On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported that the Iowa Hawkeyes hired former Green Bay Packers senior analyst Tim Lester as the team’s next offensive coordinator. Iowa’s offensive coordinator job has been open for months after head coach Kirk Ferentz had to part ways with his son Brian Ferentz amid poor offensive performances and accusations of nepotism.
Considering Lester’s ties to Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, nepotism is a touchy subject here. The two were college quarterbacks together at Western Michigan during the 1998 and 1999 seasons, so one could argue that nepotism was why Lester finally made the jump to the professional level last year.
Before he joined the Packers, Lester had previously been the offensive coordinator at Syracuse (2014-2015) and the head coach of his alma mater Western Michigan (2017-2022). At WMU, his Broncos — off of P.J. Fleck’s run at the program — went 37-32 overall and 26-20 in MAC play. In six years, his Western Michigan teams made three bowl games with one bowl win in the 2021 Quick Lane Bowl over Nevada, a team coached by interim head coach Vai Taua following Jay Norvell’s departure for Colorado State.
Iowa fans seem to be frustrated with how traditional the Iowa offense has been under Ferentz. If Lester has learned any lessons from his time in Green Bay, that shouldn’t change. Historically, the Packers have been one of the most condensed offenses in the league, from a formation width standpoint. On top of that, the team just came off a playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys where the Packers’ offensive played under center 63 percent of the time — the highest rate of any team in any game during the 2023 season.
If Hawkeyes fans thought that Ferentz was going to have some sort of change of heart and hire some Air Raid offensive coordinator in 2024, they have another thing coming.