Iowa Hawkeyes’ Coaching Staff 2024

    Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes coaching staff enter the 2024 season knowing they need to improve on offense to succeed in the Big Ten.

    The Iowa Hawkeyes coaching staff has been the model of consistency for decades, with head coach Kirk Ferentz in charge of the football program for over a quarter of a century.

    Despite making the Big Ten Championship Game in 2023, the Hawkeyes were incapable on offense, which has led to a change in offensive coordinator. However, most of the Iowa coaching staff return for the 2024 season.

    Iowa Hawkeyes’ Coaching Staff

    Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz

    Kirk Ferentz heads into his 26th season in charge of the Hawkeyes and is the longest-active-serving head coach in the sport. The veteran head coach took over the Iowa job in 1999 and has a 196-119 record in Iowa City — including a 10-10 record in bowl games. The highly successful head coach is third in all-time wins among Big Ten coaches.

    However, Ferentz’s connection with Iowa goes back even further. In 1981, Hayden Fry hired him to join the Hawkeyes as an offensive line coach, a role he held until 1990. With roots in New England, Ferentz left to become head coach of Maine, even taking a pay cut for his first head coaching gig.

    After going 12-21 over his three seasons with Maine, Ferentz ventured to the NFL, coaching the offensive line for the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens between 1993 and 1998.

    Ferentz was hired as the 25th head coach of the Hawkeyes in 1999. He has established success and a resume that likely makes him a future College Football Hall of Famer.

    In his time with Iowa, Ferentz has only had five losing seasons with the Hawkeyes and has won eight or more games in the last nine seasons (excluding the 6-2 COVID season) — only four college programs have had more success over that period.

    Defensive Coordinator/Secondary: Phil Parker

    Phil Parker has been the Hawkeyes’ defensive coordinator since 2012, but he was hired in 1999 as part of Ferentz’s first coaching staff. Originally coaching defensive backs for 13 years in Iowa, the DC earned his promotion following the retirement of Norm Parker.

    Entering his 13th season as a defensive coordinator, Parker is the longest-serving DC in the country and has established a physical culture that produces immense pro talent.

    Defense was the backbone of the Iowa team in 2023, ranking fourth in the FBS in total defense, only conceding one touchdown or less in 10 games last season, and leading them to the Big Ten Championship Game.

    • Michigan State (Graduate Assistant, 1987)
    • Toledo (Defensive Backs, 1988-98)
    • Iowa (Defensive Backs, 1999-2011)
    • Iowa (Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs, 2012-Present)

    Offensive Coordinator: Tim Lester

    Tim Lester is a fresh face in Iowa City and hopes to rejuvenate the Hawkeyes offense. The unit stuttered in 2023, causing Brian Ferentz not to be retained as the offensive coordinator. The new Iowa OC is tasked with turning around an offense that only averaged 16.6 yards per game a year ago, finishing 130 out of 133 FBS schools in that metric.

    With experience at all levels of the college game and in the NFL, Lester has been coaching since 2000, including a prominent head coaching role at Western Michigan. Lester had a record of 37-32 with the Broncos, including three bowl game appearances.

    • Wheaton Warrenville South HS (Offensive Coordinator, 2000)
    • Saint Benedict at Auburndale (Offensive Coordinator, 2001)
    • Elmhurst (Offensive Coordinator, 2002-2003)
    • Saint Joseph’s (Head Coach, 2004)
    • Western Michigan (Quarterbacks, 2005-2006)
    • North Central (Assitant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, 2007)
    • Elmhurst (Head Coach, 2008-2012)
    • Syracuse (Quarterbacks, 2013-2014 and Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2014-2015)
    • Purdue (Quarterbacks, 2016)
    • Western Michigan (Head Coach, 2017-2022)
    • Green Bay Packers (Senior Analyst, 2023)
    • Iowa (Offensive Coordinator, 2024-Present)

    Special Teams Coordinator: LeVar Woods

    LeVar Woods has Iowa running through his veins, having played for the Haweyes and spent his whole coaching career in Iowa City. A former linebacker, Woods played under Ferentz in 1999 before playing in the NFL between 2001 and 2007. His former HC hired him as an administrative assistant before working his way up the ladder.

    In 2018, Woods was promoted to special teams coordinator and has created one of the top special team rosters in the country. In 2023, punter Tory Taylor can make a case for being named Iowa’s top performer, and his 4156 punting yards were more yards than the offense registered (3,123 yards), all under Woods’ leadership.

    • Iowa (Administrative Assistant, 2008-2011)
    • Iowa (Linebackers, 2012-2014)
    • Iowa (Tight Ends, 2015-2017)
    • Iowa (Special Teams Coordinator, 2018-Present)

    Offensive Line: George Barnett

    George Barnett has been the offensive line coach at Iowa since 2021 but has over two decades’ worth of experience coaching the trenches.

    MORE: 2024 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Roster

    Under his leadership, the Iowa offensive line dramatically improved and six offensive linemen received All-Big Ten honors in 2023.

    Defensive Line: Kelvin Bell

    Kelvin Bell has been with the Iowa coaching staff since 2014 when he was hired as the on-campus recruiting director. He was promoted to defensive line coach in 2019 and has developed talented prospects.

    Yayha Black, Deontae Craig, Joe Evans, and Logan Lee earned All-Big Ten honors in 2023. Bell has also developed professional talent, with Lukas Van Ness, Daviyon Nixon, and Chauncey Golston among those drafted from the program.

    Running Backs: Ladell Betts

    A former Iowa running back, Ladell Betts is the second-leading rusher in Hawkeyes history and joined the coaching staff in 2021 following a nine-year NFL career. Betts is looking to develop a talented core of rushers in 2024, with Iowa’s top running backs expected to return, including LeShon Williams.

    Wide Receivers: Jon Budmayr

    Jon Budmayr has been promoted to wide receivers coach before the 2024 season after serving as Special Assistant to the Head Coach in 2023 and as an Offensive Analyst in 2022. Before joining the Hawkeyes, Budmayr was the offensive coordinator at Colorado State in 2021 and spent time (2015-2018) in several coaching roles at Wisconsin.

    Tight Ends/Full Backs: Abdul Hodge

    Abdul Hodge joined the Iowa coaching staff as tight ends coach in 2022 after serving as linebackers coach with South Dakota between 2019 and 2021. It marks Hodge’s return to Iowa after playing for the Hawkeyes under Ferentz between 2001 and 2005 before being selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

    Assistant Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers: Seth Wallace

    Seth Wallace has coached linebackers and been assistant defensive coordinator at Iowa since 2016 and was given the additional title of assistant head coach in 2024.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Big Ten Power Rankings

    He was first hired by the Haweyes in 2014 as an assistant defensive line coach. Yet it is his leadership of the Iowa linebacker group, which is consistently one of the best LB units in the country, that he is most renowned for.

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