116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa did end up promoting from within for its open linebacker coach spot. It just wasn't the coach you thought it might be.
Seth Wallace, who's spent the last two seasons as Iowa's recruiting coordinator with secondary assistant/special teams duties last season, was named linebackers coach last Friday, according to a university release. Wallace filled the vacancy that Jim Reid left when he departed to become defensive coordinator at Boston College earlier this month.
'Seth has done a tremendous job in his role as our recruiting coordinator and defensive assistant,' Ferentz said in the release. 'Moving forward, Seth will serve as our linebackers coach and I am confident he will do a tremendous job in that role. We intend to fill our open coaching position sometime after signing day (Feb. 3).'
Iowa is at 23 or 24 commitments for the 2016 class that will sign next Wednesday, so there's no rush to fill recruiting coordinator, especially with just two spots possibly open for 2016 and five commits already for 2017.
Wallace will inherit an experienced and supremely productive duo in juniors Josey Jewell and Ben Niemann. Jewell was a second-team all-Big Ten middle linebacker for the 12-2 Hawkeyes this season. Niemann assumed the outside linebacker position and excelled, earning honorable mention all-Big Ten.
A competition between sophomores Aaron Mends and Jack Hockaday will decide weakside linebacker.
'I am excited to coach our linebackers as we begin preparations for 2016 and beyond,' Wallace said. 'We have a great group returning who have been well coached by Coach Reid. I am very appreciative for this opportunity and look forward to this next phase of my career.'
Wallace served as Iowa's recruiting coordinator in 2014 and 2015, while also coaching cornerbacks and nickelbacks in 2015 and working with the defensive line in 2014. Wallace returned to the Hawkeye coaching staff after serving as a graduate assistant coach for three seasons (2006-08).
Wallace returned to the Iowa staff from Valdosta State University, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2010-13. Wallace coached the Valdosta State defensive line in 2013 and the defensive backs from 2009-2012. He joined the Valdosta State staff after his three-year stint with the Iowa program.
In his 15 seasons coaching on the collegiate level, Wallace has served as both offensive and defensive coordinator, coached defensive backs, defensive line and wide receivers, along with holding special teams duties in 12 of the 15 seasons.
Wallace earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Coe College in 2001 and his master's degree in sports management from Iowa in 2008. He and his wife, Erica, have a son, Landry, and a daughter, Maci
Now, where will Iowa go to replace Wallace?
Here's the short history of recruiting coordinators under Ferentz: In 1999, it was Pat Flaherty, a Pennsylvania native who came to Iowa City from Wake Forest. He left in 2000, when Ferentz hired then-Iowa City West coach and Iowa prep football coaching legend Reese Morgan. Morgan spent three seasons as recruiting coordinator before being promoted to offensive line coach. Eric Johnson held the RC job from 2003 to 2013. Then, Wallace was brought in from Valdosta State.
A couple of conclusions (if you can draw any, really): The more 'of Iowa' the RC was the longer the run. Yes, Johnson was from Wisconsin, but he was on Iowa's staff for five years before he took over RC. And the position is a bit of a springboard. Or was for Morgan and Wallace (make no mistake, this is a promotion for Wallace).
What kind of coaching background would the RC candidate need? I'm thinking defense. Right now, Iowa has five full-time offensive assistants and three on defense. Wallace coached cornerbacks and nickel personnel. Iowa needs a defensive coach right now. Wallace also had a big hand in special teams (punt units, I believe). It'd probably be good if the next hire can at least pitch in there.
It's a big, big college football world, but given the fact that Ferentz would prefer an RC who knows the history of Iowa and the players that Iowa usually lands in recruiting, given that the new staffer likely will coach defense and probably special teams, Kelvin Bell would make an awful lot of sense.
Here's his Iowa bio. Bell, a Mississippi native, played defensive line at Iowa. He was a grad assistant at Iowa in 2012-13 helping out with special teams. Bell has spent the last two seasons as director of on-campus recruiting. His jobs outside of the Iowa program have been as an offensive line coach, so that's really the only part of the resume that doesn't fit. Otherwise, since Reid left for BC, Bell has taken his spot on the road in recruiting, including visits to Indiana RB Toks Akinribade.
Some of the pieces fit really, really well here, but it's a huge college football world and, yeah, who knows.
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