery and his vision for the program.”
“I’m ecstatic to have Kirk Speraw join our staff,” said McCaffery. “I have known Kirk a long time and have tremendous respect for his knowledge, character and reputation. When I was at the Final Four, Lute Olson recommended him very highly, as has everyone else I have spoken to about him. Kirk is very well known and liked in the state of Iowa and it is great to have a Hawkeye on the staff."
Speraw, who is a Sioux City, IA, native has over three decades of basketball coaching experience. He is a two-time Hawkeye letterman (1978-79) who played for Head Coach Lute Olson. He was a member of the 1978-79 squad that won 20 contests and a Big Ten title. As a senior, he was named the team’s most inspirational player.
As both an assistant and head coach, Speraw has mentored dozens of players who have played professionally, including Hawkeyes Ronnie Lester, Steve Krafcisin, Vince Brookins, Steve Waite, Kenny Arnold, Kevin Boyle, Mark Gannon and Bobby Hansen.
Speraw began his coaching career with the Hawkeyes, serving as a graduate assistant with Iowa’s 1979-80 team that advanced to the Final Four. The Hawkeyes went 23-8 that season. Speraw then moved to Denver University, where he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two years (1980-82).
Speraw joins the Hawkeyes after serving 17 years as head coach at the University of Central Florida (1993-2010). Speraw is the school’s winningest coach with a 279-233 record. During his tenure, 18 of his players received all-league honors, including four first team honorees. Additionally, since the start of the 1993-94 season, 54 of Speraw’s student-athletes earned academic all-conference recognition.
His tenure included four NCAA Tournament berths (1994, ’96, ’04 and ‘05). In 2006-07, 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 2003-04, when the Knights finished 25-6, 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, he served as an assistant coach at the University of Florida for three seasons (1990-93) 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 1987-90. At PJC, he led the Pirates to an 82-21 record and three consecutive Panhandle Conference titles. His 1989-90 team won 31 games and finished fifth nationally. The team’s success that year earned Speraw national recognition. He was tabbed the NABC/Kodak National Junior College Coach of the Year, as well as the state’s Coach of the Year.
Speraw also had a coaching stop at Florida Southern, serving as an assistant from 1982-87. The Moccasins posted a 100-46 record and made four appearances in the Division II NCAA Tournament, including a third-place finish in 1986.
Speraw and his wife, Tracy (an Iowa City native), have two sons, Drew and Dustin, and two daughters, Brooke and Bailey. Drew played for his dad at Central Florida for four years, completing his eligibility this past season. Brooke is currently a University of Iowa student.