The search for a new offensive coordinator is finally officially over. The Hawkeyes announced on Wednesday their official successor to Brian Ferentz in former Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester.
Lester served as head coach at Western Michigan University for six seasons (2017-22), during which time the Broncos won 37 games and appeared in three bowl games. WMU’s offense was ranked in the top 35 nationally in total offense four consecutive seasons (2018-21) with Lester serving as the primary offensive play caller for three years (2018-20). Most recently this year, Lester served as a senior analyst for the Green Bay Packers.
During his time with the Broncos and previously as quarterbacks coach for Purdue, Lester has mentored some pretty good quarterbacks. In 2020, WMU ranked 16th nationally in total offense, while quarterback Kaleb Eleby finished third in the nation in passer rating. With the Boilermakers, he worked with quarterback David Blough, mentoring him to 3,352 passing yards and 30 touchdowns in the 2016 season.
𝐓𝐢𝐦 𝐋𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐍𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐎𝐂
“When you have coached at every level of football like I have, you have a true appreciation for an opportunity like this at the University of Iowa. I know the tradition and history of the Hawkeye program, and I am excited to get to work with the outstanding players and coaches,” Lester said of joining the Hawkeyes.
When you’ve been doing this as long as Kirk Ferentz has, and you’re looking to continue winning now, experience is always going to be at a premium. Lester has been a fixture of the coaching world for a while now. Lester comes to Iowa City with 22 years of coaching experience, including 12 years as a head coach at the Division I, II and III levels, and 12 years as an offensive coordinator.
“I am excited to welcome Tim to our coaching staff as our offensive coordinator,” Ferentz said. “His experience as both a head coach and a coordinator at several different levels of football gives him an excellent perspective. I believe his expertise and personality make him a perfect fit for this position.”
The response from Iowa fans to the hire has ranged from hopeful to flat-out disgusted. Many were hoping for a flashier OC hire who could bring a different philosophy to the team, or even someone with a bit more pedigree in the schools they coached for.
Western Michigan is certainly not Big Ten football, and Lester’s last stint in the Power Five as a play-caller with Syracuse did not go well. Many were hopeful that it would be Kevin Johns instead, who actually served under Lester as his OC in 2017.
While the fan base is divided over the hiring, it is clear that Kirk Ferentz believes that he has his guy.
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