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O’Keefe leaves program after 13 years

Posted on 03. Feb, 2012 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe has left the football program to “pursue another coaching opportunity,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a release sent Friday. O’Keefe’s departure was originally confirmed by the Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson and was later confirmed by the UI.

O’Keefe becomes the third assistant and second coordinator to leave Iowa this offseason. Former defensive coordinator Norm Parker retired following the Hawkeyes’ 31-14 loss in the Insight Bowl to Oklahoma back on Dec. 30, and former defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski left for the same position at Nebraska. O’Keefe had spent all 13 seasons of Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa tenure as offensive coordinator.

“Ken’s work contributed greatly to our program’s success during the past 13 years, and more impressively, to the growth and development of the young men in our program,” Ferentz said in a statement Friday.

During his signing day press conference Wednesday, Ferentz said he hoped to have a new defensive coordinator named next week. No timetable has been set for when an offensive coordinator would be introduced.

One source has told HawkeyeDrive.com that the “coaching opportunity” Ferentz was referring to is with the Miami Dolphins, who hired former offensive line coach Joe Philbin as their head coach back on Jan. 20. Philbin was on staff during Ferentz’s four seasons before becoming an assistant with the Green Bay Packers, where he had spent the last nine seasons.

O’Keefe and Philbin had crossed paths on two occasions prior to both landing in Iowa City with Ferentz in 1999. Philbin played for O’Keefe at Worcester Academy, and later spent four seasons as one of O’Keefe’s assistant coaches at Alleghany College.

Attempts to reach the Miami Dolphins with regards to O’Keefe possibly joining Philbin’s staff were made by HawkeyeDrive.com Friday evening. No official word has come from the Dolphins yet.

*UPDATE: O’Keefe was officially named the Dolphins’ new wide receivers coach in an announcement made by the team on Feb. 4.

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