Justin Flood is in his third year as a graduate assistant coach with Iowa football and his seventh year overall with the program. He assists with the Hawkeye defense after joining the staff prior to 2019 spring practice. Flood served as a special teams assistant in 2018 and 2019. He joined the Iowa football program as a student manager in January, 2015.
The Hawkeyes won 10 games in 2021, winning the Big Ten’s West Division title and advancing to the conference championship game. Iowa concluded the season with an appearance in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl and was ranked 23rd in the nation in the final national rankings. Iowa’s streak of nine straight bowl invitations matches the longest in school history and the Hawkeyes have been in the Top 25 final rankings four straight seasons.
Iowa opened the 2021 season with six straight wins and closed the regular season with four straight victories to earn the West Division title and a berth in the league championship game for the second time since 2015. Iowa has been in the final national rankings in each of the past four seasons and has earned 19 conference wins in the past three seasons, Iowa’s highest three-year conference win total since 2002-04.
Iowa’s defense set a school record and led the nation with 25 interceptions in 2021. The defense ranked among national leaders in takeaways (30, third), defensive touchdowns scored (four, seventh), pass efficiency defense (110.5, sixth), turnover margin (0.8, 11th), rushing defense (114.4, 13th), scoring defense (19.2, 13th), and total defense (328.8, 18th).
Riley Moss was named the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in the Big Ten, Iowa’s fifth honoree since 2012 (Amani Hooker, 2018, Josh Jackson, 2017, Desmond King, 2015, Micah Hyde, 2012). Moss, defensive back Dane Belton and linebacker Jack Campbell all earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, as Campbell led the nation with 143 total tackles. Defensive end Zach VanValkenburg and defensive back Matt Hankins each earned second-team all-conference recognition.
Following back-to-back narrow losses to open the 2020 season, Iowa won six straight games, all in Big Ten play, to complete the regular season. The Hawkeyes allowed just seven points in three of the six wins. The winning streak included road wins at Minnesota, Penn State and Illinois, and trophy game victories over Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the nation in the final CFP rankings and coaches poll, and 16th by the Associated Press.
Iowa won 47 games from 2015-19, the highest total in school history over any five-year period, and a total that ranked ninth nationally. Iowa won its final four games in 2019 and ranked 15th in the nation in the final Associated Press and coaches polls.
Iowa’s defense in 2020 led the nation in allowing opponents just 4.3 yards per play. The Hawkeyes ranked among the national leaders in several additional categories, including scoring (16.0, 7th), pass efficiency defense (110.1, 9th), rushing defense (107.6, 11th), total defense (313.8, 12th), red zone defense (.727, 12th), and interceptions (11, 19th).
Junior tackle Daviyon Nixon earned unanimous consensus All-America honors. He was named the Big Ten’s defensive lineman and defensive player of the year while earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. He was a finalist for both the Outland Trophy and Nagurski Award. Senior end Chauncey Golston also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.
The Hawkeyes concluded the 2019 campaign with a 10-3 record following a 49-24 win over No. 22 Southern California in the Holiday Bowl. The three losses were all to ranked opponents by a combined 14 points. The Hawkeyes were 4-1 in trophy games for the third straight season.
Iowa completed the 2018 season with a 9-4 mark and a final ranking of 25th in the Associated Press national rankings. The Hawkeyes earned a 27-22 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Mississippi State to close the season with three straight wins. The four losses came by a total of 23 points and all were decided in the final minutes of play. Iowa tied for second in the Big Ten West Division.
Iowa’s most recent bowl game invitations include the 2022 Citrus Bowl, 2020 Music City Bowl, 2019 Holiday Bowl, 2019 Outback Bowl, 2017 Outback Bowl, 2016 Rose Bowl Game, 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl and 2014 Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes have ranked in the final top 10 of both major polls five times in the past 20 seasons.
Flood has worked with all phases of Iowa’s special teams the past two seasons, including film breakdown of all phases, play book diagraming, weekly scouting reports, practice scripts, and assisting drills and scout teams during practice.
Iowa’s special teams were led in 2019 by kicker Keith Duncan and kickoff return specialist and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Duncan earned consensus first-team All-America honors and was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award. Duncan led the nation with 29 field goals (34 attempts), a total that ranks sixth-best in NCAA history. Duncan was named the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year in the Big Ten while ranking 16th in the nation in scoring (119 points).
Smith-Marsette led the Big Ten and ranked second in the nation with two kickoff return touchdowns. He had touchdown returns in back-to-back wins over Nebraska (95 yards) and Southern California (98 yards). Smith-Marsette was named the offensive MVP of the Holiday Bowl, becoming the second Iowa player in school history with a rushing, receiving and kick return touchdown in the same game.
Smith-Marsette helped Iowa’s kick return team rank sixth in the nation (26.6), while Iowa was also eighth nationally in kickoff coverage (17.2).
The performance of special teams played a key role in Iowa’s success in 2018. The Hawkeyes led the Big Ten and ranked second nationally in kickoff returns, with Smith-Marsette ranking second in the individual rankings with a 29.5 average. Smith-Marsette was named the Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year. Iowa led the league in kickoff returns for three straight seasons before ranking second in 2019.
Iowa ranked second in the Big Ten in punt return average (10.6), and eighth in the nation in kickoff return coverage (16.4) in 2018. Senior Kyle Groeneweg ranked second in the Big Ten and 19th in the nation in punt return average (9.9).
Flood previously served as an undergraduate student manager for Iowa football, working with the offensive line under Tim Polasek and Brian Ferentz. Flood served as a multipurpose intern with the NHL’s Chicago Wolves from May through July, 2017.
Flood graduated from Iowa in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in both Enterprise Leadership and Sports Business Practices. He is a native of Wayne, Illinois, and a graduate of St. Francis High School.
Flood was born April 26, 1996. He is single.