IOWA CITY --- Kirk Ferentz compares recent changes within his Iowa football staff to the turnover that takes place on the Hawkeye roster annually.
“It’s not a big deal to me. We change players all the time. Every year, we graduate a new group and with it comes opportunity,’’ Ferentz said Friday.
“When you have an opening, an opportunity comes with it. It’s a chance for people to join, a chance for people to grow internally, and a chance for good things to happen.’’
Chris White became the sixth new assistant coach to join the Iowa program in the past 13 months Friday when he was named to work with the program’s running backs and coordinate the Hawkeyes’ special teams.
The hiring of White, who spent the four years as a special teams assistant with the Minnesota Vikings, is the third hire Ferentz has made since Iowa ended a 4-8 season in November.
The three newcomers, White, receivers assistant Bobby Kennedy and defensive assistant Jim Reid, bring a combined 72 years of coaching experience to the Iowa staff for the upcoming season.
It also alters position coaching assignments and recruiting territories as the Hawkeyes work toward 2013 and the future.
On defense, coordinator Phil Parker will retain those responsibilities and will coach the Iowa secondary, Reese Morgan will continue to coach the line with assistance from recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson and LeVar Woods and Reid will both coach Hawkeye linebackers.
Both Parker and Reid – who arrived at Iowa after working as the defensive coordinator at Virginia – are moving into areas where they have considerable experience, something Ferentz views as a positive.
Parker spent 13 years as Iowa’s secondary coach before replacing Norm Parker as the defensive coordinator a year ago. Ferentz said returning to his role with defensive backs “seemed like the natural place for him’’ once Darrell Wilson left for a job at Rutgers last month.
“The expertise and the wisdom Jim Reid brings to the room will be good for everybody, and hopefully will make everybody’s jobs easier,’’ Ferentz said.
Offensively, coordinator Greg Davis will continue to coach quarterbacks and Brian Ferentz will coach the line. In addition to Kennedy coaching receivers and White working with running backs, new graduate assistant D.J. Hernandez will coach tight ends.
“The big thing with all of our staff is that we all share common values, but we have diverse ideas that are something we can integrate,’’ Ferentz said.
Ferentz said Morgan will continue to recruit Iowa but other roles are changing.
Parker will oversee Iowa’s recruiting efforts in Michigan and Ohio, where he will share duties with Brian Ferentz and Reid.
Kennedy, who worked as the assistant recruiting coordinator at Texas before leaving for Colorado in 2010, will join Woods in recruiting Texas while Brian Ferentz and Reid will replace Lester Erb as Iowa’s primary recruiter in the Chicago area.
White, who filled roles as a wide receivers and tight ends coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator during nine seasons at Syracuse before joining the Vikings staff, will replace Wilson as Iowa’s lead recruiter on the Eastern seaboard.
* Ongoing injury issues have ended the collegiate careers of two Hawkeyes. Fullback Brad Rogers, a senior who started 12 games over the past three seasons, and sophomore linebacker Jim Poggi will be placed on the medical redshirt list which covers scholarship costs for the remainder of their careers.
* Two linemen with starting experience, Louis Trinca-Pasat on the defensive side of the ball and Nolan MacMillan on offense, will miss spring practices as they rehabilitate following off-season surgeries.
* Coach Kirk Ferentz said two starting offensive linemen who missed the latter portion of the 2012 season because of injuries, Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal, are making good progress and should be cleared medically to participate in spring drills.
* Iowa begins its spring practices on March 27. The public open practice this spring is scheduled for April 27.