Hawkeye defensive coordinator calls it a thrill to coach against the Sooners
University of Iowa coordinator orchestrates an efficient and proficient offense
Hawkeyes to make 26th bowl appearance
Iowa bowl eligible for 11th straight season
After holding Purdue to 282 yards, the Hawkeyes now face high-powered Nebraska
Rick Kaczenski is in his fourth season as a fulltime member of the Hawkeye coaching staff. Kaczenski is in his fourth year as Iowa's defensive line coach after serving as a graduate assistant coach and working with the offensive line for two years.
Iowa concluded the 2009 season with a 24-14 win in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl and a national ranking of seventh in the nation. The Hawkeyes have been bowl eligible in each of the last nine seasons and have ranked in the final top 10 of both major polls four times in the past eight seasons.
The Hawkeyes have played in eight bowl games since 2001, including six appearances in January bowl games. Iowa has won five bowl games since 2001, 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 70 games over the past eight seasons, including 42 Big Ten games. The Hawkeyes earned a share of the Big Ten title in both 2002 and 2004 and tied for second a year ago. Iowa has finished in the Big Ten's first division in eight of the past nine years.
As a group, the defensive line played a major role in Iowa's success in 2009. The Hawkeyes ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (15.4), and first downs allowed (15.0) and 10th in total defense (276.5). The Iowa defense was third in the nation in pass efficiency (89.9) and fourth in pass defense (152.9) while ranking fifth with 21 interceptions.
The defensive front led the defensive performance in the Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech, allowing just 143 net rushing yards after Tech ended the regular season ranked second in the nation in rushing yards per game (307.2).
End Adrian Clayborn was named as the national Defensive Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards. Clayborn was named first team all-Big Ten, while end Broderick Binns and tackles Karl Klug and Christian Ballard earned honorable mention recognition. All four return in 2010.
Iowa, in 2008, led the Big Ten and ranked fifth nationally in scoring defense (13.0) and pass efficiency defense (98.3). Iowa was ninth nationally in rushing defense (94.0) and 12th in total defense (291.3).
Tackles Mitch King and Matt Kroul led Iowa's defense in 2008. King was named Defensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten while earning first, second and third team all-America honors. Kroul earned second team all-Big Ten honors after setting an Iowa record with 50 consecutive starts. Both King (Tennessee) and Kroul (NY Jets) signed free agent contracts immediately following the 2009 NFL draft and remained with their respective teams throughout the 2009 season.
In his first season with Iowa's defensive front in 2007, Kaczenski worked with a group that led the way for Iowa to rank third in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation in scoring defense. Iowa also led the league in turnover margin and redzone defense and ranked fourth in rushing defense. King was named first team all-Big Ten and senior DE Bryan Mattison earned second team recognition.
Defensive end Ken Iwebema was selected by Arizona in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL draft, while Mattison signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets immediately following the draft. Iwebema, as an NFL rookie in 2008, was a member of Arizona's Super Bowl squad.
Offensively, Iowa boasted the Big Ten's leading rusher in 2005 (league games only), along with leading the league in redzone offense and ranked third in passing offense and fourth in total offense. In 2006, Iowa ranked second in the Big Ten in passing offense and third in total offense. Two Hawkeye senior linemen, Marshal Yanda and Mike Elgin, were selected in the 2007 NFL draft, while Mike Jones signed a free agent contract.
Kaczenski joined the Iowa staff after serving as the offensive line and tight ends coach at Elon University in 2004. He held the same position at East Tennessee State during the 2003 season and served as the offensive line coach at South Carolina State in 2002.
Rick was on the staff at South Carolina from 1999-2001. As a graduate assistant he worked in recruiting and also coached with the offensive line and wide receivers. The Gamecocks appeared in the Outback Bowl following the 2000 and 2001 seasons. He also was the offensive line coach at Erie Cathedral Prep HS in Erie, PA in 1998, his high school alma mater.
Kaczenski played college football at Notre Dame, where he was a three-year starter on the offensive line (1993-96) under offensive line Coach Joe Moore. He helped the Fighting Irish to four bowl game appearances, including the Cotton Bowl in 1993, the Fiesta Bowl in 1994, the Orange Bowl in 1995 and the Independence Bowl in 1997.
He was part of offensive lines that were awarded Chevrolet Player of the Game honors in 1995 vs. Vanderbilt (293 rushing yards and 493 yards total offense) and in 1996 vs. Washington (397 rushing yards and 650 yards total offense).
Rick played 40 games for Notre Dame, including a string of 35 straight contests at the center position. During his career, Notre Dame finished among the top rushing teams in the nation in three different seasons, including 20th in 1994, sixth in 1995 and eighth in 1996.
His older brother, Bob, was a member of Penn State's 1986 national championship team.
Kaczenski earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Notre Dame in 1997 and he is a graduate of Cathedral Prep HS in Erie, PA. He was elected to the Erie Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Kaczenski was born Feb. 15, 1975 in Erie, PA. His wife's name is Jessica. The couple are expecting their first child in late June.
KACZENSKI'S COACHING CAREER
"It does not take long to realize that The University of Iowa is a very unique and special place.
The University of Iowa, Iowa City, and the Hawkeye Nation are a group of folks who take enormous pride in their university, their community, their football program, and their own.
When you combine the support and leadership of Gary Barta, Coach Ferentz, and the administration, the Iowa program looks to build upon its colorful and historic past.
I can honestly say that it is a privilege and honor to be part of such a storied program and renowned university. It is truly great to be a Hawkeye."