The Iowa coaching shakeup now is really shaking.
Wednesday, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood announced the hiring of Iowa secondary coach and South Jersey native Darrell Wilson, the school said in a release. Wilson spent the past 11 seasons as an assistant at Iowa. He coached linebackers, special teams and spent last season as Iowa’s secondary coach.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Darrell and his family home,” Flood said in a statement. “Darrell is a proven winner on the field and a proven recruiter in the State of Rutgers. He brings more than a decade of Big Ten experience with him but more important than all of that, Darrell is the right person for our program.”
Wilson, 54, moved to Iowa’s secondary in 2012, while also continuing to assist with special teams. Wilson coached all the linebacker positions and special teams for four seasons after working with special teams and outside linebackers in his first six seasons. He was named by Rivals.com in February 2011 as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation.
He earned $244,080 at Iowa last season.
Wilson joined the Iowa staff after serving as outside linebacker coach and special teams coordinator at Wisconsin for two years (2000-01). Wisconsin punter Kevin Stemke won the Ray Guy punter of the year award in 2000.
He also coached running backs at Rutgers (1999) and the defensive secondary and wide receivers at Rhode Island (1996-98).
With Wilson’s departure, Iowa will have replaced five of the nine full-time assistants who began the 2011 season in a span of 18 months. That number will grow by one more. Running backs coach Lester Erb will not return to Iowa next fall, according to sources. Wilson was asked to move to running backs coach, but he declined and accepted the job at Rutgers.
During news conference last Wednesday, 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.
“Change is part of college football, and that happens,” Ferentz said when asked if the absence of a wide receivers coach hampered recruiting at that position (Iowa landed five WRs). “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.”
Last 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” at Iowa.
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.
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.
On Thursday night, FootballScoop reported that Hampton offensive coordinator Earnest Wilson interviewed with Iowa for the wide receivers job.
Wilson’s Coaching Career
Rutgers DBs, 2013-present
Iowa DBs, ST, 2012
Iowa LBs, ST, 2008-2011
Iowa OLBs, ST, 2002-2007
Wisconsin OLBs, ST, 2000-01
Rutgers RBs, 1999
Rhode Island DBs, WRs, 1996-98
Woodrow Wilson HS HC, 1988-95