By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football team will have a new offensive coordinator, and a new receivers coach next season.
News broke on Friday that Iowa receivers coach Kelton Copeland will not return next season.
Pete Thamel from ESPN was the first to break the news.
Copeland has been a member of Kirk Ferentz’s staff since 2017 after having coached previously at Northern Illinois, South Dakota and Coffeyville Community College.
And while Copeland has had his moments as the receivers coach, they have been few and far between, especially in each of the past two seasons.
The stunning decline of the Iowa offense over the past two season has led to Brian Ferentz being fired as the offensive coordinator, and now Copeland is out of a job.
These two personnel moves have caused some to believe that Kirk Ferentz is overhauling his offense.
Thamel even said in his tweet that Copeland’s dismissal is part of an offensive overhaul.
But that remains to be seen.
Kirk Ferentz has made changes before with his coaches, but the offense has changed very little over the years.
It was also not Kirk Ferentz’s decision to fire his son as the offensive coordinator as Iowa Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz, with approval from Iowa President Barbara Wilson, made that call.
Kirk Ferentz also told the media in December that he had plans to start running the run-and-shoot offense.
He said it in sort of a joking fashion, but it was clearly his way of saying that there wouldn’t be any major changes on offense from a strategy and from a style standpoint.
Brian Ferentz was fired with four games left in the regular season, but he was allowed to coach for the remainder of the 2023 season, which ended with a 35-0 loss to Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl.
The problems on offense have been widespread, but the receiver position has really struggled.
Iowa’s receivers combined for just 76 catches, 754 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games this past season.
Nico Ragaini, Kaleb Brown, Seth Anderson and the now departed Diante Vines were the only wide receivers to catch a pass this season.
Injuries were certainly a factor in the offense struggling, as Kirk Ferentz has pointed out numerous times. But the receiver position has under-performed far too often recently, and now a change is being made.