116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - After a six-week search, the Iowa football team announced the hiring of George Barnett and Ladell Betts on Monday to fill its coaching vacancies at offensive line and running backs.
'It is important to hire on culture and philosophy first, and then football acumen,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said in a news release. 'I know Ladell and George will make meaningful contributions to our program and players.”
Barnett replaces Tim Polasek as offensive line coach. He was recently hired by Tulane in December, and spent the past seven years at Miami University of Ohio, where he joined as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 2014 and added the title of assistant head coach in 2016.
The RedHawks won the 2019 MAC championship with two true freshmen on the line, averaging 130.9 rushing yards per game and allowing 31 sacks through 14 games. In 2018, the RedHawks averaged 159.8 rushing yards per game, giving up only 20 sacks.
'I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff and to help maintain the standard of excellence in the Iowa offensive line room,” Barnett said in the release. 'I am familiar with the success of the Iowa program and the Big Ten Conference overall.
'My family and I are excited to get to Iowa City and be part of an outstanding institution and athletics program.”
Barnett, a Decatur, Ill., native, previously worked under Harry Hiestand, former OL coach for the Chicago Bears, as a graduate assistant at Illinois in 2004. He's also had stops at Indianapolis, Grand Valley State and Illinois State.
Betts is Iowa's second all-time rushing leader with 3,686 career yards. He's the only Hawkeye to lead a team in rushing through four different seasons, amassing 25 touchdowns and adding 702 yards receiving.
As a second-round NFL draft pick, Betts played for the Washington Football Team from 2002-2009 before finishing his NFL career at the New Orleans Saints in 2010. During his nine-year career in the NFL, Betts rushed for 3,326 yards, had 1,646 receiving yards and totaled 18 touchdowns.
Betts is the head football coach at Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a position he's held since 2019. Pine Crest recently went undefeated in its 2020 season. He was previously offensive coordinator there from 2016-2019. He also worked as offensive coordinator at Boca Raton High School from 2014-2015 and running backs coach at Coral Spring Christian Academy in 2013.
He also served as offensive coordinator with the NFL Prep 100 Series from 2011-2014.
'I am excited to be back at my alma mater, where I had the opportunity to develop as a player under coach Hayden Fry and Coach Kirk Ferentz,” Betts said in the release. 'Now I have the opportunity to do the same for another generation of young players as part of Coach Ferentz's staff.
'It is incredible to feel like things have truly come full circle for me. I'm ready to get to work.”
Comments: (319) 398-8387; firstname.lastname@example.org