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More big changes for Ferentz’s coaching staff

[ 0 ] February 14, 2013 |

Iowa has had two head football coaches, Hayden Fry and Kirk Ferentz, since 1979. That longevity has been rewarded with five Big Ten titles and 24 bowl appearances.

Solidarity has also been a staple of their coaching staffs. But change happens. In Thursday’s case, a lot of change.

April 14, 2012: Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid (right) works with Cavaliers defensive players prior to the Virginia spring game at Scott Stadium. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

April 14, 2012: Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid (right) works with Cavaliers defensive players prior to the Virginia spring game at Scott Stadium. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Ferentz announced Thursday that he has added Bobby Kennedy and Jim Reid to his coaching staff. He also said that Lester Erb, on the staff for 13 seasons, and Darrell Wilson, on the staff for 11 seasons, were gone. Erb, who coached running backs and special teams last season, left to pursue other opportunities according to a university release.

Rutgers announced Wednesday that Wilson had joined its staff.

Ferentz still has one coaching vacancy to fill. Coming off a 4-8 season that was the program’s worst since 2000, Ferentz will have replaced six of his nine full-time assistants over the past two seasons. He brought in Greg Davis as offensive coordinator, Brian Ferentz as offensive line coach and LeVar Woods as linebackers coach last season.

Reid, who was at Virginia last season, will coach on the defensive side of the ball. Kennedy, who was at Colorado last season, will replace Erik Campbell as wide receivers coach.

Dec 27, 2007: Texas wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy celebrates during 52-34 victory over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl at San Diego. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec 27, 2007: Texas wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy celebrates during 52-34 victory over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl at San Diego. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Still remaining from the 2011 staff are Phil Parker, who moved from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator last season; Reese Morgan, who moved from offensive line to defensive line last season; and Eric Johnson, who moved from tight ends coach to assistant defensive line coach last season while retaining his duties as recruiting coordinator. Those three have worked a combined 41 years for Ferentz.

Strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle has also been on board since Ferentz replaced Fry after the 1998 season.

Ferentz told reporters Feb. 6 that he would hold a news conference before the end of the month to discuss staff changes. By then, he said he hoped “to have everybody in the right seats and go forward.”

In a statement released by the university Thursday, Ferentz said, “I am very appreciative of Lester and Darrell’s many positive contributions to Iowa football over the years and wish them both the best moving forward. I am excited to have Bobby and Jim join our staff. Both men have coaching experiences that will compliment and supplement our staff and team in a positive way. Jim and Bobby are tremendous individuals who will be a good fit on our campus and great representatives of our university and football program.”

Reid, who was associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Virginia, was fired after a 4-8 season in 2012 even though the Cavaliers’ defense was better than expected. Virginia finished fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference in total defense (353.3 yards), fourth in pass defense (208.4) and third in first downs allowed (18.6).

Reid has more than 30 years of collegiate and professional experience. He spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as the Miami Dolphins’ outside linebackers coach. Reid was also head college coach for a total of 17 seasons at VMI, Massachusetts and Richmond.

Colorado fired head coach Jon Embree and his staff, including Kennedy, after just two seasons. Kennedy went to Colorado after seven seasons at Texas, working as a wide receivers coach alongside Davis. Kennedy was also an assistant recruiting coordinator for the Longhorns his final six seasons there. He was on the staff when Texas won the national championship in 2005.

Kennedy has Big Ten experience, spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Illinois and another at Penn State. He also held full-time positions at Wyoming, Wake Forest, Arizona and Washington.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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