In the strangest twist of events in an already fairly strange offseason—and it's only been one month—arguably the single-most maligned individual in the state of Iowa has left his job of 13 years to be the wide receiver coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Earlier today, Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette solidified the news that had been swirling around Internet circles all day.
Ken O'Keefe, the Iowa Hawkeye offensive coordinator, will be leaving Iowa City.
Newly hired Dolphins' coach Joe Philbin was coached by O'Keefe at Worcester (Mass.) Academy. The two later came back together when Philbin coached the offensive line at Allegheny College, where O'Keefe was the head man.
Then, they reunited again in 1999 in Iowa City under Kirk Ferentz. O'Keefe coached quarterbacks and was the offensive coordinator, while Philbin handled the offensive line.
Under Philbin, the Hawks turned lightly recruited tight ends Eric Steinbach and Robert Gallery into All-American linemen.
Following the 2002 Big Ten championship season, Philbin left for a job with the Green Bay Packers.
Meanwhile, O'Keefe has remained in Iowa City, but, as Hawkeyenation.com notes, the Iowa offense has been consistently underwhelming since that record-breaking 2002 season. During that time, O'Keefe has served as the convenient whipping boy for every Hawkeye fan under the sun.
It is arguable whether the vitriol was justified. After all, the offensive coordinator is every armchair quarterback's most hated enemy.
On the other hand, the Iowa two-minute offense has been embarrassing over much of O'Keefe's tenure, and the Hawkeye scoring offense has failed to rank above No. 6 in the Big Ten since 2008.
Now that O'Keefe is gone, it seems the 115 people that have signed the "Fire Ken O'Keefe" petition, as well as countless others that no doubt made up a fairly vocal majority, have gotten their wish.
The question is: What if another OC comes in, and he produces results that make O'Keefe seem downright competent?
It will then become obvious that the problem lies and has lied with the head coach the whole time—you know, the guy that has the final say over all play calls on offense or defense.
Needless to say, next year is going to be an extremely interesting one in Iowa City.
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