Betts and Barnett officially named to Iowa football coaching staff

These coaches will fill the vacancies at running back and the offensive line coaching positions.


Danny Wilcox-Frazier/Iowa City Press-Citizen

– -Text: PC photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier –10/20/01– Iowa’s Ladell Betts flys past the arm of Indiana defender Dominique Smith during Iowa’s 42-28 win over Indiana at Kinnich. Betts and Iowa’s offense exploaded to lift the Hawkeyes to victory. Title Iowa Football Betts

Isaac Goffin, Assistant Sports Editor

Ladell Betts and George Barnett were officially named to the Iowa football team’s coaching staff Monday.

Betts will be the running backs coach after the previous coach in that position, Derrick Foster, left Iowa to take the same position for the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers. Barnett will be the offensive line coach after the previous offensive line coach, Tim Polasek, was named the offensive coordinator at Wyoming.

“I am excited to welcome Ladell and George to our program,” head football coach Kirk Ferentz said in release. “Both are interested in helping our student-athletes reach their potential on and off the field.”

These hires come after a six-week search process.

Previously, Betts was the coach at head coach at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for two seasons.

Betts played football at Iowa from 1998-01 and led the team in rushing in all four seasons. His 3,686 rushing yards in his career are the second most in program history.

He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors his junior and seniors seasons and was elected team captain in 2001.

“I am excited to be back at my alma mater, where I had the opportunity to develop as a player under coach Hayden Fry and coach Kirk Ferentz,” Betts said in a release. “Now I have the opportunity to do the same for another generation of young players as part of coach Ferentz’s staff. It is incredible to feel like things have truly come full circle for me. I’m ready to get to work.”

Betts played in the NFL for nine seasons, with his first eight being at Washington and the last season being in New Orleans.

Barnett was previously on the coaching staff at Miami (OH) for seven seasons. He was the co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 2014-15 and was the assistant head coach/co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach from 2016-20. He was named the offensive line coach at Tulane in Dec. 2020.

Miami (OH) averaged just under 400 yards of offense in 2020, which ranked second in the MAC.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with coach Kirk Ferentz and his staff and to help maintain the standard of excellence in the Iowa offensive line room,” Barnett said in a release. “I am familiar with the success of the Iowa program and the Big Ten Conference overall. My family and I are excited to get to Iowa City and be part of an outstanding institution and athletics program.”

The team will begin spring practices in the last week of March. The 2021 season begins Sept. 4 against Indiana at Kinnick Stadium.