Iowa's extreme staff makeover continued on Friday, when the school announced that Chris White has joined the staff as running backs coach and special teams coordinator.
White spent the previous four years with the Minnesota Vikings, where he worked with special teams. Before that, he coached for nine years at Syracuse, overseeing receivers, tight ends and special teams at various times during that tenure. He was a four-year starting quarterback for Colby College in Maine. That state must hold a special place in Kirk Ferentz's heart, since his first head coaching job was at Maine.
This is White's first time coaching running backs. What's unclear is if he has any experience with exorcism or removing curses, and we hope he's ready to deal with the AIRBHG who keeps taking out vengeance on Hawkeyes ballcarriers.
White is the third new coach to join Ferentz's staff this offseason, along with new receivers coach Bobby Kennedy and Jim Reid, whom Ferentz said today would work with the linebackers along with LeVar Woods. Woods will also assist White with special teams. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker will coach the secondary.
This is the second straight year Iowa will have three new assistants, after having no staff turnover from 2008-11 and very little staff movement during Ferentz's first 13 seasons.
"We've been through a period of transition, but [we're] really enthused about the direction of things and really enthused about the group of guys that we have here," Ferentz told the media at an afternoon news conference.
As for recruiting areas, Ferentz said that Reid and offensive line coach Brian Ferentz would split up Chicago. Woods will work Kansas City and Texas, with Kennedy and offensive coordinator Greg Davis also hitting up the Lonestar State. White will recruit the East Coast, while Parker takes Ohio and Michigan.
Asked about cutting ties in recruiting Florida, Ferentz said this: "We're not going to shut the door in any area. We've four young guys out of that state right now in our program. ... We've definitely cut back our efforts down there the last six, seven years. ... But we'll keep a line open, definitely. If there is a reason to go there, we'll go there. If it looks like there is an interest on the prospects, we'll go anywhere."
Ferentz also said that defensive lineman Louis Trinca-Pasat and offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan had offseason surgeries and won't be available for spring practice. Both are expected back this summer.
Offensive linemen Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal, both of whom suffered season-ending leg injuries in the Penn State game, are recovering well, Ferentz said. Scherff is 100 percent now, he said, and Donnal will be ready when the Hawkeyes open spring practice March 27. Fullback Brad Rogers and linebacker Jim Poggi will no longer play for the team because of injuries.