Niemann joins Hawkeye football coaching staff

Iowa native Jay Niemann was announced as a member of Iowa football's coaching staff on Thursday.

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Niemann joins Hawkeye football coaching staff

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Pete Mills, Assistant Sports Editor

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Former Rutgers defensive coordinator Jay Niemann was announced as a new member of Hawkeye football head coach Kirk Ferentz’s coaching staff on Wednesday.

The Iowa native is Ferentz’s 10th assistant coach at Iowa. He will maintain duties as Iowa’s assistant defensive line coach and assistant recruiting coordinator.

Besides hailing from Iowa, Niemann has other Hawkeye ties. Former linebacker Ben Niemann and senior linebacker Nick Niemann are sons of the new coach.

“We had an excellent pool of coaching candidates, but one clearly stood out and that was Jay Niemann,” Ferentz said in a release. “Few coaches in college football today have Jay’s extensive defensive experience. I’ve had the good fortune to know Jay for years – first as a coach and then as a parent when we recruited both of his sons. In every instance, I’ve always been impressed with him. He will be a valuable addition to our staff and program.”

Supplemented by his experience at Rutgers, Niemann has a long history as a coach at the college level.

Niemann, an Avoca, Iowa, native, served as head coach at Simpson College from 2002-07 after coaching Northern Iowa’s defense from 1997-01.

He made Rutgers into a tough defensive force. The Scarlet Knight defense ranked 19th in the nation in pass defense in 2018 with Niemann at the helm, accompanied by a No. 46 ranking in red-zone defense in the nation.

But this strong success wasn’t enough to keep Niemann away from his home state.

“As native Iowans, Lou Ann and I could not be more excited to be returning to our home state,” he said in a release. “As the parents of two sons who have been in the Hawkeye program, we know the strong commitment to both academic and football success at the University of Iowa. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be affiliated with such a highly respected coach like Kirk Ferentz, as well as his outstanding staff.”

Niemann’s duties replace those of long-time assistant coach Reese Morgan, who retired earlier this year.

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