Iowa Men's Basketball Assistant Kirk Speraw Retires after 43-year Career

Photo: University of Iowa Athletics

(Iowa City, IA) -- After 43 years of coaching college basketball, University of Iowa men's basketball assistant coach Kirk Speraw is retiring.

The Sioux City, Iowa, native started his basketball career as a player for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Speraw played guard for the Hawkeyes from 1977 to 1979, winning a Big Ten Conference regular season title in the 1978-79 season.

Speraw has assisted Fran McCaffery since 2010, watching the Hawkeye basketball program regain national relevancy. Over his tenure, the program won the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship, won 20 or more games in eight of the last ten years, and produce NBA talent such as Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp, and Tyler Cook, alongside expected draftee Keegan Murray.

The Iowa alum started his coaching career under Hall of Fame head coach Lute Olson, assisting the team to a Final Four appearance in 1980.

"I was fortunate that Coach Olson gave me my start in coaching here at the University of Iowa and I am grateful that Coach McCaffery and Gary Barta brought me back to my alma mater to finish my coaching career with a Big Ten championship," Speraw said in a University of Iowa athletics release.

After his first assistant coaching stint with Iowa, Speraw was the assistant at the University of Denver from 1980 to 1982 and Florida Southern from 1982 to 1987. Thereafter, he landed his first head coaching position at Pensacola Junior College, leading the team to an 82-21 record over three seasons, resulting in three straight Panhandle Conference titles.

Following an assistant coaching position at the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida hired Speraw on as their men's basketball head coach. He would lead the team from 1993 to 2010, reaching the NCAA Tournament four times and winning the Atlantic Sun Conference four times.

Fran McCaffery called on Speraw to return home to the University of Iowa in 2010. McCaffery says he has been a cornerstone of the program since.

"Kirk has been the ultimate professional and an important part of our basketball program since I arrived in Iowa City. Kirk was well-respected by the players and was one of the key components of rebuilding the program. His knowledge of the game and relationships that he developed with the players, families and fans will be greatly missed. It has been an honor to work alongside Kirk all these years," says Fran McCaffery.

Kirk Speraw, the former Conference USA Coach of the Year, retires after donning the Black and Gold for 15 years.

"I want to thank my wife, Tracy, and our four kids (Drew, Brooke, Dustin, Bailey) for their support and patience throughout my coaching career. And I want to thank all the student-athletes that I have had the honor to coach throughout my career. Go Hawks!" says Speraw.

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