Jan. 9, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – – University of Iowa linebacker coaches Jim Reid and LeVar Woods have been named Linebackers Coaches of the Year by FootballScoop.
Woods, a three-year letterman during his Hawkeye playing career, completed his second year coaching Iowa linebackers after serving as an administrative assistant from 2008-11. Reid, a veteran of 35 years in the college and professional coaching ranks, has just completed his first season on the Hawkeye coaching staff.
Iowa posted an 8-5 record in 2013, including a 5-3 mark in Big Ten play to place second in the Legends Division. Iowa recently competed in its seventh January bowl game and 11th postseason game overall since 2001.
“Jim and LeVar teamed to do an outstanding job coaching our linebackers this season,” said head coach Kirk Ferentz. “Our three seniors, Christian Kirksey, James Morris and Anthony Hitchens, all played at a higher level than any time in their careers. All three did a great job of providing strong and positive leadership, both for our defense and our entire football team. Jim and LeVar provided great assistance and guidance to the entire group.”
The defense played a key role in Iowa’s turnaround from a 4-8 record in 2012. The Hawkeyes ranked sixth nationally in total defense, seventh in first downs allowed, ninth in passing defense and scoring defense, and 19th in rushing defense. Iowa allowed just eight rushing touchdowns in 13 games.
Iowa’s three senior linebackers, Hitchens, Morris, and Kirksey, played a key role for the Hawkeyes. The trio ranked first, second and third, respectively, in tackles, while Morris led the team in tackles for loss (18), sacks (eight) and interceptions (four). They also combined for 10 turnovers (six interceptions and four recovered fumbles).
Iowa accomplished the rare feat of having three linebackers post 100-tackle seasons and rank among college football’s top 70 tacklers. Hitchens led the way with 112 stops (36th nationally), Morris recorded 106 tackles (58th), and Kirksey had 104 tackles (68th).
The four interceptions by Morris ranked fourth most among FBS linebackers. He ranked among the top 60 nationally with eight sacks and was 20th with his 18 tackles for loss. Morris and Hitchens were each named second team All-Big Ten, while Morris was also earned first team Capital One Academic All-America recognition.
Reid completed his first year on the Iowa staff. He previously served as head coach at Massachusetts and Richmond, and has coached at Boston College, Syracuse, Bucknell, VMI, Virginia, and the Miami Dolphins. Woods played seven seasons in the National Football League before beginning his coaching career with the Hawkeyes.
The Iowa coaching duo earned the Football Scoop award over semi-final candidates from Stanford, Alabama and Louisville. They were selected from nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. Previous winners of the Linebackers Coach of the Year award have included assistant coaches from Boston College (2008), Rutgers (2009), Ohio State (2010), Wisconsin (2011) and Boise State (2012).
Reid and Woods will receive their award and be recognized during the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Convention in January.