University of Iowa Athletics
Football Analyst

Shane Viilo

Shane Viilo - Football - University of Iowa Athletics


Shane Viilo is in his 10th year with the University of Iowa football program, and his fourth as football analyst. Viilo served as a graduate assistant coach for three seasons (2018-20) after serving as a student assistant from 2015-17. He worked with the Iowa linebackers (2015-19) and defensive backs (2020).

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. The Hawkeyes have been ranked in the final AP Top 25 five of the last six seasons.

Iowa’s streak of 11 straight bowl invitations is the longest in school history and its streak of 11 straight winning seasons ranks seventh best among power conferences. The Hawkeyes have earned 25 conference victories between 2020-23, matching its highest four-year conference win total in program history (1982-85 and 2002-05).

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. Iowa’s streak of 11 straight winning seasons ranks seventh best among power conferences.

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.

Following back-to-back narrow losses to open the 2020 season, Iowa won its final six games, all in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes were ranked 15th in the final CFP rankings and Coaches Poll and 16th by the AP.

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 final AP and Coaches polls.

Iowa’s defense in 2020 led the nation in allowing opponents 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 rout over No. 22 USC in the Holiday Bowl. The three losses were all to ranked opponents by a combined 14 points. Iowa was 4-1 in trophy games for the third straight season.

Iowa completed 2018 with nine wins and a final AP ranking of No. 25. 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 Big Ten West Division. 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 2024 Citrus Bowl, 2022 Music City Bowl, 2022 Citrus Bowl, 2020 Music City Bowl, 2019 Holiday Bowl, 2019 Outback Bowl, 2017 Outback Bowl, 2017 Pinstripe Bowl, 2016 Rose Bowl Game, 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl and 2014 Outback Bowl.

The Hawkeyes ranked fourth nationally in 2023 in scoring defense (14.8) and passing efficiency defense (102.1), fifth in passing yards per game (170.7), and seventh in total defense (282.5). Iowa has held nine teams without a touchdown since the start of the 2022 season. The unit allowed one touchdown or less in 10 games in 2023 and in 19 of the last 27 games.

Iowa tied for second in the nation in interceptions (20) in 2018 after leading the nation in 2017 with 21. Iowa’s 53 combined thefts between 2016-18 led 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 2023, DB Cooper DeJean was honored as the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, marking the fifth Hawkeye to earn that honor since 2012 (Amani Hooker, 2018; Josh Jackson, 2017; Desmond King, 2015; Micah Hyde, 2012). DeJean was also recognized as a unanimous consensus All-American and was a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy. LB Jay Higgins was a first-team all-conference honoree after leading the conference and ranking third in tackles per game (12.2). His 171 tackles tied the school single-season record.

DE. A.J. Epenesa and DB Amani Hooker were second-team All-American honorees in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

The Hawkeye defense led the nation with 21 interceptions in 2017, led by DB Josh Jackson, who led the nation individually with eight interceptions to match Iowa’s single-season record. Jackson and LB Josey Jewell each earned unanimous consensus All-America honors. The Hawkeyes ranked 17th in the country in scoring defense (19.9), allowing less than 20 points per game for the third consecutive season. Iowa matched a school record with four pick-sixes.

Jackson ranked second in interception return yards and return touchdowns, and ranked fourth in pass break-ups. He had two pick-sixes 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 and ranked fourth in the nation in tackles per game (11.3). He earned unanimous consensus All-America accolades and was named the Big Ten 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 Iowa in 2016, with a coaching and sport instruction concentration. He also attended Central Michigan University (2012-15). Viilo earned his master’s degree in sports and recreation management in December, 2020.

Viilo was born Feb. 6, 1994. He is a native of Drummond Island, Michigan, and attended DeTour High School in DeTour Village, Michigan. His wife’s name is Alyssa.