Iowa has had one departure this year within their coaching staff. Linebackers coach Jim Reid left to become the new defensive coordinator at Boston College. It's a new challenge for Reid and in a location that is closer to home for him.
Under Reid, Iowa's linebackers continued to make strong progress. After a year of rebuilding at the position, the linebacking core is now one of the strengths of the team. Sophomore starter Ben Niemann took the reins and this year and ran with it. He showcased outstanding speed and an ability to rush the passer off the edge. Fellow sophomore Josey Jewell became a household name and has drawn strong raves from opposing coaching staffs, particularly Stanford's in the week leading up to the Rose Bowl.
The loss of Reid leaves an opening on the Hawkeye staff and one that will be difficult to replace.
"It's a bittersweet thing," head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "I've known Jim for a long time, basically going back to the late '70's. Jim has done a wonderful job with our football program over the past three years, tremendous coach, tremendous person, and did nothing but give his absolute best to our football program in every phase; Supervision of our players, academic supervision, recruiting, certainly the coaching aspect."
His presence on the staff was a welcome one the last three years. Reid's impact has not gone unnoticed.
"Just very appreciative of everything that Jim did for our program over the last three years and wish him nothing but the best moving forward," Ferentz shared. "It's always hard to lose a good person, but this move made total sense for him. He's going back home. It's an opportunity to be a coordinator and I think he'll certainly have a positive impact on their football team there. Just want to think Jim for his contributions."
Reid replaced the late Norm Parker. He didn't bring everything to the table that Norm Parker did, but he brought was necessary to the Hawkeyes at that given time.
"So the profile Jim brought to our program at that time I thought was really important and very valuable," Kirk Ferentz explained. "Norm Parker had retired, and I'm not saying that Jim filled that role but Jim was a coach who had a really broad resume, a resume that had a lot of depth to it at all levels."
"What he brought to our program at that time I thought was really important," Ferentz added. "We are in a different state right now. I'm going to try to take my time and just think it over and do what's best for our football team and our program long-term. But yeah, it's a little different scenario or climate right now than maybe it was three years ago."
With the situation being much different and the program being in a different place, will the search be for someone similar? That is not known. What we do know is that Ferentz and the Hawkeyes will be in no rush to fill the void that Reid has left.
"I've got a couple ideas in my mind," Ferentz told the group of media members about possible candidates. "There's no pressure to make a decision right now. Probably the only thing I would say that's really pertinent to it is we are not the same program we were three years ago."