Hawkeyes need players to step up in wide receiving corps
UI football coaches Jim Reid and LeVar Woods visited with the media Wednesday
New wide receivers coach excited about talent and potential on the outside
Pair of first-year coaches meet with the media
First-year linebackers coach is impressed with coach Ferentz's consistency
The Hawkeyes enjoy a team lunch at the Outback Steakhouse in Coralville
Bobby Kennedy is in his third year as wide receivers coach at the University of Iowa. Kennedy joined the Iowa program with 22 years of experience as a college coach. He served as wide receivers coach at the University of Colorado in 2011 and 2012.
Iowa averaged just over 400 yards total offense per game in 2014, including 237 passing yards per contest. That total ranks ninth best for a single season at Iowa. Iowa averaged 28.2 points per game, its highest scoring average since 2010, while collecting seven wins and earning an invitation to the TaxSlayer Bowl. Iowa's total offense surpassed 400 yards per game for the first time since 2005.
Senior wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley became Iowa's career leader in pass receptions (174). Martin-Manley (517) and junior Tevaun Smith (596) both surpassed 500 receiving yards. Both Martin-Manley and senior Damond Powell signed free agent contracts immediately following the 2015 NFL Draft.
In his first year with the Hawkeyes, Kennedy assisted with an Iowa offense that averaged 377 yards total offense per game, including 197 passing yards per outing. Iowa registered eight wins, including five in the Big Ten to tie for second in the Legends Division. Iowa earned an invitation to the 2014 Outback Bowl.
Kennedy has coached four players to All-America honors, while nine of his players have earned first team all-conference recognition. He has coached in 14 bowl games, including four BCS games (two BCS championship games, one Rose Bowl and one Fiesta Bowl). In his first season at Colorado, he helped mold senior Toney Clemons into one of the nation's top receivers. Clemons was selected by Pittsburgh in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Kennedy joined the Colorado staff from the University of Texas, where he spent seven seasons (2004-10) as wide receivers coach, the last six as the assistant recruiting coordinator. In his time at Texas, Kennedy coached in two BCS National Championship games, the 2005 Rose Bowl victory over USC when the Longhorns won the national championship, and in 2009 against Alabama.
Kennedy's first season in Austin came immediately after the Longhorns had lost three wide receivers to the National Football League. He proceeded to build a receiver corps that included three Biletnikoff Award candidates, including two semifinalists and one finalist. In 2008, Jordan Shipley and Quan Crosby both surpassed 85 receptions and 1,000 yards, becoming the 11th duo in NCAA history to each surpass 1,000 yards. In 2009, Shipley was a consensus All-American, setting Texas records for catches (116) and receiving yards (1,485), while matching the school record for receiving touchdowns (13).
His receivers amassed 142 catches in 2005, helping the Longhorns to the third-best single-season passing mark in school history. With the emergence of Colt McCoy at quarterback in 2006, the receivers increased those totals to 158 receptions for 2,180 yards and 25 touchdowns. In 2007, the receivers caught 187 passes for 2,275 yards and 18 touchdowns before the emergence of Cosby and Shipley. Shipley earned All-America honors in two seasons. Kennedy also coached five receivers to seven All-Big 12 honors in seven years.
Kennedy joined the Texas program from Washington, where he tutored wide receiver Reggie Williams to two All-America campaigns before he became the No. 9 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Williams set UW's single season mark for receptions (94) and receiving yards (1,454) in 2002. The following season he was fourth in the NCAA in receptions (7.4 per game) and 16th in yardage (92.4). He finished his career as Washington's all-time leading receiver with 238 receptions and 3,536 yards.
He coached running backs at Arizona in 2001, where he coached sophomore Clarence Farmer to first-team All-Pac 10 honors. Farmer led the league in rushing (111.7 yards per game), a mark that ranked 21st nationally.
Prior to Arizona, Kennedy had a six-year tenure at Wake Forest, coaching the Demon Deacon running backs in 1999-2000 after four years (1995-98) as receivers coach. He mentored Desmond Clark, the ACC's leading receiver, and Jammie Deese, who was second in the ACC in receiving, in 1998. After moving to the running backs spot, he coached Morgan Kane, who rushed for 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns in 1999 while becoming the third leading rusher in school history.
Kennedy's first full time coaching position came at Wyoming, where he coached the wide receivers in 1993-94. He coached two extremely talented receivers while in Laramie in Ryan Yarborough, who was second in the NCAA in receptions in 1993, and Marcus Harris, who led the nation in receiving yards in 1994. Both Harris and Yarborough earned All-America honors.
Kennedy began his coaching career in the Big Ten Conference with two graduate assistant positions. He coached at Illinois in 1990 and 1991 and at Penn State in 1992. At Penn State, he worked with the tight ends and coached two future All-Americans in Troy Drayton and Kyle Brady.
He earned his degree in Political Science in 1989 from the University of Northern Colorado, after lettering at quarterback for four seasons (1985-88). He began his coaching career at Boulder High School, his alma mater, where he lettered in football and track.
Kennedy was born Dec. 13, 1966, in Denver, before growing up in Boulder. He is married to the former LaShonda Lawrence.
KENNEDY'S COACHING CAREER
Iowa WR, 2013-present
Colorado WR, 2011-12
Texas WR, 2004-10
Washington WR, 2002-03
Arizona RB, 2001
Wake Forest RB, 1999-2000
Wake Forest WR, 1995-98
Wyoming WR, 1993-94
Penn State GA, 1992
Illinois GA, 1990-91