Steve Loney is back in coaching and helping his friend at the same time.
The Marshalltown native and former Iowa State assistant was advising Drake athletic director Sandy Hatfield-Clubb on her search for a new football coach and has agreed to take the job on an interim basis.
Loney replaces Rob Ash who resigned last week to become the new head coach at Montana State. According to Loney, the pool of available candidates was just too small to have a proper search for a head coach. "That’s what became apparent as Sandy and I were talking," Loney says. "There may be some head coaches out there who would be absolutely great for Drake who would never surface at this time of year."
Loney’s 30-year coaching career has most recently included stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals. "There may be some head coaches out there that are very well qualified who said, you know, ‘Hey, I’d really interested in the Drake job but I’m not going to leave my school in the lurch (in) mid- to late-June,’" Loney said. "To make a decision now for something that’s going to go a number of years would eliminate those people who really are making what you would hope to be a decision to protect their school and the program they’re working for."
Loney is bringing in Tom Lictenberg, another former ISU assistant, to work with him and he wants all the current assistant Drake football coaches to remain.
"Wherever the program goes this season, it’ll be a nice, smooth transition," Loney says.
Hatfield-Clubb says she has not discussed having Loney take the job permanently. "This is what Steve was ready for…and to speculate further than that I think would be just speculation," she says.