Shane Viilo is in his eighth year with the University of Iowa football program, and in his second year in the position of football analyst. Viilo served as a graduate assistant coach for three seasons (2018-20) after serving as a student assistant from 2015-2017. He worked with the Iowa linebackers (2015-19) and defensive backs (2020).
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.
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 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).
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.
The Hawkeyes posted a perfect 12-0 regular season record in 2015, winning the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. Iowa participated in the 2016 Rose Bowl Game and the 2015 Big Ten Championship and ended the season in the top 10 in the final national rankings.
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.
Iowa tied for second in the nation in interceptions (20) in 2018 after leading the nation in 2017 with 21. Iowa’s 53 thefts over the past three seasons lead the nation. The 2019 Hawkeye defense ranked among the top 17 in the nation in scoring defense (5th, 14.0), first downs allowed (9th, 16.6), total defense (12th, 308.2), rushing defense (14th, 112.5), turnover margin (14th, 0.7), and pass efficiency defense (17th, 116.0).
In 2018 junior defensive back Amani Hooker was named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, marking the fourth Hawkeye to earn that honor since 2012 (Josh Jackson, 2017, Desmond King, 2015, Micah Hyde, 2012). Hooker earned first-team All-Big honors and second-team All-America recognition and declared for the NFL Draft following his junior season. Defensive end A.J. Epenesa earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and defensive end Anthony Nelson was named to the second team.
The Hawkeye defense led the nation with 21 interceptions in 2017, led by defensive back Josh Jackson, who led the nation individually with eight interceptions to match Iowa’s single-season record. Jackson and linebacker Josey Jewell each earned unanimous consensus All-America honors. The Hawkeyes ranked 17th in the nation in scoring defense (19.9), allowing less than 20 points per game for the third consecutive season. Iowa matched a school record with four interception return touchdowns.
Jackson, in his first year as a starter, also led the nation in passes defended, ranked second in interception return yards and return touchdowns, and ranked fourth in pass break-ups. He had two interception returns for touchdowns and tied Iowa’s single-game record with three interceptions in a 55-24 win over third-ranked Ohio State.
Jewell led the Big Ten in tackles for the second time in three seasons (he was second as a junior) and ranked fourth in the nation in tackles per game (11.3). He earned unanimous consensus All-America honors and was named the Big Ten Conference linebacker and defensive Player of the Year. Jewell earned the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Jack Lambert Trophy and was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy.
Viilo earned his bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation management from the University of Iowa in 2016, with a coaching and sport instruction concentration. He also attended Central Michigan University (2012-15). He earned his master’s degree in sports and recreation management in December, 2020.
Viilo was born February 6, 1994. He is a native of Drummond Island, Michigan, and attended DeTour High School in DeTour Village, Michigan. Shane and his fiancé, Alyssa, will be married in early July.