Darrell Wilson Bio - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Darrell Wilson
Darrell Wilson

Defensive Backs and Special Teams


11th year at Iowa

Alma Mater:
Connecticut, 1981


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Darrell Wilson is in his 11th year on the football coaching staff at the University of Iowa. He will coach the defensive secondary in 2012, while also continuing to assist with Iowa's special teams. Wilson coached all the linebacker positions and special teams for four seasons after working with special teams and outside linebackers in his first six seasons. Wilson was named by Rivals.com in February, 2011 as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation.

Iowa has been bowl eligible the past 11 seasons and has participated in 10 bowl games since 2001. The Hawkeyes won bowl games following the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons, defeating ranked opponents in both 2009 and 2010. The Hawkeyes have ranked in the final top 10 of both major polls four times in the past 10 seasons.

Iowa has appeared in six January bowl games since 2001. The Hawkeyes have won six-of-10 bowl games under Kirk Ferentz and his staff, including four January bowl victories. The January Bowl wins have come over Florida (2004 Outback), LSU (2005 Capital One), South Carolina (2009 Outback) and Georgia Tech (2010 Orange).

Iowa has won 85 games over the past 10 seasons, including 50 Big Ten games. The Hawkeyes earned a share of the Big Ten title in both 2002 and 2004 and tied for second in 2009. Iowa has finished in the Big Ten's first division in 10 of the past 11 years.

Iowa's defense has been led by the play of its linebackers over the years, and 2011 was no exception. Sophomore linebackers James Morris and Christian Kirksey tied for the team lead with 110 tackles each, while senior Tyler Nielsen ranked fifth on the team with 73 tackles. Both Nielsen and Morris earned honorable mention all-Big Ten recognition. Nielsen signed an NFL free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings immediately following the 2012 NFL Draft.

Iowa, in 2010, ranked fifth in the nation in total defense (332.1), sixth in rushing defense (101.5) and seventh in scoring defense (17.0). Iowa also tied for seventh in turnover margin (+13) and 11th in interceptions (19). Iowa's special teams ranked sixth nationally in punt coverage (3.9) and 12th in kickoff returns (25.3).

Senior linebacker Jeremiha Hunter led the Iowa defense with 90 tackles in 2010, despite fighting injuries through the second half of the season. Hunter started 36 games in his career. In addition, true freshman James Morris was forced to start the final six games at middle linebacker and responded by earning Freshman All-America recognition.

Iowa's defense was led by middle linebacker Pat Angerer in 2008 and 2009. Angerer earned All-America honors in 2009 while ranking fourth in the nation in tackles per game (11.2). Angerer led Iowa in tackles for two seasons and ranks 26th on Iowa's career tackle chart (258). He was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts and started 10 games in his rookie season. In 2011 he started all 16 games and ranked fourth in the NFL in total tackles for the season, just behind former Hawkeye Chad Greenway (Minnesota).

In addition, outside linebacker A.J. Edds concluded his career in 2009 with 226 tackles to rank 44th on Iowa's career list. Edds was second on the team with five interceptions in 2009 and earned second team all-Big Ten recognition. Miami selected Edds in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Angerer and Edds led an Iowa defense that ranked third in the nation in pass efficiency, fourth in pass defense, tied for fifth in interceptions, ranked eighth in scoring defense and 10th in total defense.

Iowa, in 2008, led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. Iowa was second in the league in rushing defense and total defense, ranking ninth and 12th in the nation in those categories, respectively. Iowa ranked fourth in the nation while equaling a school record with 23 interceptions.

Special teams play has been a key ingredient in Iowa's success. Iowa's special teams last season led the Big Ten in net punting and ranked ninth nationally in punt coverage. Iowa was third in the Big Ten in net punting (37.8) in 2010, fourth in 2009, third in 2008 and second in 2007. Punter Ryan Donahue was a finalist for the Ray Guy Punter of the Year award in 2010. WR Colin Sandeman ranked second in the Big Ten in punt returns in 2009 and fourth in 2010.

In 2004, Iowa ranked 15th in the nation in punt returns. The Hawkeyes recorded four blocked punts and two blocked field goals. Two of the blocked punts came in the Capital One Bowl win over LSU.

Iowa, in 2003, ranked second in the Big Ten in KO returns (22.2) and third in punt returns (13.1), while setting a school record with five blocked punts. In addition, Ramon Ochoa set Iowa single-season marks for punt returns (40) and return yards (495), while ranking among Big Ten leaders in both punt and kickoff returns.

The Hawkeye defense led the Big Ten in turnover margin and red zone defense in 2007, while ranking third in scoring defense and fourth in rushing defense.

The Hawkeye defenders did much to turn around Iowa's season in 2005. The defense was able to shut down a pair of nationally ranked teams (Wisconsin and Minnesota) in the final two games to clinch a fourth straight January bowl bid. Iowa led the Big Ten in red zone defense and ranked third in rushing defense and scoring defense.

The defense set the tone for Iowa's championship run in 2004, as Iowa won its final eight games of the season, including a win over LSU, the defending national champion, in the Capital One Bowl. Five of eight league foes scored two touchdowns or less and three were held to seven points or less.

Iowa, that season, ranked fifth nationally in rushing defense (92.5), 11th in total defense (293.8), sixth in turnover margin (+1.08), 16th in scoring defense (17.6) and 17th in pass efficiency defense (106.7). The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten in rushing defense and turnover margin, while leading the league in red zone defense for the second straight year.

Iowa, in 2003, ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense (16.2), eighth in rushing defense (92.7), 16th in total defense (314.5) and 24th in pass efficiency defense (110.3). The Hawkeye defense held eight of 13 opponents to less than 75 rushing yards.

Darrell coached Grant Steen at outside linebacker in 2002 and 2003 as Steen earned second team all-Big Ten honors in 2002 and honorable mention recognition as a senior. Steen intercepted three passes in a win at Indiana in 2002, a feat that tied the NCAA record for interceptions in a game by a linebacker.

Wilson joined the Iowa staff after serving as outside linebacker coach and special teams coordinator at Wisconsin for two years (2000-01). One of his star players at Wisconsin was punter Kevin Stemke, winner of the 2000 Ray Guy Punter of the Year Award.

He also coached running backs at Rutgers (1999) and the defensive secondary and wide receivers at Rhode Island (1996-98).

Before his collegiate coaching career began, he compiled a 65-18 record as head coach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, NJ (1988-95). His Wilson HS teams won five conference championships and four times advanced to the South Jersey Group III state finals. Along with the outstanding success of his teams on the football field, Wilson was named Camden's "Citizen of the Year" by the Rotary Club in 1992.

A former honorable mention Division I-AA all-America defensive back for Connecticut (1976-80), Wilson was named to the Huskies' 100th anniversary all-time team in 1998. He played one year with the New England Patriots (1981) and five seasons (1982-86) with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. He was a member of the 1983 squad that won the CFL's Grey Cup.

Wilson graduated from Connecticut (1981) with a B.A. in sociology.

Darrell was born July 28, 1958. He and his wife, Monica, have four daughters, Brianna, Kayla, Kiana and Jehlani.

Wilson's Coaching Career

Iowa DBs, ST, 2012- Iowa LBs, ST, 2008-2011 Iowa OLBs, ST, 2002-2007 Wisconsin OLBs, ST, 2000-01 Rutgers RBs, 1999 Rhode Island DBs, WRs, 1996-98 Woodrow Wilson HS HC, 1988-95

"I have followed Iowa football ever since all-American Leroy Smith was a student-athlete here. During that time, I knew the University of Iowa was a special place for young men to play college football and earn a quality education from an outstanding academic institution.

I have followed the coaching career of Kirk Ferentz, and again, I knew if Coach Ferentz wanted to continue his career at Iowa, that he truly believed in both the University and the football program and what they have to offer to the student-athlete.

I have had the distinct pleasure to have known Coach Ferentz as a player, a leader and as a coach. Knowing what he stands for (integrity, hard work, sincerity), and how he genuinely is concerned about the total development of his players, I had no reservation when the opportunity was presented to become a member of his staff - - a staff of very talented and special men who are a true extension of Coach Ferentz.

As a former opponent, I appreciate the fantastic atmosphere that surrounds Iowa football. The people who support the program are very special people. Having seen this support first hand, which extends well beyond Kinnick Stadium on a Saturday afternoon, brings chills and makes me understand how blessed I am to be a part of such a quality program.

My family and I are very excited and equally proud to be a member of the Hawkeye family."

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