116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR FALLS — Well before the emergence of player movement via the transfer portal in college football, coaches have consistently moved from job to job in hopes of moving their own careers forward.
Those moves coaches make from city to city, from one program to another, are usually not as glamorous as they may seem.
For instance, new UNI quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Bodie Reeder.
A father of one son and a newborn girl, Reeder and his family’s move to Cedar Falls was a case study in the life of a college football coach.
“Man, here’s the deal, I moved up here a month before my family did and I lived in Dancer Hall — the dorm,” Reeder said. “So, I got my fair share of what Cedar Falls has in regards to eating out. I was blessed to see my wife come to town, I’ll tell you that. It’s been a whirlwind. We’ve really, really enjoyed our stay here so far.”
Coach Mark Farley’s decision to hire Reeder was helped by references of former Panthers coaches Pat McCann and Jason Ray.
The Illinois native has previous experience as an offensive coordinator at Wisconsin-Stout (2011-13), Eastern Washington (2017-18), North Texas (2019) and Utah State (2020). Reeder spent the 2021 season at Auburn as an analyst.
“Coach Farley actually got my number from a buddy of mine named Pat McCann,” Reeder said. “We got a chance to talk (and) obviously (I) jumped at the opportunity to come join this staff and this program.”
Farley and Reeder have described how an expectation of a fit between him and current run game coordinator Ryan Clanton also was a large part of the recruiting process.
“The people you work with are as important as the place you work at, and probably more important because you spend so much time away from your family with this job,” Reeder said. “Ryan Clanton is phenomenal to work with. Coach Farley was 100 percent spot-on with that one in how well we would gel and get our thoughts together.”
UNI’s fans may be most interested in Reeder’s two-year stint as offensive coordinator at Eastern Washington.
The Eagles have routinely been a top-five offense in the FCS for more than a decade and Farley acknowledged last fall before a first-round playoff loss at EWU that UNI’s offense needs to absorb elements of their scheme.
Reeder, meanwhile, pointed out how integral the mental approach has been to EWU’s success.
“Number one is, what we’re going to do here is we’re going to instill a belief that every time that we touch the field we’re going to score. It’s a touchdown mentality,” Reeder said. “I think it’s really important. It’s more important than Xs and Os.”
When it comes to scheme, Farley said last week how the transfer portal and player movement have heightened the importance of simplified offenses.
“We have similar philosophies there,” Reeder said. “What you have to do is make it hard on a defense and easy on your players. The hardest position in football is quarterback and nothing is easy. You just have to get it to a point where those guys can go do it like second nature and that’s through reps and a lot of learning.”
UNI will wrap up spring practices on April 22. Fans are invited for a “spring tailgate” with concessions, remarks from players and coaches and a kids clinic at the Panthers outdoor practice facility, starting at 5:30 p.m.