Former University of Iowa running back Ladell Betts, the second leading rusher in Iowa football history, is in his fourth year as running backs coach after being named to the position in March, 2021.
In 2023, the Hawkeyes won 10 games, including their final four, to capture the Big Ten West Division for the second time in three years. Iowa advanced to another January bowl game (Citrus Bowl) and finished the season ranked No. 24. LeShon WIlliams led the squad in rushing with 821 yards in 2023. He became the 52nd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career yards. Williams rushed for a personal-high 174 yards, including a game-winning 82-yard score, in Iowa’s win at Wisconsin. Iowa’s top five running backs are expected to return in 2024: Williams, Kaleb Johnson, Jaziun Patterson, Kamari Moulton and Terrell Wahington Jr.
Iowa won eight contests in 2022, concluding the season with a 21-0 win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl and wins in five of its final six games. True freshman Kaleb Johnson led Iowa’s ground game in 2022, rushing for a freshman-record 779 yards and six touchdowns. Johnson earned Freshman All-America recognition while also averaging 25 yards on 13 kickoff returns. Sophomore Leshon Williams supported the rushing attack with 413 yards.
In his first season on the Hawkeye staff, Betts coached junior Tyler Goodson, who led the Iowa rushing attack with 1,151 yards and six touchdowns, while also collecting 247 receiving yards and one touchdown. Goodson earned third-team all-conference honors after leading Iowa in rushing for the third straight season. Goodson, who declared for the NFL Draft, ranks 10th in career rushing with 2,551 yards. Goodson signed a free agent contract with Green Bay immediately following the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Hawkeyes won 10 games in 2021, winning the Big Ten West Division title and advancing to the conference championship game. Iowa concluded the season with an appearance in the Citrus Bowl and was ranked 23rd in the final national rankings.
Betts joined the Hawkeye coaching staff after serving as head coach at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He served as the head coach at Pine Crest for two seasons and was previously the offensive coordinator (2016-18).
Betts previously was the offensive coordinator at Boca Raton High School for two years (2014-15) after coaching running backs at Coral Spring Christian Academy in 2013. Pine Crest posted an undefeated season in 2020 and Boca Raton posted a 10-3 mark in 2015. Betts was offensive coordinator with the NFL Prep 100 Series from 2011-14.
Following his Iowa career, Betts was selected by Washington in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Betts played in the NFL for nine seasons, including eight with Washington and his final season with the New Orleans Saints. Betts played in 111 career NFL games, rushing for 3,326 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 1,646 career receiving yards and three touchdown receptions, along with 2,085 career kickoff return yards. His best single season included 1,154 rushing yards and 445 receiving yards in 2006. His career totals include 7,057 all-purpose yards.
Betts concluded his Iowa career in 2001 as a four-year letterman and is the only running back in program history to lead the team in rushing four straight years. Betts ranks second in career rushing yards (3,686), fourth in all-purpose yards (4,397) and 19th in career scoring (162).
Betts rushed for over 1,000 yards in his final two seasons (2000-01). He gained 1,090 yards as a junior and 1,060 as a senior. He scored 25 career rushing touchdowns, including 10 in his final season. His career totals also include 702 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Betts earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and senior. He was elected a team captain in 2001 and shared team Most Valuable Player honors in 1999 and 2001. Betts was a three-year member of the Leadership Committee during his Iowa career and served as an Ambassador with the University of Iowa Foundation during his final semester as a Hawkeye.
Betts earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa in 2001 and completed the Business Management and Entrepreneurship Program through the Aresty Institute of Executive Education & The Wharton Sports Business Initiative.
Betts Coaching Career
Team- Position, Years
Iowa – RB, 2021-present
Pine Crest School – HC, 2019-20
Pine Crest School – OC, 2016-18
Boca Raton HS – OC, 2014-15
Coral Springs Christian Academy – RB, 2013