Ferentz: Davis will likely return as offensive coordinator


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Greg Davis will kprobably return as Iowa’s offensive coordinator next season, head coach Kirk Ferentz said, despite the Hawkeyes finishing 114th nationally in total offense with just 310 yards per game this year.

“As far as I know, yeah,” Ferentz said on Wednesday when asked if Davis would return. “I think Greg’s an excellent football coach. He’s a tremendous professional and a tremendous person. I feel stronger about the kind of coach and person he is now after working with him.”

Davis replaced longtime coordinator Ken O’Keefe at the position last spring and brought a new playbook with him from the University of Texas. The 61-year-old’s scheme emphasized the shotgun formation, the use of short passes, and the importance of yards after the catch.

The offense never took off, though, finishing 11th in the Big Ten with 19 points per game, last in rushing with 123 yards per game, and last in pass efficiency with a 107.7 rating.

But the Hawkeyes said for much of the season that learning a new offense was a slow process. Iowa will apparently choose not to go through it again next season.

“Not only were we learning coach Davis’ offense, but I think he was learning us and our personnel,” senior quarterback James Vandenberg said after Iowa’s final game of the year.

Davis said the team’s early struggles could be partially attributed to a lack of familiarity with the schemes.

“Everything was new in spring training, and we’ve continued to work on that,” Davis said on Oct. 2. “I think if you asked them on a written test, most of them would all have As. But then you have to take that knowledge and take it out to the field when the band is playing.”

That never seemed to happen. But Davis, who won a national championship and was named the nation’s top assistant coach in 2005 with the Longhorns, has Ferentz’s trust.

“Anytime you go into a situation, there is a learning curve,” Ferentz said. “Greg’s probably a smarter Iowa coach for us than he was in February … We’ve had some great discussion, and I think he’s got a real firm handle on our best path moving forward.”

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