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Coker suspended, Kaczenski no longer on staff

Posted on 20. Dec, 2011 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

The Iowa Hawkeyes will be without a coach and a player when they take part in the 2011 Insight Bowl on Dec. 30 against No. 19 Oklahoma.

Sophomore running back Marcus Coker has been suspended for “disciplinary reasons” and will not accompany the Hawkeyes down to Arizona for the 2011 Insight Bowl on Dec. 30 against No. 19 Oklahoma. In addition, defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski has announced he will leave the program to pursue another coaching opportunity. Both announcements were made Tuesday by the UI.

According to the release, Coker’s suspension relates to UI policies and resulted in him being in violation of the school’s Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.

Coker rushed for 219 yards on 33 carries and scored two touchdowns for the Hawkeyes in their 27-24 win over Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl after he was named the starter following the suspension of running back Adam Robinson, who led Iowa in rushing last season.

No announcement has been made on who will start for Iowa in place of coker. Senior running back Jason White is listed second on the team’s current 2-deep and has been listed second behind Coker all season.

As for Kaczenski’s departure, it comes after being on the coaching staff for seven seasons, including the past five seasons as the team’s defensive line coach after replacing Ron Aiken, who left to become the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive line coach in 2007.

Kaczenski had been rumored over the past few days to be leaving Iowa to join Bo Pelini’s coaching staff at Nebraska. While nothing has been confirmed on Nebraska’s end, a plane from Lincoln, Neb., flew to Iowa City and back Tuesday afternoon according to FlightAware.

Ferentz released the following statements Tuesday:

On Kaczenski’s departure: “Defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski has decided to leave our staff for another coaching opportunity. During the last five years, Rick contributed greatly to our program. We wish Rick and his family the best.”

On Coker’s suspension: “It is unfortunate that Marcus Coker will not be with the team for our bowl game. During the next 10 days, we will focus and continue to prepare the players that are able to participate.”

UPDATE: Ferentz said in another release sent late Tuesday evening that he remained committed to staying the head coach at Iowa. This release comes after he had been mentioned as a possible candidate for current vacancies at Penn State and with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

“To emphasize what I had said previously, I am very happy at Iowa,” Ferentz said in this release. “I fully intend to be at Iowa next year and well beyond 2012.”

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