Posted by: marcmwm | January 23, 2009

Alabama full up at LB coach

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Alabama has hired James Willis as a linebackers coach.

A few weeks ago, linked Iowa’s Eric Johnson to a linebackers opening at Alabama. Since, Nick Saban has hired two linebackers coaches not named Johnson.

At the bottom of the pyramid of Kirk Ferentz’s success at Iowa is continuity. Now more than 10 years in, Ferentz is still on his initial coordinators, Norm Parker and Ken O’Keefe.

There have been only a smattering of moves (at home, will look them up on archive tomorrow), OL coach Joe Philbin, DL coach Ron Aiken and LB coach Bret Bielema among them.

I wonder how many close calls this staff sees every December through February?

With his recruiting prowess, Johnson would be an attractive hire. I think Phil Parker has more than proven himself as a secondary coach. Next rung for him is coordinator. DL coach Rick Kaczenski seems to have it. LB coach Darrell Wilson is in the midst of a pretty good LB run, has a hand in special teams and is THE recruiter in New Jersey. 

OL coach Reese Morgan is a perfect fit. The man is responsible for a huge chunk of Iowa’s roster, with Iowa recruiting and walk-ons in his charge. RB coach Lester Erb has proven versatility and is a tenacious recruiter. Erik Campbell brought a “made” resume from Michigan.

I interviewed  former Minnesota coach Glen Mason a few years ago. He said Iowa coaches were hounds for fundamentals, teachers and not schemers. That sounds about right.



  1. Schemers, in any walk of life, never get anywhere in the long run anyway.

    I never thought Mason would say something intelligent but he fooled me….

  2. I like Mason on FB telecasts. He’s been there, done that. Knows the game and translates.

    Plus, you know he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Iowa.

  3. Ron Aiken will be seen a week from Sunday coaching Arizona’s D-line against a Quarterback he stopped when he played for Miami and an Offensive lineman that Iowa and Iowa State passed on when he was at WDM Valley (before Ferentz arrived). He won an Assistant of the Year Award while at Iowa too.

  4. Who’s the lineman, Marc?

    And I know I should know this. Hartwig?

    Never mind, Marc. It’s Hartwig. I’m glad I didn’t bet a six pack on that.

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