O’Keefe stepping down as Iowa Quarterbacks Coach

Blair Sanderson

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Apr 8, 2003
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O’Keefe to Step Down as Iowa Quarterbacks Coach

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa quarterbacks coach Ken O’Keefe is stepping away from his on-field role as quarterbacks coach. The announcement was made Wednesday by Moon Family head football coach Kirk Ferentz. O’Keefe will assume an off-the-field role with the Hawkeye football program.

O’Keefe recently finished his 18th season as a member of the Iowa coaching staff. He was a member of Ferentz’s first staff at Iowa, serving as offensive coordinator from 1999-2011, as well as wide receivers coach (1999) and quarterbacks coach (2000-2011). Five of the top 10 single season quarterback performances at Iowa have come under O’Keefe’s leadership.

“My entire family and I are incredibly grateful to coach Ferentz, the players - - especially the quarterbacks I have been privileged to work with - - the staff, the University of Iowa, and the great Hawkeye football fans for all of their support these many years,” said O’Keefe. “When you love what you do, and where you do it, when you love being around the staff and working with tremendous men like I do day-in and day-out, it is hard to walk away. But I am confident that the time is right for me to step off the field and embrace a new opportunity.”

“Ken has been an important part of our football program for almost two decades,” said Ferentz. “He was one of the key components of building our program’s foundation 23 years ago and has been a friend for far longer than that. Ken hired me to be on his staff at Worcester Academy in 1978, and it has been a professional and personal honor to work alongside him all of these years.”

O’Keefe left the Iowa program in 2011 for a coaching position in the NFL. He returned to Iowa City to coach quarterbacks prior to the 2017 season.

“Ken rejoining our program from the NFL was a big bonus,” said Ferentz. “While we will miss having him on the field on Saturdays, we are looking forward to him continuing to share his perspective and knowledge to benefit our entire program.”

The University of Iowa will honor the terms of O’Keefe’s contract.

O’Keefe’s coaching career has spanned 45 years across several levels of football. He was named Division III National Coach of the Year in 1990 after leading Allegheny College to the NCAA Division III National Championship.

“This Hawkeye program is in great shape heading into the future,” said O’Keefe. “I look forward to helping out behind the scenes while also getting to spend some long overdue time with my wife, Joanne, and our family."

Iowa posted a 10-4 overall record in 2021, winning the West Division of the Big Ten Conference and earning an invitation to the 2022 Vrbo Citrus Bowl.
 

IowasLaw

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Nov 19, 2019
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lol Brian is like Teflon.

Iowa, known as OLine U, struggles at OL for the first time in the Ferentz era with Brian as OL coach. Brian gets promoted and Kirk doubles his pay.

National racism/bullying scandal with multiple accusers directly implicating Brian. Ferentz fires the nation's most well respected and highest paid strength coach. Brian gets no discipline at all and receives a raise.

Offense absolutely sputters to one of the worst in the Ferentz era, ranking 124th nationally, sparked some incredibly bad play calling. QBs coach resigns. Brian gets another raise.

Failing upward never hit a team so hard.
 

ChiLoopHawk

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Well, seeing that most of our QB's have never been much more then average in Kirk's tenure, I don't know if that is just that our QB's have never really been more then average or if KOK was not the greatest QB coach, so I really hope they take the time to seek and find a really good QB coach.
I think what doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough is that while most of our QB’s over the years haven’t been world beaters, our WR’s being below average has been the bigger problem. TE’s of course is a different story. But it’s hard to complete a lot of passes when the WR’s are blanketed most of the time.
 
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gojojo

HR Heisman
Jul 24, 2001
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1. He's "stepping down" but Iowa will honor his contract? I have a hard time believing this. If he left on his own Iowa is doing something I've never seen in my professional career; maybe it happens in sports and I've just missed it.

2. Why does it state "Moon family head football coach Kirk Ferentz" and not Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz? Are we now the Moon Family Hawkeyes?
 
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pamarcole

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Mar 19, 2014
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There must not be many adults making comments on this board ....I see mostly childish comments.

How about this.......Thank you for your many years of coaching the Hawks. We've seen many great seasons of football while you were coaching here! Enjoy what every life has instore for you moving forward! Thank You!!
 

HawkOn15

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Oct 19, 2015
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lol Brian is like Teflon.

Iowa, known as OLine U, struggles at OL for the first time in the Ferentz era with Brian as OL coach. Brian gets promoted and Kirk doubles his pay.

National racism/bullying scandal with multiple accusers directly implicating Brian. Ferentz fires the nation's most well respected and highest paid strength coach. Brian gets no discipline at all and receives a raise.

Offense absolutely sputters to one of the worst in the Ferentz era, ranking 124th nationally, sparked some incredibly bad play calling. QBs coach resigns. Brian gets another raise.

Failing upward never hit a team so hard.
You really think 2012 was the first time Iowa struggled at OL?
 

BBHawk

HR Legend
Oct 31, 2001
27,389
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Iowa City
O’Keefe to Step Down as Iowa Quarterbacks Coach

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa quarterbacks coach Ken O’Keefe is stepping away from his on-field role as quarterbacks coach. The announcement was made Wednesday by Moon Family head football coach Kirk Ferentz. O’Keefe will assume an off-the-field role with the Hawkeye football program.

O’Keefe recently finished his 18th season as a member of the Iowa coaching staff. He was a member of Ferentz’s first staff at Iowa, serving as offensive coordinator from 1999-2011, as well as wide receivers coach (1999) and quarterbacks coach (2000-2011). Five of the top 10 single season quarterback performances at Iowa have come under O’Keefe’s leadership.

“My entire family and I are incredibly grateful to coach Ferentz, the players - - especially the quarterbacks I have been privileged to work with - - the staff, the University of Iowa, and the great Hawkeye football fans for all of their support these many years,” said O’Keefe. “When you love what you do, and where you do it, when you love being around the staff and working with tremendous men like I do day-in and day-out, it is hard to walk away. But I am confident that the time is right for me to step off the field and embrace a new opportunity.”

“Ken has been an important part of our football program for almost two decades,” said Ferentz. “He was one of the key components of building our program’s foundation 23 years ago and has been a friend for far longer than that. Ken hired me to be on his staff at Worcester Academy in 1978, and it has been a professional and personal honor to work alongside him all of these years.”

O’Keefe left the Iowa program in 2011 for a coaching position in the NFL. He returned to Iowa City to coach quarterbacks prior to the 2017 season.

“Ken rejoining our program from the NFL was a big bonus,” said Ferentz. “While we will miss having him on the field on Saturdays, we are looking forward to him continuing to share his perspective and knowledge to benefit our entire program.”

The University of Iowa will honor the terms of O’Keefe’s contract.

O’Keefe’s coaching career has spanned 45 years across several levels of football. He was named Division III National Coach of the Year in 1990 after leading Allegheny College to the NCAA Division III National Championship.

“This Hawkeye program is in great shape heading into the future,” said O’Keefe. “I look forward to helping out behind the scenes while also getting to spend some long overdue time with my wife, Joanne, and our family."

Iowa posted a 10-4 overall record in 2021, winning the West Division of the Big Ten Conference and earning an invitation to the 2022 Vrbo Citrus Bowl.
Congrats to Ken on his next steps in life. Great guy and teacher.
 

CarterHall

HR MVP
Nov 4, 2001
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Wow! Who steps in? Huh?!?
Ferentz_s_cm_2019H_057_088.jpg
 

ichawk24

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Nov 21, 2005
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1. He's "stepping down" but Iowa will honor his contract? I have a hard time believing this. If he left on his own Iowa is doing something I've never seen in my professional career; maybe it happens in sports and I've just missed it.

Put on your big boy pants.

Kirk and Ken decided for Ken to retire, with the agreement that he would be paid through the rest of his contract. His initial 3-year deal ended June 30, 2020. I can't find info on his new contract. I'm going to assume it runs through June 30, 2023. He is getting 16 months severance upon retirement.
 

MepoDawg#

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Oct 29, 2012
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1. He's "stepping down" but Iowa will honor his contract? I have a hard time believing this. If he left on his own Iowa is doing something I've never seen in my professional career; maybe it happens in sports and I've just missed it.

2. Why does it state "Moon family head football coach Kirk Ferentz" and not Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz? Are we now the Moon Family Hawkeyes?
1. KOK is going to be in an off the field role with the team.

2. https://www.foriowa.org/iowa-stories/iowa-story.php?namer=true&isid=123
 
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CuttyDoesIt

HR Heisman
Dec 25, 2012
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1. He's "stepping down" but Iowa will honor his contract? I have a hard time believing this. If he left on his own Iowa is doing something I've never seen in my professional career; maybe it happens in sports and I've just missed it.

2. Why does it state "Moon family head football coach Kirk Ferentz" and not Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz? Are we now the Moon Family Hawkeyes?

They wrote a big check and got the naming rights.
 

Hawk-A-Doodle-Doo

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Oct 1, 2001
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Island of Misfit Message Board Posters
1. He's "stepping down" but Iowa will honor his contract? I have a hard time believing this. If he left on his own Iowa is doing something I've never seen in my professional career; maybe it happens in sports and I've just missed it.

2. Why does it state "Moon family head football coach Kirk Ferentz" and not Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz? Are we now the Moon Family Hawkeyes?
Because there are a dwindling number of buildings, PARTS of buildings, and other physical things on campus for people to use their money to buy immortality by putting their names on things they spent not one ounce of sweat or blood to actually build.

So now they've resorted to literally one of the dumbest and worst developments in the history of collegiate sports....buying naming rights to JOB TITLES. It's the most asinine, absurd, laughable and ridiculous money-grab and "look at us" initiative ever.

But just wait, it's gonna get even "better". Because now that they're starting to run out of the big job titles, like Head Football and Basketball Coach and Athletic Director, they'll next be comin' to name the Stine Family Starting Quarterback and the Wolfe Family Foundation Backup Women's Point Guard and the Grassley Family Endowment Assistant Associate Deputy Sports Information Director for Data and Analytics.

It's idiocy on a level Ol' Doodle once thought impossible.
 

HawkeyeInCentralIowa

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Sep 14, 2019
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lol Brian is like Teflon.

Iowa, known as OLine U, struggles at OL for the first time in the Ferentz era with Brian as OL coach. Brian gets promoted and Kirk doubles his pay.

National racism/bullying scandal with multiple accusers directly implicating Brian. Ferentz fires the nation's most well respected and highest paid strength coach. Brian gets no discipline at all and receives a raise.

Offense absolutely sputters to one of the worst in the Ferentz era, ranking 124th nationally, sparked some incredibly bad play calling. QBs coach resigns. Brian gets another raise.

Failing upward never hit a team so hard.
^Not an Iowa fan