Iowa Football

Iowa football: 5 Things to know about Miami (Ohio)

Some familiar faces visit Iowa for season-opener Saturday

Miami (Ohio) football coach Chuck Martin, giving directions to his players during a 2016 game at Kinnick Stadium, returns for Saturday's season opener against the Hawkeyes. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Miami (Ohio) football coach Chuck Martin, giving directions to his players during a 2016 game at Kinnick Stadium, returns for Saturday's season opener against the Hawkeyes. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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Here we go again.

It’s Week 1 of college football — and high school football, for that matter — and we’ll kick it off with a look at who’s coming to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday to take on the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes.

Here are 5 Things about Miami — that’s Ohio, not Florida, by the way — and the season-opener:

 

1. Look who’s coming to dinner

This is the first time in program history the Hawkeyes will open under the lights.

Kickoff is set for 6:40 p.m.

The Hawkeyes are 12-6 in night games, but 0-0 in August night games. Hopefully this won’t seep into September, but, for the record, Iowa is 6-5 in night games in that month.

Against Mid-American Conference teams in the dark, Iowa is 1-0, beating Northern Illinois, 24-0, on Sept. 18, 1999.

In games that start at 6:40 p.m., Iowa is 1-0, beating Northern Iowa, 38-14, last Sept. 15. But, the Hawkeyes did fall at Penn State, 21-19, on Sept. 23, 2017 in a game that started at 6:42.

 

2. Familiar faces

Andrew Todd, a former Cedar Rapids Washington prep, is a redshirt freshman center for the RedHawks who could see some playing time on Saturday.

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Pete Nank, a redshirt sophomore on the offensive line, is from West Des Moines and played at Dowling.

And defensive back Emmanuel “Manny” Rugamba began his collegiate career in a black-and-gold uniform, starting three games at Iowa as a freshman in 2016, collecting 19 tackles and two interceptions. He had 36 tackles in 2017 before transferring.

 

3. Meet the coach

Chuck Martin took over the RedHawks program on Dec. 3, 2013, following an 0-12 season that cost Don Treadwell his job midway through the season. Interim coach Mike Bath went 0-7 after taking the reigns and wasn’t retained.

The first two seasons were bumpy, to say the least, for Martin with five total wins. But in their last 22 MAC games, the RedHawks are 16-6, best in the league.

Martin was an All-American safety at Millikin who started his coaching career as a grad assistant at Mankato State. He made a few more stops before finding a home at Grand Valley State. He became GVSU’s head coach in 2004 and directed the Lakers to a 74-7 record and a pair of NCAA Division II national championships before moving on to Notre Dame, where he was offensive coordinator in 2012 and ’13.

4. Grand Valley State connection

Not only was Martin head coach and offensive coordinator at the Allendale, Mich., school from 2004 through ’09, several of his assistant have GVSU backgrounds.

Miami associate head coach George Bennett was at Grand Valley State in 2008 and ’09 and co-offensive coordinator Eric Koehler was the OC at GVSU from 2008-12 (and head coach at Wartburg in 2006-07). Safeties coach Bill Brechin played at GVSU, was a grad assistant for two seasons and, later, wide receivers coach. Tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Pat Welsh graduated from GVSU in 2010 and was a student assistant in 2008-09, defensive assistant in 2010. Defensive line coach E.J. Whitlow held the same job at GVSU from 2014-18 and wide receivers coach Israel Woolfork was a three-year starter there.

Even director of football operations Matt Yoches spent 16 years at GVSU, graduating from there in 2004.

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5. “Cradle of Coaches”

Look up Miami (Ohio) football online and you’ll see this phrase.

The list of former coaches is quite impressive and includes Sid Gilman (1944-47, 31-6-1), Woody Hayes (1949-50, 14-5), Ara Parseghian (1951-55, 39-6-1) and Bo Schembechler (1963-68, 40-17-3).

Former Indiana coach Bill Mallory, also coached at Miami, as did Dick Crum and Randy Walker.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton once was offensive coordinator and former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel also was an assistant.

Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh and Los Angeles Rams Coach Sean McVay played for the RedHawks.

l Comments: (319) 368-8696; jr.ogden@thegazette.com

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