The Iowa coaching staff makeover is complete.
Coach Kirk Ferentz put a bow on an off-season of coaching staff changes Friday after announcing that he had hired former Minnesota Vikings assistant Chris White to fill the final vacancy.
“We’re locked in,” Ferentz said. “Chris was the last piece of the puzzle. We’ll all be here working together a week from Monday.”
In total, three assistant coaches have changed since the end of 2012 season in which Iowa finished 4-8 … its worst finish since 2000.
Ferentz said Friday the changes were just a natural part of the fact he’s been at Iowa for 14, going on 15, years.
“I think probably every one’s a different story,” Ferentz said. “I would say it’s probably not uncommon in football, college football certainly, football in general.”
Over the past month Iowa has said farewell to Darrell Wilson, Lester Erb and Erik Campbell. The trio coached a combined 29 years at Iowa under Ferentz.
Ferentz said each coach had his own reason to move on. Wilson is now at Rutgers, Campbell with Montreal in the CFL, while Erb is still unemployed.
“The conversations you have are conversations that are private and that’s probably the best place to keep them,” Ferentz said. “The thing I would tell you is I’m appreciative of everybody’s efforts.”
Last week Iowa hired Jim Reid, previously defensive coordinator at Virginia, and Bobby Kennedy, previously receivers coach at Colorado.
Friday he officially hired White, who spent the past four years with the Vikings, where he coached special teams.
With the addition of White, Ferentz has now hired six new assistant coaches over the past 14 months. Last winter he added Greg Davis, LeVar Woods and his son, Brian Ferentz, to the staff.
The only holdovers from the coaching staff from the start of the 2011 season are Phil Parker, who was promoted to defensive coordinator last spring; Eric Johnson, who like Parker, came to Iowa with Ferentz in 1999; and Reese Morgan, who was hired in 2000 from Iowa City West High School.
“I know we’ve seen a lot of head coaches come and go in our conference,” Ferentz said. “So it’s just part of the deal. It’s not a big deal to me. We change players all the time.
“Every year we graduate a new group. With it comes opportunity.”
Ferentz ran through the new coaching staff responsibilities — Kennedy, receivers; Reid, linebackers; White, running backs. Woods will also coach linebackers, Brian Ferentz offensive line, and Morgan defensive line. Johnson will continue as the recruiting coordinator and help with the defensive line.
Ferentz said that White will be in charge of special teams, and be assisted by Woods.
The coordinators remain the same — Davis on offense and Parker on defense. Davis also will work with the quarterbacks and Parker with the defensive backs.
In addition, the grad assistants are D.J. Hernandez (tight ends) and Kelvin Bell (special teams).
Ferentz didn’t indicate he expected any big schematic changes after adding the new coaches this winter.
The defense still will run off a 4-3 base under Parker, and Davis still will run the offense he brought from Texas.
“I sat down with Greg right after the season after everybody had a chance to digest some things,” Ferentz said. “I think the one thing that was really clear, Greg has a much better feel for where we’re at and who we are right now.
“The second thing is, I think he’s enthused and encouraged about where we can go. I think all of us share that feeling.”
Spring practice starts on March 27. The annual open scrimmage is April 27.
Other Hawkeye updates:
CAREERS OVER: Senior fullback Brad Rogers and junior linebacker Jim Poggi both will take medical redshirts and end their playing careers.
Rogers — Iowa’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 after missing the last part of 2010 with a heart condition — played in eight games this past fall, including four starts.
Poggi’s career was marred by injuries, including a knee injury and a shoulder injury. He was also one of the players known to have contracted rhabdomyolysis during an off-season workout in January of 2011.
INJURY UPDATES: Ferentz said that junior defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat and senior offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan were recovering from off-season surgery.
Their availability for spring practice is unclear.
Ferentz did say that junior O-linemen Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal are both expected to be ready this spring.
Sherff missed the final five games last fall after a leg injury against Penn State. Donnal, who started three games at right guard, was hurt in the same game.
“Brandon’s a hundred percent, and Andrew’s close,” Ferentz said. “He will be when we start practice.”
BIG TEN SCHEDULE: Ferentz thought the conference was moving towards a nine-game league schedule.
“It sounds like that train’s going down the track right now, too,” Ferentz said. “We’ll adjust it, and live with it.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football