Iowa offensive coordinator Davis to return

Rick Brown and Chad Leistikow

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Greg Davis will return for a fourth season on the Iowa football coaching staff, barring something unforeseen.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz, in what amounted to a state-of-the-program address Wednesday, praised Davis, who has been offensive coordinator the past three seasons after Ken O'Keefe took a job with the Miami Dolphins.

There was plenty of speculation that Davis, 63, would not be retained or would retire after the season, though Davis said during TaxSlayer Bowl preparation he wasn't thinking along those lines.

"We've got great people in the building," Ferentz said. "He's an excellent teacher and excellent coach. It's been a learning process for him, just like it's a learning process for me every year. He's a tremendous football coach, and I'm really glad he's on our staff. I think we'll continue to improve as we move forward."

Ferentz wasn't ruling out the possibility that staff members could get a new job elsewhere or depart, but he wasn't announcing any firings Wednesday.

"I think we have good coaches, and I think other people think we have good coaches, too," Ferentz said. "So, yeah it could happen. I don't have reason to think it's going to happen right now, but it could happen."

Lambeau leap? When Ferentz spoke of the Hawkeye coaching staff getting back to basics, one of the things he mentioned was emulating other successful programs — in the Big Ten Conference and in the NFL. One team he mentioned was the Green Bay Packers, who feature three former Hawkeyes: offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga, defensive lineman Mike Daniels and defensive back Micah Hyde.

"I love to study," Ferentz said. "There is a lot of good stuff in Green Bay. We'll take some time there."

More player updates: Ferentz said that junior defensive end Riley McMinn's career is over.

"He's had a lot of injuries throughout his career, so unfortunately he's not going to be able to continue as a football player," Ferentz said. "He will graduate, and I believe he'll be going to graduate school in the fall here."

Ferentz also said that the team's leading rusher in 2014, Mark Weisman, had successful surgery for "an orthopedic issue" after the season. Weisman finished with 812 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He had 32 career rushing touchdowns, one off the school record shared by Sedrick Shaw and Tavian Banks. Ferentz thinks Weisman has an NFL future as a fullback.

"He's going to be fine moving forward, and I think he has an outstanding career waiting for him," Ferentz said.