Announcement comes nearly 2 months after defensive coordinator Norm Parker retires
Head football coach addressed the media on National Signing Day
Iowa has had only two head football coaches in 30-plus years and
that's a good thing for the UI's student-athletes
The offensive side of the ball gets the attention after practice
University of Iowa coordinator orchestrates an efficient and proficient offense
More on O'Keefe
Ken O'Keefe is in his 12th season as offensive coordinator at the University of Iowa. O'Keefe is in his 10th season as Iowa's quarterbacks coach after coaching Hawkeye wide receivers in 1999.
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).
The Hawkeyes have 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.
Under O'Keefe's direction, Iowa's offense in 2009 was led by junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi and freshmen running backs Adam Robinson and Brandon Wegher. Iowa averaged over 222 passing yards per game and the rookie running backs combined to rush for 1,475 yards. Stanzi heads into his final season ranked among Iowa's career leaders in passing yards, touchdown passes and total offense.
Offensive linemen Bryan Bulaga and Dace Richardson, along with tight end Tony Moeaki, earned first team all-Big Ten honors last season, with Bulaga being named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Bulaga was a first round selection in the 2010 NFL draft, while Moeaki was a third round selection and lineman Kyle Calloway was selected in the sixth round.
Iowa's offense in 2008 featured the Doak Walker Award winner in running back Shonn Greene and sophomore quarterback Ricky Stanzi. Iowa ranked fourth in the Big Ten in both rushing offense and pass efficiency while averaging over 370 yards total offense per game. The Hawkeyes ranked second in scoring offense (30.3) and first downs and third in time of possession.
Along with being honored as the top running back in the nation, Greene was named the Big Ten Conference offensive Player of the Year. Greene, (third round), OL Seth Olsen (fourth) and TE Brandon Myers (sixth) were all selected in the 2009 NFL draft.
From 2004-06, quarterback Drew Tate ranked as one of the nation's top signal callers. He ranks high in the Iowa record book for just about every passing stat. He is second in career passing (8,292), TD passes (61), completions (665), attempts (1,090) and total offense (8,427). Tate signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams following his Hawkeye career before playing in the Canadian Football League.
Tate, in 2004, quarterbacked Iowa to a share of the Big Ten title and a win over defending national champion LSU in the 2005 Capital One Bowl. Forced to the air due to multiple injuries to Iowa running backs, Tate earned first team all-Big Ten honors while passing for 2,786 yards and 20 touchdowns. His 56-yard scoring strike on the final play of the Capital One Bowl will go down as one of, if not the, top plays in Hawkeye history.
The 2006 Hawkeyes finished second in Big Ten pass offense and third in total offense. Under O'Keefe's direction, the 2005 Hawkeyes ranked first in the Big Ten in redzone offense and third in passing offense (257.8). In 2004, Iowa ranked second in the Big Ten in passing offense, passing efficiency and redzone offense, posting a 10-2 record while winning a Big Ten title.
In his first year as a starter, Nathan Chandler in 2003 directed Iowa's balanced offense as the Hawkeyes posted a 10-3 overall record. Chandler passed for over 2,000 yards as Iowa averaged 161.2 passing yards and 172.4 rushing yards per game. Senior RB Fred Russell rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Chandler signed a free agent contract with Buffalo.
Ken coached QB Brad Banks to all-America honors in 2002. Banks finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was named Associated Press College Football Player of the Year. Banks was also named winner of the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Year Award and won the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football, emblematic of the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player. Banks led the nation in passing efficiency (157.1) and is now playing in the Canadian Football League.
Seven Iowa players were named to the all-Big Ten first offensive unit in 2002. That included players named Offensive Player of the Year (Brad Banks) and Offensive Lineman of the Year (Eric Steinbach). Four offensive players, Banks, Steinbach, TE Dallas Clark and center Bruce Nelson, earned first team all-America recognition.
Several Iowa quarterbacks coached by O'Keefe have had the opportunity to play in the NFL and, over the past eight years, 17 offensive players coached by O'Keefe have been selected in the NFL Draft.
In 2001, QB Kyle McCann led the Hawkeyes to seven wins, including a victory over Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl. McCann ranked second in the Big Ten in pass efficiency while completing 66.3% of his passes and throwing for 2,028 yards. McCann competed for Barcelona in the NFL Europe professional league following his career at Iowa.
Under O'Keefe's direction, Iowa ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring in 2003 after leading the league in scoring in both 2001 (32.6 ppg) and 2002 (37.2 ppg). Iowa finished third in the league in total offense in 2002 at 424.5 yards a game, a figure which ranked 13th nationally. The Hawkeyes finished first in the Big Ten and second nationally in passing efficiency (156.3) in 2002.
O'Keefe was the head coach at Fordham University in 1998 and was the head coach at Allegheny College for eight seasons (1990-97). His career record of 83-17-1 includes a 79-10-1 mark at Allegheny, where his team won five North Coast Athletic Conference titles and the 1990 NCAA Division III national title. O'Keefe led Allegheny to four undefeated regular seasons (1990, 1991, 1994 and 1996) and six NCAA playoffs.
For his outstanding first year at Allegheny, O'Keefe was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1990. He was also named conference Coach of the Year four times (1990, 1991, 1993 and 1996) while at Allegheny. All eight of his teams ranked among the nation's top 12 at the end of the season and he coached 38 All-Americans.
Prior to becoming head coach at Allegheny, O'Keefe served as offensive line coach (1986-87) and offensive coordinator (1988-89) there. Ken was an assistant coach at the University of New Haven in 1976 and 1977.
In 1985, he coached Fort Worth (TX) Country Day School, and from 1978-84 he led Worcester (MA) Academy to a 37-11 record and three New England Class A prep championships.
In 1992, O'Keefe led a North Coast Athletic Conference all-star team to Moscow, Russia for a game with the semi-pro Moscow Bears. That experience led to a partnership called Friendship Through Football that resulted in the first youth football games ever between the United States and Russia.
O'Keefe earned his B.A. degree in history from John Carroll University in 1975, where he played football and baseball. He was a three-year starter at wide receiver while at John Carroll.
O'Keefe was born Aug. 18, 1953 in Milford, CT. He and his wife, Joanne, have two children, Meghan and Brendan.
O'Keefe's Coaching Career
Iowa OC, 1999-present Fordham HC, 1998 Allegheny College HC, 1990-97 Allegheny College OL, OC, 1986-89 high school coach 1978-85 New Haven AC, 1976-77
"Before joining the football staff at the University of Iowa, we knew of Iowa's highly regarded academic reputation and fine tradition in Division I football. But the one thing that has impressed us the most has been the people. It doesn't take you long to figure out that the true strength of the University of Iowa lies in the character of the people, especially the faculty, staff and student body.
Combine that with the magical atmosphere of Iowa City and the energy of Coach Kirk Ferentz, and you have a very special place. The University of Iowa can make a difference in your life.
It is certainly easier to understand that famous line from the movie Field of Dreams. `Is this heaven; no, it's Iowa.'"