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Iowa ties help land coaching jobs

BY NICK STEFFEN | JULY 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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In recent months, the last two searches for coaching replacements at Iowa have ended in the Hawkeyes’ back yard. Volleyball coach Bond Shymansky is an Iowa City native, and track and field director Joey Woody was promoted from assistant coach.

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta looks for coaches who have proven themselves in their profession before asking them to take over a given Hawkeye team.

“With both Bond Shymansky and Joey Woody, first and foremost, they’re great leaders, they’re proven in their profession over many years, and they’ve proven that they can have success — that’s the first thing I look for,” Barta said. “After that, you look for a fit, someone who understands the University of Iowa culture.

“It’s just an exciting coincidence that they both grew up in Iowa City, which really ensures that they understand the Iowa Hawkeye culture.”

Shymansky left Marquette to coach the team he grew up loving. The Iowa graduate said it is a great feeling coaching the Hawkeyes after growing up in Iowa City.

“It’s like living a dream; it feels surreal most days because I never imagined I would be able to coach as a Hawkeye even though I grew up as a Hawkeye,” Shymansky said. “It’s really fantastic to know that people can rally around those connections and rally around our volleyball program and are excited about it. That’s a great feeling, and we are really counting on that for the success of our program that the community will embrace not just me as the head coach but really embrace the whole team.”  

On the track, the Hawkeyes have won the men’s 400-meter relay in the Big Ten championship the past two years, and Woody wants to maintain a consistent atmosphere in order to continue that success in the future.

“On the national scale, we expect that we can be a top-10 team consistently and have an opportunity to move up the ladder as long as we are a consistent team at the Big Ten level,” Woody said. “The key is being consistent in the program and seeing this program continue to build on the successes that we’ve had recently and continue to move this program forward to Big Ten titles and NCAA championship level.”

Barta is optimistic about the future of these Iowa sports under the leadership of Woody.

“I’ve known Joey Woody since he was a student athlete at UNI; he was nationally renowned there, and I was an assistant athletics director during that period about 20 years ago,” Barta said.

For Barta, the same goes for Shymansky.

“I was made aware of [Shymansky] and his success shortly after I arrived in Iowa City back in 2006. So I’m thrilled to have both of them leading our programs, I’m excited for our future under both of their leadership.”


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