How a golf club helped ensure Tim Polasek got to Iowa, what Kelton Copeland will do with WRs, and more
The best way to start your day is right here at Landof10.com as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Iowa sports. We’ll share our Hawkeyes Wake-Up Call here with you at 8:30 a.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.
So let’s get to it. Here is your Wake-Up Call for Friday, Feb. 17.
How selling a golf club ensured Polasek landed in Iowa
Just to be clear, the Tim Polasek story didn’t result in him getting hired in Iowa City. No, it resulted in him getting hired at North Dakota State University in 2006.
But if Polasek doesn’t first end up with the Bison he doesn’t end up with the Hawkeyes as an offensive line coach.
Anyway, on to the story.
Polasek was the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point secondary coach. He also worked part-time as a logger. Toward the end of a day cutting lumber following the 2005 season, Polasek took a phone call from (then) North Dakota State football coach Craig Bohl. He wanted to interview Polasek for a graduate assistant position.
Two days later, Polasek would make the eight-hour drive for the job interview. There was one problem: He didn’t have enough cash to afford gas for the trip back.
He did, though, own a new driver.
“I had the means to get a really good driver the summer before, and so I sold it to get enough gas to come back,” said Polasek during his introductory news conference with the Hawkeyes on Thursday.
Polasek would ace the interview. He landed the $6,000 gig. He would also get the golf club back.
“The really cool part of that story … a guy purchased that driver and he mailed it right back to me right away,” Polasek said. “So it was kind of a running joke that he would have given me the money regardless. But that’s a true story.”
The story is probably better told by Polasek. So here’s video of it.
Fixing the wide receiver issue
Iowa’s wide receiver play was a problem last season. Development, or a lack thereof, at the position was exposed.
New wide receivers coach Kelton Copeland will be tasked with solving the issues at the position. So how does he plan to develop receiver talent?
“My philosophy is simple: be straight up, be honest, have a plan, and let them know I’m going to do everything I can in my power to help you along the way,” Copeland said at his news conference Thursday. “Not only to make you a good football player, but help you become a good man.”
Honesty matters above all else with Copeland.
“That’s the most important thing to me,” Copeland said. “If we have a true relationship where we can trust each other, we have something to build off of. No matter if you played every down of your career here, or if you don’t play one down here. If you’re honest with me and loyal and we’re working toward the same goal, we’ll always have a great relationship.
“If at any time that trust gets broken, then we’ll have an issue. In my experience, that usually doesn’t happen. If they trust you, they’ll buy into what you’re coaching.”
Running backs it is!
The worst-kept secret in the Iowa football office is finally official. Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz will coach running backs this season, as well.
“Last man standing,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “So that’s the plan right now.”
Running backs was the only option for the offensive coordinator once Iowa announced the hiring of Copeland and Polasek this week.
A new home
Brian Ferentz is switching position groups, going from coaching the offensive line to running backs. He is handing over the reins of the line to Polasek, a man without any experience coaching the position.
Polasek’s inexperience isn’t a concern for the head coach, who said how hard it is to coach the position can be “overstated.”
“None of us were prepared for any of the jobs we’ve had,” Kirk Ferentz said. “That’s part of growth. It’s part of moving forward. So to me it gets back to good coaches can coach.”
Ryan Boyle is switching back to quarterback, Kirk Ferentz said. He didn’t catch a pass as a wide receiver in 2016, and originally came to Iowa as a quarterback.
Wirfs wrestling update
Tristan Wirfs is trying to win the Class 2A heavyweight title at the Iowa High School wrestling tournament this weekend. His tournament started Thursday with a 9-4 victory against Creston’s Cody Tanner. Wirfs will wrestle Gilbert’s Eli Harris in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Lots of links
- This is the approach Copeland would use to sell Iowa to Florida recruits.
- Nebraska executive director of player personnel Billy Devaney didn’t think Iowa had more talent than the Cornhuskers this past season. Iowa did beat Nebraska 40-10 in November.
- The Iowa men’s basketball team went to work during the bye this week, writes Jeremiah Davis of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
- Iowa women’s basketball beat Northwestern 78-59 on Thursday, writes Davis.