Ferentz bolsters staff with familiar names

Apologies for posting this late as I've been traveling all morning, but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has bolstered his staff with former Hawkeyes players, announcing Brian Ferentz as offensive line coach and LeVar Woods as linebackers coach.

Brian Ferentz rejoins his father after spending the past four seasons on the New England Patriots staff. He served as tight ends coach in 2011, tutoring Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The younger Ferentz was an offensive assistant in 2010 after spending two years in scouting. Some saw him on the fast track to a play-calling role in the NFL, but he’ll return to Iowa, where he played for two Big Ten championship teams (2002, 2004).

Speculation about Ferentz’s return to Iowa increased after his father moved offensive line coach Reese Morgan to defensive line.

Woods’ appointment is no surprise after he spent the past four seasons as an administrative assistant for Iowa. He coached the defensive line in the 2011 Insight Bowl after Rick Kaczenski left for a position with Nebraska.

Woods’ promotion to an assistant coach seemed like a formality. The only mini surprise is that he’ll coach linebackers after Ferentz shuffled his defensive staff. Woods played linebacker at Iowa and for four NFL teams.

"I am excited to have LeVar and Brian, two men with strong ties to our program and high school football within the state of Iowa, join our staff," Kirk Ferentz said in a prepared statement. "LeVar and Brian had great careers at the University of Iowa and both have enjoyed unique experiences and opportunities since their graduation. I am confident they will make positive and significant contributions in all areas of our program."

Kirk Ferentz still has one staff vacancy to fill at offensive coordinator after losing Ken O’Keefe to the Miami Dolphins earlier this month.