INDIANAPOLIS — Miami Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin said Ken O'Keefe met specific criteria when he was looking for the right guy to coach wide receivers on his inaugural staff.
"The No. 1 criteria I was looking for when we assembled this staff was a guy who was a great leader," Philbin said, "and I think Ken O’Keefe is gonna set a great example of professionalism in that room, of how you conduct your business, on the field, off the field.
"He’s been an offensive coordinator and a head coach, so he’s got a very good knowledge of offensive football and I think he’s gonna do an outstanding job with our wide receivers."
O'Keefe was Iowa's offensive coordinator for 13 seasons before leaving for Miami this month. O'Keefe was the head coach at Worcester Academy and coached Philbin there. O'Keefe's staff included current Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz.
Philbin formerly worked as Iowa's offensive line coach with both Ferentz and O'Keefe. Philbin then became offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Green Bay before taking over at Miami this offseason.
"Worcester Academy was a special time," Philbin said. "I only spent one year there. Mike Sherman was an assistant coach on staff. Ken O’Keefe — my receiver coach — was the head coach. Kirk Ferentz, who I talked to Saturday, was an assistant coach on the staff.
"Those guys inspired me to get into the coaching profession, I’m really lucky to have two of them on my staff right now."When asked if convincing O'Keefe to come to Miami was a tough sell, Philbin said, "He might be the better one to ask whether it was hard to convince him to come or not. But I’m obviously delighted he’s on our staff."