Hawkeyes getting coordinated this spring

The Sports Xchange

Coach Kirk Ferentz engaged in a significant overhaul of the coaching staff after a disappointing 7-6 season in 2011.

When the Hawkeyes took the field for spring drills in late March, there were new coordinators overseeing both the offense and defense. Getting everyone assimilated was a top priority for the spring, along with identifying new starters.

Former Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis is the new offensive coordinator, Phil Parker was promoted to defensive coordinator and one of the new assistant coaches has a familiar last name -- offensive line coach Brian Ferentz, the son of the Iowa head coach.

Reese Morgan moved from offensive line to defensive line, Darrell Wilson switched from coaching linebackers to defensive backs and LeVar Woods became the new linebackers coach.

The reason for the flurry of moves can be summed up this way: The Hawkeyes have stagnated and become a middling Big Ten program with back-to-back 4-4 league marks and Ferentz wants Iowa to get back to being one of the top teams in the conference.

"If that's the best you can do, there's nothing wrong with that," Ferentz said. "We've been here 13 years. There's not a year we haven't felt like we left something out there. It's the nature of coaching, I think.

"So the bottom line is we want to move forward. If 4-4 is the best we can be, that's fine. But we're shooting for something higher than that certainly, always have been. I think, again, the downside of continuity and stability I think is sometimes you just kind of stay on that same path."

Davis replaced Ken O'Keefe, who left to become receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins and Parker was elevated from defensive backs coach to replace longtime defensive coordinator Norm Parker, who retired. Brian Ferentz was tight ends coach for the New England Patriots last season.

"We're comfortable with the path we're going down right now," Kirk Ferentz said. "But there's a lot of new nomenclature and we're all learning right now. Even the old dogs are trying to learn some new tricks."

The Hawkeyes wrap up drills with the spring game on April 14.

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