Lester Erb Bio - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Lester Erb
Lester Erb

Running Backs and Special Teams


13th year at Iowa

Alma Mater:


Iowa Adds Kennedy and Reid to Football Coaching Staff

Ferentz announces changes to Hawkeye coaching staff


Hawkeye Backfield Continues to Produce

The names are aplenty, but the contributions remain the same


Phil Parker Press Conference Transcript

Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker met with the media prior to Iowa's bye week


Coach Ferentz Press Conference Transcript

Iowa hosts Minnesota on Saturday at 11:01 a.m.


Football to Host Minnesota Saturday on Homecoming

Games notes: vs. Minnesota

More on Erb

  • Watch: Coaches Corner: Lester Erb

    Lester Erb is in his 13th season at the University of Iowa. Erb is in his fifth season coaching the Iowa running backs after coaching Iowa's wide receivers for eight years. He has worked with special teams throughout his career at Iowa. He became a member of the Hawkeye coaching staff in 2000 after spending one year on the Army staff as tight ends coach.

    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.

    Erb was honored by Rivals.com following the 2011 season as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation. Erb also earned the same accolades in 2005.

    The Hawkeyes have relied on young players at the running back position the last three seasons. Under Erb's direction, those young players have performed well. Freshman Jordan Canzeri led Iowa in rushing (22-58) and receptions (6-28, 1 TD) in the 2011 Insight Bowl. Marcus Coker rushed for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011. As a freshman in 2010, Coker set Iowa bowl records for attempts and yards (33-219), scoring two touchdowns while earning offensive Player of the Game honors in Iowa's 2010 Insight Bowl win over Missouri.

    In his first season working with the Iowa running backs in 2008, Erb had the opportunity to coach Shonn Greene, who earned the Doak Walker Award as the top running back in the nation. Greene earned consensus All-American honors and was the offensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. He rushed for 1,850 yards to set an Iowa single-season rushing mark and was the only running back in the nation to surpass 100 yards in every game during the season. Greene was the first player selected in the third round (New York Jets) of the 2009 NFL draft. Greene led the Jet rushing attack at the end of his rookie season. The Jets advanced to the AFC championship game in both 2009 and 2010.

    In 2009, Iowa's two freshmen running backs combined to rush for 1,475 yards and 13 touchdowns as Iowa posted an 11-2 overall record, placing second in the Big Ten and winning the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl.

    Over the past 10 seasons, the play of Iowa's special teams has been a key ingredient in Iowa's success. Iowa led the Big Ten and ranked 25th in the nation in net punting last season. The Hawkeyes ranked third in the Big Ten in net punting in 2010 after ranking fourth in 2009, third in 2008 and second in 2007. Iowa allowed just 4.6 yards on punt returns to rank ninth in the nation last season. In 2010, Iowa ranked sixth in the nation in punt coverage (3.9) and 12th in kickoff returns (25.3). Senior punter Ryan Donahue was a finalist for the Ray Guy Punter of the Year award 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).

    Erb coached PK Nate Kaeding to first team All-America honors in both 2002 and 2003. Kaeding was named winner of the 2002 Lou Groza Placekicker of the Year award and was one of three finalists for the award in 2003. Kaeding is Iowa's career scoring leader and holds 14 school records. He was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers, the first kicker since 2000 to be selected on the first day of the draft. He earned all-Pro recognition in both 2006 and 2009.

    Under Erb's direction, Iowa's 2002 kickoff return team led the nation with a 25.1 yard average. Iowa has also ranked first (2004), second (2009) and third (2003 & 2005) in the Big Ten in kickoff coverage.

    In 2007, Iowa's offense lost its top two receivers (WR Andy Brodell and TE Tony Moeaki) for the season in the fourth game of the year. From there, two freshmen ended the season as Iowa's top receivers.

    Erb was instrumental in the development of wide receivers Ed Hinkel and Clinton Solomon, two seniors in 2005. Both ended their careers with over 100 receptions and over 1,500 receiving yards. Solomon ranks ninth in career receiving yards and his average of 15.8 yards per catch ranks second. Hinkel ranks 16th in career yardage and served as a very dependable punt returner throughout his career. Both signed NFL free agent contracts immediately following the 2006 NFL draft.

    Wide receivers C.J. Jones and Maurice Brown were both named honorable mention all-Big Ten in 2002. Jones played in the NFL following his Hawkeye career. Brown, as a senior in 2003, had 33 receptions for 507 yards, despite missing five games due to injury. Brown signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints following his senior year.

    In 2001, Iowa led the Big Ten Conference in punt returns (14.6 yards per return) and ranked fifth in kickoff returns (20.1 yards per return). WR Kahlil Hill was named as the national Special Teams Player of the Year after ranking nationally in both punt and KO returns. Defensively, Iowa's opponents averaged just 7.5 yards on punt returns and 19 yards on kickoff returns.

    Iowa's wide receivers also had an excellent season in 2000, with Kevin Kasper setting a single-season record with 82 catches (for 1,010 yards) and Hill catching 58 passes for 619 yards. Hill also ranked among national leaders in both kickoff and punt returns as a junior. Six Iowa receivers, coached by Erb, signed NFL contracts.

    Erb coached in the National Football League in 1997 and 1998, having worked directly with Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz on the Baltimore Ravens staff. He was Baltimore's offensive quality control coach while working with the offensive line. He was largely responsible for scouting opponent defenses and assisted with special teams.

    Erb gained experience on the Syracuse and Hobart College football staffs. Erb served three years at Syracuse, where his primary responsibilities included helping with the offensive line and scout team preparation. Erb also coached receivers at Hobart College for three years.

    Erb was a standout receiver at Bucknell University, where he set records for touchdown receptions in a season and career. He set a school record for average yards per catch in a single game when he averaged 33.7 yards on six catches vs. Fordham. His 902 receiving yards in 1989 ranks second best all-time at Bucknell. He ranks fifth in career all-purpose yards (3,286) and was Bucknell's Most Valuable Player as a senior in 1990.

    He earned his B.A. in business administration from Bucknell and his M.A. in high educational administration from Syracuse.

    Erb was born April 22, 1969. He and his wife, Eileen, have four children, sons Jacob and A.J., and daughters Emily and Sarah.

    Erb's Coaching Career

    Iowa RB, ST, 2008-present Iowa WRs, ST, 2000-2007 Army TEs, 1999 Baltimore Ravens AC, 1997-98 Syracuse AC, 1994-96 Hobart College WRs, 1991-93

    "I have the utmost respect for Kirk Ferentz. Having worked closely with Kirk for two years in Baltimore, I know that the University of Iowa could not have made a better choice in selecting a head football coach.

    Not only is Kirk the best teacher with whom I have ever been associated, but more importantly, he is in coaching for all the right reasons. He is in the game to make a difference in young men's lives.

    Kirk is as interested in the academic and social development of the student-athlete as he is their athletic development. Kirk cares about people, he is not about ego. He is as sincere and genuine a person as I have worked with in my career.

    I am confident that under Kirk, the Iowa football program will produce successful and well-rounded leaders of this community.

    From the first moment Eileen and I came to Iowa City, we knew this was a special place. We have been greeted with warm smiles and welcomed with open arms. The people in the community have gone out of their way to make us feel at home.

    I am thrilled and excited to be a part of Kirk's program at the University of Iowa and to be a part of the University of Iowa and the Iowa City community."

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