The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa football hires Tim Lester as offensive coordinator

Lester most recently served as a senior analyst for the Green Bay Packers.
Sep+18%2C+2021%3B+Pittsburgh%2C+Pennsylvania%2C+USA%3B+Western+Michigan+Broncos+head+coach+Tim+Lester+%28middle%29+and+players+react+to+their+fans+after+defeating+the+Pittsburgh+Panthers+at+Heinz+Field.+The+Broncos+won+44-41.+Mandatory+Credit%3A+Charles+LeClaire-USA+TODAY+Sports
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
Sep 18, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Western Michigan Broncos head coach Tim Lester (middle) and players react to their fans after defeating the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field. The Broncos won 44-41. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Ferentz has found his son’s replacement.

Tim Lester will serve as Iowa football’s offensive coordinator, it was announced Sunday.

Lester most recently served as a senior analyst for the Green Bay Packers, where he was tasked to “study the offense of each of the Packers opponents and help the defense game plan.”

Lester was the starting quarterback for Western Michigan from 1996-99, leading the Broncos to a Mid-American Conference Championship appearance his senior season.

He was hired as Western Michigan’s head coach in 2017 and was fired in 2022 after going 5-7, his first losing season at the helm. The Broncos averaged 19 points and 301.9 yards per game in 2022.

Lester finished his tenure with the Broncos 37-32 overall and 26-20 in MAC play.

Western Michigan’s NCAA ranks in total offense and scoring offense under Lester:

2018: 39th, 35th

2019: 25th, 30th

2020: 16th, 9th

2021: 12th, 34th

Lester served as Syracuse’s quarterbacks coach from 2013- 15 and doubled as offensive coordinator in 2014-15.  He then served as quarterbacks coach at Purdue for one season before returning to his alma mater.

Lester replaces Brian Ferentz, who served as Iowa’s offensive line coach from 2012-16 before taking on the offensive coordinator role on Jan. 9, 2017.

Iowa averaged over 25 points per game in four of his six seasons as offensive coordinator.  The Hawkeyes averaged 28.2 points per game in 2017, 31.2 in 2018, 25.8 in 2019, 31.8 in 2020, and 23.4 in 2021.

One of the worst offensive seasons of head coach Kirk Ferentz’s tenure came in 2022. The Hawkeyes averaged 17.7 points per game — 123rd in the FBS — and ranked second-to-last in total offense with  251.6 yards per contest.

It got worse in 2023.

The 10-4 Hawkeyes averaged 15.4 points and 235.4 yards per game, ranking second-to-last and last in the FBS, respectively.

In February 2023, former Athletic Director Gary Barta amended Brian Ferentz’s contract for the upcoming season. The contract included designated performance objectives of at least 25 points per game and seven wins, including the bowl game.

Following Iowa’s 12-10 loss to Minnesota in Week 8, the UI’s then-Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz said in a statement she informed Brian Ferentz that “this is his last season with the program.” His final game as a Hawkeye ended in a 35-0 blowout loss to Tennessee in the Citrus Bowl.

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About the Contributor
Kenna Roering, Sports Editor
she/her/hers
Kenna Roering is The Daily Iowan's sports editor. She is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism with a minor in sports and recreation management. Kenna previously worked as a sports reporter for men's wrestling and volleyball and was the summer sports editor in 2023. This is her second year with the DI.