PNG graduate retires as Iowa offensive coordinator

Published 6:08 pm Friday, January 6, 2017

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis announced his retirement Friday, ending a coaching career that spanned more than four decades.

Davis, a former Port Neches-Groves quarterback who graduated in 1969, spent the past five seasons running Iowa’s offense. Prior to his stint in Iowa City, Davis was the offensive coordinator at Texas from 1998-2010 and helped the Longhorns win a national title in the 2005 season.

Davis’s unit struggled at points this season, bottoming out in a 30-3 loss to Florida on Monday in the Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes finished 95th out of 128 FBS teams with just 24.9 points per game.

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“Greg possesses a great football mind, and he brought a perspective and expertise to our program that made every one of our coaches and players better,” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who will further address the situation at a press conference Monday.

Davis began his college career at Texas A&M in 1978. He also worked at Brown, Georgia and Arkansas and was Tulane’s head coach from 1988-91.

Davis followed Mack Brown to both North Carolina and Texas, where he tutored quarterbacks Major Applewhite, Chris Simms, Vince Young and Colt McCoy.

Iowa won 39 games in five seasons with Davis as its offensive coordinator. But the Hawkeyes were often inconsistent from week to week — a trend encapsulated by Davis’s final two games, when Iowa scored 40 points against Nebraska but managed just a field goal against the Gators.

“This is my decision, but not a decision that was reached lightly. I remain passionate about the game of football, and enjoyed teaching football to our players every day,” Davis said. “It’s time for me to get closer to our family.”

Speculation will immediately turn to Davis’s replacement. Ferentz’s son Brian — who spent two years as an assistant with the New England Patriots before returning to Iowa to coach the offensive line — will likely get a look from his father.

But Iowa fans shouldn’t expect Ferentz to make a radical departure from his philosophy of a balanced offense that controls tempo with a punishing offensive line and a strong rushing attack.

The Hawkeyes do return five starters along its line, one of the nation’s best in 2016, and running back Akrum Wadley’s decision Thursday to return to school was a major boost for Iowa’s hopes in 2017.