March 28, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - University of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has announced additional changes to the Hawkeye football coaching staff, with the changes taking effect immediately.
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson, a member of the Iowa staff since 1999, will assist in coaching Iowa's defensive line. Graduate assistant David Raih, a former Hawkeye quarterback, will work with Iowa's tight ends. In addition, Chris Polizzi has joined the staff as a graduate assistant and will work with the Iowa defense.
"Our goal in moving Eric from coaching tight ends is to allow him to focus more on all phases of our recruiting efforts and take an even larger role in that area," said Ferentz. "Having played on the defensive side of the football and previously coaching defense, Eric will provide valuable coaching assistance to our defensive line and its development."
Along with coaching Iowa's tight ends (2003-07 and 2010-11), Johnson has also coached Iowa linebackers (2008-09) and worked with the Hawkeye defense as a graduate assistant coach in 1999. Johnson was a linebacker as a player and coached defense at Vanderbilt under Norm Parker before joining the Iowa staff.
"Having David work with our tight ends is similar to the role Dan Clark played for us during his tenure as a graduate assistant," noted Ferentz. "As a former quarterback who has worked with our offensive line the past two seasons, the move is a natural one for David."
Polizzi joins the Iowa staff after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Utah last season, where he coached the tight ends and assisted with the defensive scout team. Utah posted an 8-5 overall record in 2011, including a 30-27 overtime win over Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.
Polizzi joined the Utah staff after two years as a coaching intern at UCLA, where he worked with the Bruin defensive staff. Prior to his stint at UCLA, Polizzi coached tight ends and wide receivers (2005, 2006) and the defensive secondary (2007, 2008) at Central Methodist University in Missouri.
"Chris has gained valuable experience and he will be a real asset to our team," added Ferentz. "I'm confident the addition of Chris and the movement of Eric and David will pay dividends for the players they are coaching and our entire program."
Iowa fans will have the opportunity to see the Hawkeyes in action on Saturday, April 14 when Iowa holds its annual spring scrimmage in Kinnick Stadium. The free public practice begins at noon, with gates opening at 11 a.m.