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Iowa football team adds two assistant coaches

Kinnick Stadium, home to the Hawkeyes

IOWA CITY – University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz announced Tuesday the addition of Tim Polasek and Kelton Copeland to the Hawkeye football coaching staff. Polasek will coach the offensive line and Copeland will coach wide receivers.

Polasek (PAWL-uh-seck) joins the Iowa staff after serving as offensive coordinator and running backs coach at North Dakota State (NDSU) for the past three seasons. Copeland joins the Hawkeyes after coaching at Northern Illinois the past four seasons.

“We are excited to add two extremely successful individuals who have worked in highly competitive programs to our staff,” said Ferentz. “Tim has been involved in programs that have won at a very high level, earning a reputation as a great teacher, and as an individual who has established great relationships with his co-workers and players.

“Kelton, much like Tim, has been an assistant coach who has played a key role in the success of the programs he has been involved with. His players and special teams units have posted great accomplishments, and he is very well respected as an up-and-coming assistant coach. Both Tim and Kelton add vibrant personalities to our staff. We expect both will be a great fit for our entire program, the university, and the community.”

Polasek rejoined the NDSU staff as offensive coordinator and running backs coach in January, 2014, after coaching at Northern Illinois in 2013.

“I am extremely excited to join the Iowa coaching staff, to work with Coach Ferentz, coach in the Big Ten Conference and represent the University of Iowa,” said Polasek. “I look forward to getting to know our players and to help them improve every day. I am eager to meet and work with the entire coaching and support staff associated with Hawkeye football. I want to thank all the former players at NDSU for their efforts on the field and in the classroom. Without that, I would not be at the University of Iowa.”

NDSU posted a 12-2 mark in 2016, falling in the FCS semifinals to eventual national champion James Madison. The Bison averaged 240.9 rushing yards and 407.9 yards total offense per game. Running backs Lance Dunn and King Frazier combined to rush for 1,875 yards.

In 2015, Polasek directed a Bison offense that ranked second in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with 432.3 total yards per game. NDSU won its fourth straight FCS national championship with a 15-1 record and won the conference with a 7-1 mark.

NDSU’s offense flourished with first-year starting quarterback Carson Wentz rushing for more yards than any Bison quarterback since the veer-option days of the mid-1990s, and All-America running back John Crockett adding nearly 400 receiving yards to his school-record 1,994 rushing yards.

NDSU’s hard-nosed rushing attack helped the Bison rank second nationally in time of possession (34:03), third in first downs (343), and fifth in third-down conversion percentage (.483). The Bison averaged 5.2 yards per carry and rushed for 235.2 yards per game.

Polasek coached tight ends and fullbacks at Northern Illinois in 2013. The Huskies posted a 12-2 record, advancing to the Mid-American Conference championship game and earning a bid to the Poinsettia Bowl.

During his previous coaching stint at NDSU, Polasek coached running backs (2006-12), and tight ends and fullbacks (2010-12). Polasek worked with several special teams units as well before spending one season at Northern Illinois.

Polasek was an assistant coach at Wisconsin-Stevens Point for three seasons before initially joining the staff at NDSU. He coached defensive backs (2005), wide receivers/tight ends (2003-04) and quarterbacks (spring 2003). He was the special teams coordinator in 2004-05 and passing game coordinator in 2003-04.

Polasek is the all-time leading passer at Concordia University (Wisconsin), where he set single-game, single-season and career records for touchdown passes, passing yards, completions, and completion percentage. He was the Badger-Illini Conference Player of the Year in 2000. Polasek was a two-time first team all-conference selection in (2000-01) after earning second team honors in 1999. He was a team captain for two seasons and is a member of the Concordia Hall of Fame.

Polasek graduated from Concordia University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He earned his master’s degree from Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2005.

Polasek was born Aug. 8, 1979, and is a native of Iola, Wisconsin. His wife’s name is Jill.

Copeland served as wide receivers coach and specials teams coordinator at Northern Illinois in 2016 after coaching running backs from 2013-15. The Huskies had a first team all-conference selections at both wide receiver (Kenny Golladay) and as return specialist (Aregeros Turner), while leading the conference in both kickoff returns and kickoff coverage.
“It has been a goal of mine to advance my coaching career to this level,” said Copeland. “I have admired and respected Coach Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa program, and I am extremely thankful to join the Iowa football staff.”
In 2015, Northern Illinois running back Joel Bouagnon earned first team all-conference honors after rushing for 1,285 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Huskies averaged 190.1 rushing yards per game while playing in the conference title game for the sixth straight year and earning an eighth straight bowl invitation.

The Northern Illinois offense rushed for 3,488 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2014, as three running backs each averaged over five yards per carry. In 2013, the Huskies featured two players who each rushed for over 1,000 yards, including quarterback Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Copeland joined the Northern Illinois staff after coaching wide receivers at South Dakota for two seasons (2011-12). He was on the staff at Coffeyville Community College from 2007-10, coaching wide receivers (2008-10) and the defensive secondary (2007). Coffeyville advanced to the Region IV playoffs in three different seasons.

Copeland coached defensive backs at Northwood University in 2006, helping Northwood reach the Division II playoffs. He was on the coaching staff at Emporia State University from 2003-05, coaching linebackers, running backs, and wide receivers, while also working with special teams.

As a player at Emporia State from 1999-02, Copeland served as team captain for three seasons. While playing the quarterback position he set school records for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season and career, leading the team in total offense as both a junior and senior.

Copeland graduated from Emporia State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation. He is a native of Miami.

Copeland was born June 9, 1980. He is married to the former Bridgette Eldridge and the couple has three daughters, Marlea, Devyn, and Kabryn.

The Hawkeyes open the 2017 season Sept. 2, hosting Wyoming in Kinnick Stadium. Spring practice begins March 22, and concludes with the spring game in Kinnick Stadium on Friday, April 21.

The deadline to submit season ticket requests to the Iowa Athletic Ticket Office for Iowa’s seven home games inside Kinnick Stadium this fall is March 31.

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