Iowa is set to hire Green Bay Packers analyst and former Western Michigan coach Tim Lester as its new offensive coordinator, according to 247Sports. Lester takes over a position that was previously held by Brian Ferentz, the son of longtime Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz, before the two sides parted ways amid continued maligned production on that side of the football.
Lester went 37-32 in six seasons guiding his alma mater of Western Michigan before his dismissal after the 2022 campaign. Despite the rather pedestrian record, the Broncos consistently boasted productive offenses under his watch, including a 2020 unit that was tied for ninth in the FBS at 41.7 points per game.
Lester also has head coaching experience at Elmhurst (2008-12) and St. Joseph’s (2004). His year as an analyst in Green Bay served as reunion with Packers coach Matt LeFleur, a teammate of Lester at Western Michigan in late 1990s, as Green Bay reached the divisional round of the NFC playoffs before falling to the San Francisco 49ers.
Lester, who passed for more than 11,000 yards during his Western Michigan playing career, will be tasked with reinvigorating an Iowa offense that flatlined in recent seasons under Ferentz’s watch. The Hawkeyes finished second-to-last in the FBS in scoring each of the past two years, averaging just 17.7 points per contest in 2022 before regressing to 15.4 points per game in 2023.
The output (or lack thereof) in 2022 resulted in amendments to Ferentz’s contract, including a mandate for the Hawkeyes to average 25 points per game in 2023 in order for his contract to renew. Ferentz was on track to fall well short of that goal in 2023 before it was announced he would not return in 2024. Iowa, despite that, still won 10 games and claimed the Big Ten West before being shut out in both a Big Ten Championship loss to Michigan and Citrus Bowl loss to Tennessee.
Iowa will signal Lester’s second stint as an offensive coordinator at a power conference school. He previously served as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator from 2014-15.