Brian Ferentz, LeVar Woods named football assistants

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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Former Iowa football players Brian Ferentz and LeVar Woods will join the Hawkeye coaching staff as assistants, the team announced on Feb. 18.

Ferentz will coach the offensive line in place of Reese Morgan, who was named the Iowa defensive-line coach on Feb. 7. Woods will handle the linebackers, taking over for new secondary coach Darrell Wilson.

"I'm excited to have LeVar and Brian — two men with strong ties to our program and high-school football in the state of Iowa — join our staff," Hawkeye head coach Kirk Ferentz, Brian Ferentz's father, said in a release. "I'm confident they will make positive and significant contributions in all areas of our program."

The younger Ferentz played for Iowa from 2002-05. He battled through a series of knee injuries and complications from surgery to play right guard and center for the Hawkeye teams that won Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2004. He spent the last four years on the New England Patriots' staff, most recently as the tight-end coach who helped develop Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez into the best one-two tight-end punch in the NFL.

But because Brian Ferentz is Kirk Ferentz's son, Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta issued a statement on Feb. 18 to address the hiring process.

"Obviously, Brian's relationship to Kirk necessitated additional steps," he said. "The process and the hire were approved according to university policy in the same manner as other similar situations across campus."

Woods was a second-team All-Big Ten linebacker for the Hawkeyes as a senior in 2000. He was undrafted but ended up playing seven years in the NFL with Tennessee, Arizona, Chicago, and Detroit. He joined Ferentz's staff in 2008 as an administrative assistant responsible for helping compile statistics and scouting information.

He coached the Iowa defensive line in the 2011 Insight Bowl after former coach Rick Kaczenski left to take the same job at Nebraska. Woods' players combined for four tackles for loss and two sacks in the 31-14 loss.

— by Seth Roberts

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