Report: Bobby Kennedy, Chris White Out as Iowa Football Assistants

By RossWB on January 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm
Bobby Kennedy in more employed times.
YouTube - Marc Morehouse

It's not even the middle of January yet, but spring cleaning is in full swing for the Iowa football coaching staff. Greg Davis announced his retirement last Friday, with Brian Ferentz being announced as his replacement on Monday. Now, according to a report from Football Scoop, Davis won't be the only current Iowa coach leaving the staff: 

Iowa: Sources tell FootballScoop running backs / special teams coordinator Chris White and receivers coach Bobby Kennedy will not have their contracts renewed. 

This report hasn't been confirmed by Iowa or any of the usual Iowa media sources, but Football Scoop has a pretty good track record, so we're certainly inclined to believe them. (EDIT: And now Morehouse has confirmed it.) For one thing, it's not like their departures come as a huge surprise. Kennedy joined Iowa's staff the same time as Greg Davis, so with Davis and his Texas-fried offensive styling leaving the building, it's no surprise that Kennedy would also be headed for the exit door.  That's not even broaching the performance aspect of the decision -- Iowa's wide receiver production was utterly woeful this season and the overall production and development trends under Kennedy haven't been very good. There was ample reason for Ferentz and Iowa to decide a new wide receiver coach was a good idea this off-season. 

White's departure is a little more surprising, if only because there was actually was solid production from his area of responsibility -- as you probably recall, Iowa had two 1000-yard rushers this season (LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley), the first time Iowa had a 1000-yard rusher since Marcus Coker topped that mark in 2011 (a pre-White era). Talents like Jordan Canzeri and Wadley developed from 2* recruiting after-thoughts to explosive offensive weapons during White's tenure. He also coordinated special teams and Iowa's seen improved play there over the last few seasons, too. 

No, what likely sunk White (and contributed to Kennedy's demise as well) was his involvement in the Eno-gate saga earlier this fall.  Per a lengthy letter that Eno Benjamin wrote to explain the events that led to his de-commitment from Iowa earlier this fall, two Iowa assistant coaches were aware that he was going to be visiting Arizona State and that they were "okay with it as long as it didn't get out."  SPOILER ALERT: It got out. You probably remember what happened after that.  White and Kennedy were eventually all but confirmed as the coaches Benjamin was referring to, so it's hardly surprising that they would find themselves on thin ice with Ferentz -- and now being replaced, apparently. 

The departures of White and Kennedy means Iowa now has three position coaching vacancies to fill: WR coach, RB coach, and QB coach (a role Davis filled in addition to being offensive coordinator). It also remains to be confirmed if Brian Ferentz will remain the offensive line coach in addition to being the offensive coordinator. There will also be a fourth new coaching role to fill once the NCAA approves a 10th official assistant coaching role later this spring (as they're expected to do after the football coaches' association unanimously approved that idea this week). Marc Morehouse thinks that new coaching role will go to a defensive coach, which would make sense. In any event, the big jobs on the Iowa staff may be filled, but the coaching carousel is spinning furiously on the position coaching level. 

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