Almost three months later, Iowa finally has a new offensive coordinator.
The Hawkeyes are hiring former Western Michigan coach Tim Lester as their next offensive coordinator, according to multiple reports on Sunday. Lester will replace Brian Ferentz, the son of head coach Kirk Ferentz, who was dismissed by the athletic director last fall.
Sources: Iowa is expected to hire Tim Lester, the former Western Michigan coach, as offensive coordinator. Lester spent the 2023 season as a Green Bay Packers analyst, and was set to take the OC job at Troy. Iowa also strongly considered former Duke OC Kevin Johns, per sources.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 28, 2024
Lester spent six seasons at Western Michigan, though he was fired after the 2022 campaign. He went 37-32 there, and reached three bowl games. He spent last season as an offensive analyst with the Green Bay Packers.
Lester has just one stint as a play caller at a Power Five school. He took over as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator in 2014 and spent the 2015 season there, but he went just 5-14.
Ferentz was dismissed by Iowa athletic director Beth Goetz in October, though he finished out the season and coached through the bowl game. He had been the team’s offensive coordinator since 2017, though the Hawkeyes have had one of the worst offenses in the country over the past three seasons. The Hawkeyes finished dead last in yards per game last season, and better than only Kent State in points per game last season.
Ferentz’s struggles at offensive coordinator became a running joke in college football, too. He had his pay cut by $50,000 ahead of last season, and the school put it in his contract that he had to reach seven wins and average at least 25 points per game. Despite his struggles, Iowa still went 10-4 last season and reached the Big Ten championship game for the second time in three years.
Iowa also reportedly considered former Duke offensive coordinator Kevin Johns and former Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst for the job, though Chryst turned it down earlier this month.
Iowa will open its season on August 31 against Illinois State. The elder Ferentz, who is the longest-tenured coach in the country, will kick off his 26th season with the Hawkeyes.