It was only a matter of time before we got the news, and reports that Brian Ferentz would not return in the position next year confirmed the inevitable. Now that the news is seemingly official, it’s time for the Iowa Hawkeyes to look ahead and figure out who will replace him.
Here are five candidates to become the next Iowa offensive coordinator.
Iowa Offensive Coordinator Candidates
Jamey Chadwell, Liberty
Hear me out on this one.
Kirk Ferentz isn’t coaching forever, meaning that this job opening could come with the chance to fill another one. While I don’t believe Jamey Chadwell would leave a head coaching gig to become just a playcaller again, the idea that he could become the next head coach for Iowa might carry some weight.
Think Jimbo Fisher’s head-coach-in-waiting title from his time at Florida State.
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Chadwell’s a great option for Iowa because he keeps the Iowa tradition of wanting to be physical and run the football. He also brings a new school approach to college football with his offensive scheme, and finally gets the Hawkeyes to join the new age of the sport.
Liberty’s offense currently sits eighth in total offense at 488.4 yards and 37 points per game, something that should make the entire Hawkeye fanbase collectively faint.
Tim Polasek, Wyoming
There’s not much the Hawkeyes program loves more than former connections. Whether that’s as a player or as a coach, those candidates rise high on the list. There’s belief that Kirk Ferentz will go with someone he knows, rather than an outsider, to take over the offense.
Tim Polasek has been instrumental in elevating Wyoming’s offense to what it is currently. The Cowboys offensive coordinator brings with him a tradition of running the football, but also incorporates various elements of the spread to his system.
Before getting the job a Wyoming, he served as Iowa’s offensive line coach from 2017-2020.
Mack Leftwitch, Texas State
Maybe Ferentz will shock us all and go a completely different direction. If so, Mack Leftwich would be a great candidate for that.
While Texas State’s head coach, G.J. Kinne deserves a ton of recognition for the Bobcats success this year, Leftwich has also been a key player.
Texas State’s offense averaged 483.0 yards and 35.1 points per game this year, and the system would be a culture shock to a program that needs one. Given how fast the game moves now, Iowa’s days of slowing it down appear to be over.
If they don’t want to completely change their offensive identity, Leftwich isn’t the right fit. However, should they want to change for the better, getting the explosive Bobcats’ playcaller puts them in a great spot.
Collin Klein, Kansas State
Money would probably be the biggest issue to get Collin Klein from the Wildcats. Yet, if Iowa wants to find a good middle ground between the stone age and now, Klein’s the man.
At Kansas State, he’s elevated the offense to be explosive while still holding on to traditional principles. He wants to run the ball, his offensive linemen must be nasty, and he’ll complement the run with the pass.
Klein’s a rising star in the industry, so this could be a solid (and potentially safe) option for the fanbase to accept in 2024.
Jason Candle, Toledo
With the trajectory Toledo’s on, it’s only a matter of time before Jason Candle looks for employment elsewhere (in a good way). The Rockets’ offense continues to be one of the best in the MAC, and Candle’s had his hands all over their success.
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Candle’s also familiar with recruiting the Midwest, but now he’d have access to more talent. His abilities as a playcaller combined with the talent on Iowa’s roster would make this a fun group to watch. He’s also looking to become a head coach at a Power Five school, and that could be accomplished when Kirk Ferentz retires.