Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says he will wait until spring practice has concluded to begin a search for a new assistant coach. Long time recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson is leaving the staff to enter the restaurant business in Tennessee. “We were all surprised a little bit on one hand, but also understand totally, he’s got a young family,” Ferentz says.  He says he appreciates all that Johnson has done as someone who has been with him all 15 years.

Ferentz says there’s no big hurry to find a new coach at this point and they will try to do what is best for the program. Ferentz says it is likely the new coach will fill a similar role of recruiting coordinator, but they all want to discuss how the role overall will change.

Iowa’s offense played at a faster tempo during last year’s 8-5 season and offensive coordinator Greg Davis expects that trend to continue. “We jumped last year about 8 plays a ballgame or somewhere in that area. We can function totally without a huddle now, even though we can huddle if we chose to,  and we’ve picked the tempo up,” Davis says.

Davis says it’s a process because they play with several different groups of personnel and that makes it harder to make things move faster.  He says they also don’t want to get away with allowing time for the quarterback to make changes in plays. Davis says moving too fast keeps you from making audibles and that can have you running a play you don’t want to run against a particular defensive front.

Davis says a big emphasis this spring has been “red zone” offense. “We had 9 first and goals at the 3 or less and we scored 9 touchdowns. We had 9 first and goals at the 7 to the 9 and we scored 5 touchdowns. That’s not good enough,” Davis says. He says they worked a lot this spring on the best possible way to score in that 7 to 9 yard range.

The Hawkeyes close out spring drills with a scrimmage on Saturday.