Assistant coach Seth Wallace removed as defendant in Iowa football discrimination lawsuit

Chad Leistikow
Des Moines Register

Iowa football linebackers coach Seth Wallace has been removed as a defendant from a racial discrimination federal lawsuit, 10 months after he was added.

Despite no specific claims against him involving racial bias, Wallace’s name was brought into the case in April 2022 by the attorneys for eight Black former Hawkeye players who are seeking damages for what they allege was a demeaning and retaliatory culture run by head coach Kirk Ferentz and former strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle. The lawsuit was initiated in November 2020.

Iowa football assistant defensive coordinator Seth Wallace was added to a federal lawsuit in April 2022 but removed on Friday in Iowa District Court in Polk County. He cannot be re-added to the suit.

From April:Players' attorney talks with Des Moines Register

Damario Solomon-Simmons, the players’ Tulsa-based lead attorney, told the Des Moines Register last spring that the reason for adding Wallace was that he believed one of the four confidential “personnel” reports produced in the Husch Blackwell investigation in July 2020 was pertaining to Wallace. The attorneys were eventually granted access to the four reports belonging to Ferentz, Doyle, Wallace and Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.

On Friday in Iowa District Court in Polk County, Wallace was voluntarily dismissed by Solomon-Simmons and his team “with prejudice” – which means Wallace cannot be re-added to the case.

The only known public claim against Wallace among the outcry of dozens of former players in June 2020 was by former defensive lineman Jack Kallenberger, who alleged Wallace was demeaning toward him surrounding a learning disability. Kallenberger is white.

Kirk Ferentz, Brian Ferentz and Doyle remain defendants in the case. A jury trial was initially set to start March 6, but that was delayed in a Feb. 14 ruling by Judge Helen Adams in light of pending motions in the case.

Wallace, 44, also has been Iowa’s assistant defensive coordinator since 2017. He and longtime Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker presided over the No. 1 defense at the FBS level for the 2022 season. Jack Campbell, one of the position players that Wallace directly coached, won the 2022 Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.