Jack Koerner fully recovered after ‘freaky’ watercraft accident

Koerner’s friend Cole Coffin had a leg amputated as a result of the accident.


Katina Zentz

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner tackles USC tailback Vavae Malepeai during the Holiday Bowl game between Iowa and USC at SDCCU Stadium on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Trojans, 49-24.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Jack Koerner doesn’t want to go into specifics about the watercraft accident he was involved in over the summer.

Koerner, a West Des Moines Catholic graduate, was with his friend Cole Coffin at the Lake of the Ozarks in June when the jet ski they were riding collided with a boat. Both Koerner and Coffin were injured in the accident.

Koerner said he has fully recovered from the accident. However, Coffin had one of his legs amputated.

“Pretty much it was just a freaky accident, and I was lucky enough not to sustain any life-altering injuries,” Koerner said. “My friend, Cole, unfortunately, did sustain that leg injury and amputation. He’s back at Iowa now, going through physical therapy. He’s got a new prosthetic, and he’s doing really well with that.

“He is somebody that has shown a lot of grit and a lot of strength that a lot of people faced with similar circumstances I don’t know if they would be able to. You’ve got to applaud him, because I don’t know if anybody could handle it better than he has.”

After injuries forced Koerner into Iowa’s starting lineup last season, he excelled. Koerner is projected to continue to start at free safety for the Hawkeyes, and he said Dane Belton and Kaevon Merriweather are taking reps at the free safety and the cash positions.

While also preparing for the 2020 season, Koerner said he is making time to visit Coffin as he continues to recover.

“I’ve been able to see him quite a few times since that accident,” Koerner said. “He’s same old Cole, just a pleasure to be around. He’s not feeling sorry for himself, he doesn’t want anybody to feel sorry for him. It’s just something that has changed in his life, and he has attacked it as well as anybody could. I’m super proud of him, and proud to call him my friend.”