Tim Lester is in his first season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Iowa.
Lester comes to Iowa City with 22 years of coaching experience, including 12 years as a head coach on the Division I, II and III levels, and 12 years as an offensive coordinator.
A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Lester spent last season as a senior analyst for the Green Bay Packers after serving as head coach at Western Michigan University (WMU) for six seasons (2017-22).
Lester and the Green Bay staff helped guide the Packers to nine victories in 2023 and the team advanced to the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs with a first-year starting quarterback.
During Lester’s tenure as head coach at WMU, the Broncos won 37 games and appeared in three bowl games. WMU’s offense was ranked in the top 35 nationally in total offense four consecutive seasons (2018-21), with Lester serving as the primary offensive play caller for three years (2018-20).
Seventeen players signed NFL contracts during Lester’s six-year tenure at WMU. There were also 42 all-conference selections and 89 Academic All-Mid American Conference honorees under his direction.
In 2021, WMU cruised to a 28-point win over Nevada in the Quick Lane Bowl. WMU, winners of four of six games in a shortened season, ranked 16th nationally in total offense and QB Kaleb Eleby finished third in the nation in passer rating, trailing only Heisman finalist Mac Jones (Alabama) and Zach Wilson (BYU) in 2020.
Lester’s 2019 squad featured the league’s offensive and defensive players of the year and an appearance in the First Responder Bowl.
Off the field, 2019 was highlighted by QB Jon Wassink receiving the Wuerffel Trophy for his community service efforts and football performance, as well as being selected as a National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete, making him a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, commonly referred to as the Academic Heisman. Wassink was also named the NFF State of Michigan Chapter Michael R. Sadler D1 Scholar Athlete of the Year award winner. WMU had an additional six selections to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, tied for the second most among Group of Five conferences.
During the 2018 campaign, Lester guided the Broncos to an appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Prior to taking the head coaching position at WMU, Lester was the quarterbacks coach at Purdue in 2016, mentoring David Blough to 3,352 passing yards and accounting for 30 touchdowns, averaging more than 279 yards passing per game. Lester served as Syracuse’s quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 and doubled as offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015.
Before his three years at Syracuse, Lester was head coach at Division III Elmhurst (Illinois) College from 2008-12. Over five seasons, he posted a 33-19 record for a .635 winning percentage, the second highest in school history. In his final season in 2012, he led his team to 10 wins and a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championship as well as Elmhurst’s first NCAA playoff appearance. Lester was named the CCIW Coach of the Year that season.
Lester also made a stop as an assistant coach at his alma mater during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He also served as an assistant at North Central College (2007) and Elmhurst (2002-03). Lester was the head coach at Division II Saint Joseph’s College in 2004, receiving Independent Football Alliance Coach of the Year honors after leading the team to its second-best record in program history.
Lester was a four-year starting quarterback at WMU from 1996-99, leading the Broncos to a Mid-American Conference championship appearance his senior season. He earned MAC Freshman of the Year honors and was a second-team all-conference selection his junior and senior seasons. Lester graduated fourth in FBS history in passing yards (11,299) and sixth in touchdown passes (89). He set 17 school passing records and eight Mid-American Conference records.
Lester earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Western Michigan in 2000 and was inducted into the Western Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
Lester was born on Feb. 8, 1977. He and his wife Dawn have three sons, ages 14, 12, and 10. He is also the father of Quinn Isaacson, a 2022 NVCA/AVCA All-American volleyball setter at Ball State University, who has represented Team USA in the Volleyball Nation’s League and currently plays professionally in France.
Lester’s Coaching Career
School – Position, Years
Green Bay Packers – Senior Analyst, 2023
Western Michigan – Head Coach, 2017-22
Purdue – Quarterbacks, 2016
Syracuse – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2014-15
Syracuse – Quarterbacks/Recruiting Coordinator, 2013-14
Elmhurst – Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, 2008-12
North Central – Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator, 2007
Western Michigan – Quarterbacks, 2005-06
Saint Joseph’s (IN) – Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator, 2004
Elmhurst – Offensive Coordinator, 2002-03
Saint Benedict at Auburndale HS – Offensive Coordinator, 2001
Wheaton Warrenville South HS – Offensive Coordinator, 2000