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Iowa Football Assistant Coach Stepped Down On Wednesday

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz runs onto the field before a Big Ten game against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 20: University of Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz takes the field with his team for the Ohio State Buckeyes NCAA college football game at Kinnick Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Iowa City, Iowa. Ohio State won 20-17 over Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

A longtime Iowa Hawkeyes assistant has stepped down.

According to an official statement made by the Big Ten program on Wednesday, quarterbacks coach Ken O'Keefe is stepping away from his on-field role. While his assistant coaching days with the Hawkeyes are over, he will take an off-field role within the program in 2022.

This past season marked an end to O'Keefe's 18th season and second stint with the Iowa program. He served as offensive coordinator/QBs coach from 1999-2011 before joining the Miami Dolphins as a wide receivers coach/senior analyst from 2012-16. He returned in 2017 as the Hawkeyes' quarterbacks coach.

“My entire family and I are incredibly grateful to coach [Kirk] Ferentz, the players – – especially the quarterbacks I have been privileged to work with – – the staff, the University of Iowa, and the great Hawkeye football fans for all of their support these many years,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “When you love what you do, and where you do it, when you love being around the staff and working with tremendous men like I do day-in and day-out, it is hard to walk away. But I am confident that the time is right for me to step off the field and embrace a new opportunity.”

O'Keefe's 45-year coaching career spanned a variety of levels. He earned the title of Division III National Coach of the Year in 1990 after leading Allegheny College to the NCAA Division III National Championship. As a head coach there, he led the program to a 79-10-1 record.

O'Keefe will no doubt remain strongly involved with the Iowa program.

“This Hawkeye program is in great shape heading into the future,” O’Keefe added. “I look forward to helping out behind the scenes while also getting to spend some long overdue time with my wife, Joanne, and our family.”