Ferentz Adds Betts and Barnett to Hawkeye Football Staff


FILE – Iowa running back Ladell Betts breaks a tackle by Indiana’s Greg Yeldell, background left, during a 29-yard touchdown run in the second quarter in Iowa City, Iowa, in this Saturday, Oct. 23, 1999, file photo. Ladell Betts will return to Iowa to coach running backs and George Barnett has been hired to coach the Hawkeyes’ offensive line, coach Kirk Ferentz announced Monday, March 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Two new additions to the University of Iowa football coaching staff have been hired and one is a former Hawkeye player making a return to Kinnick.

Head Coach Kirk Ferentz announced the hiring of Ladell Betts and George Barnett on Monday.

Betts will serve as running backs coach and still holds the distinction of being the only running back in program history to lead the Hawkeyes in rushing for four straight years. He also ranks second in career rushing yards with 3,686.

After his career at Iowa ended in 2001, Betts spent nine years in the NFL. He played eight of those seasons with Washington and rounded out his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints. He comes back to the Hawkeyes after coaching high school football in Florida for multiple years.

“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,” said Betts. “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.”

Barnett takes on the role of Iowa’s offensive line coach. During his 20 plus years coaching, Barnett has worked on football staffs at Illinois, Indianapolis, Grand Valley State, Illinois State, Miami of Ohio, and most recently at Tulane.

“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,” said Barnett. “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.”

Spring practice for the football team begins the last week of March.

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