Online report puts new names in play for Iowa's staff

Published: February 9 2013 | 3:48 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 11:13 am in

Late Friday night, FootballScoop.com, a website dedicated to information on college football coaching searches, tweeted that Bobby Kennedy and Jim Reid "will likely join the staff."

During a Wednesday news conference, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz didn't deny the possibility of more moves on Iowa's coaching staff, which saw the departure of wide receivers coach Erik Campbell in December.

Ferentz said Wednesday that lack of a wide receivers coach during the majority of this recruiting season wasn’t a problem when searching for receivers, a definite need for an Iowa passing game that produced just seven TD passes in 2012. Iowa has five possible receivers in its 2013 class.

“Change is part of college football, and that happens,” Ferentz said. “It’s part of football in general. And I think, again, the players looked at what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to accomplish and probably saw opportunity.”

Ferentz said he hoped to be able to announce something on wide receiver coach in the next 10 to 14 days. When asked if he expected more changes coming for his staff, he said, “Not right now. We’re just moving forward here and we’ll see what the next couple of weeks bring.”

When asked if a receivers coach would come from inside the program or outside, Ferentz said, "We'll do what's best for the team. And I've given it a lot of thought, certainly, and we've been busy with recruiting. Now, we'll return our attention to that. Hopefully, 10, 14 days we'll be able to have everybody in the right seats and go forward."

Iowa will at least have one other opening, coming on offense. The FootballScoop.com report suggests something will happen on defense. On Thursday night, FootballScoop reported that Hampton offensive coordinator Earnest Wilson interviewed with Iowa for the WR job.

On Dec. 2, Reid was fired as associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Virginia after the Cavaliers finished 4-8 last season. The consensus was Virginia fans were surprised Reid was fired. The Cavaliers defense was projected to be the weak link last season, but performed above expectations.

In some of the most noticeable categories, Reid’s defense performed well: No. 31 nationally (out of 120 FBS programs) in total defense (353.33 ypg); No. 34 in pass defense; No. 44 in rushing defense (144.92); and No. 11 in the country in third down defense, which means a lot of three-and-outs.

The downside was Virginia finished No. 113 in the country in both turnovers gained and in passes intercepted. The Cavaliers were tied at No. 97 in quarterback sacks, No. 84 in red zone defense, No. 76 in tackles for loss, and No. 70 in scoring defense (28.92).

Those last few statistics probably knocked Reid, 62, who's spent around half of his 38 seasons in coaching as a head coach, out from under the headphones. Reid graduated from Maine, where he was a three-year starter at safety from 1970-72. Ferentz served as head coach at Maine from 1990-92. Reid's primary position during his career has been linebacker, serving as the Miami Dolphins outside linebackers coach in 2008-09.

Kennedy, 45, spent two seasons as wide receivers coach at Colorado, his home state, after seven seasons (2004-10) as wide receivers coach at Texas, where he also served his last six as the assistant recruiting coordinator.

Of course, Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis spent 13 seasons as Texas' offensive coordinator (1998-2010), so there's an obvious connection with Kennedy, who spent 1990-92 as a graduate assistant at Illinois and then Penn State.

[NOTE: These are two names that have been bandied since mid to late December. "Everybody in the right seats going forward . . ." The other coach Iowa assistant who's leaving likely is RB coach Lester Erb.]

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