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Iowa assistant Kirk Speraw will retire after 43-year career


CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 29: Iowa Hawkeyes assistant coach Kirk Speraw talks with Iowa Hawkeyes forward Keegan Murray (15) during a timeout in the Big Ten Conference college basketball game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini on January 29, 2021, at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa assistant Kirk Speraw will retire on June 30 after 43 years coaching college basketball, head coach Fran McCaffery announced Wednesday.

Speraw began his career as a graduate assistant under Lute Olson on Iowa’s 1980 Final Four team and ended it as a 12-year assistant under McCaffery.

“Kirk has been the ultimate professional and an important part of our basketball program since I arrived in Iowa City,” McCaffery said. “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.”

The Sioux City, Iowa, native helped guide the Hawkeyes to 20 or more wins eight of the last 10 years. Last season Iowa won four games in four days to capture the Big Ten Tournament title.

“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.

Speraw, 65, worked primarily with perimeter players. Peter Jok in 2017 became Iowa’s fifth Big Ten scoring champion, Joe Wieskamp in 2020 was the only Division I player with at least 400 points, 200 rebounds, 70 3-pointers and 25 steals, and Jordan Bohannon last season became the program’s career leader in assists and 3-pointers.

Speraw was head coach at Central Florida from 1994-2010 and at Pensacola (Florida) Junior College from 1988-90. He also made assistant coaching stops at Denver, Florida Southern and Florida.

Speraw played for Iowa from 1976-79, lettering on the Big Ten regular-season championship team as a senior.