Former Iowa Basketball Player Dean Oliver Named Assistant Coach at North Dakota

Former Hawkeye Dean Oliver has been hired as an assistant basketball coach at the University of North Dakota, Fighting Sioux head coach Brian Jones

Photo from USAToday.com

announced Tuesday.

This is Oliver’s first coaching gig. He’s spent the past nine years playing basketball professionally, including stops with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, the NBDL, as well as playing professionally in Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, The Netherlands, and France.

Oliver played for the Hawkeyes from 1998-2001 and ranks eighth on Iowa’s All-Time scoring list (1,561) and second All-Time in steals (205).

The former Hawkeye is very familiar with North Dakota head coach Brian Jones, who spent the past two seasons of Oliver’s collegiate career as an assistant coach at Iowa under Steve Alford.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” Oliver said in a press release. “I have known Coach Jones for a number of years, even before he was coaching, so this is a great chance for me to learn from him. It also gives me a chance to give back to basketball because it has been so good to me. I cannot wait to get started.”

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Iowa Fans Looking to Turn Kinnick Stadium Green to Support Brett Greenwood

Hawkeye fans are calling for a “Green Out” for Iowa’s Sept. 24 home contest against Louisiana-Monroe to support former Hawkeye safety Brett Greenwood.

Hawkeye fans held a "Green Out" for former Iowa running back Shonn Greene in 2008. Fans are calling for another "Green Out" on Sept. 24 to support former Hawkeye Brett Greenwood (Photo from Gazette.com)

Greenwood has been in the hospital since collapsing on Sept. 9 while working out at Pleasant Valley High School in his hometown of of Bettendorf. He was transferred to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics shortly thereafter and remains hospitalized in a medically-induced coma.

Greenwood’s parents, Michele and Dave, released a statement Wednesday through the UI Sports Information Department, noting that Brett “continues to fight and to make improvements.”

“During this very difficult time for our family, we have been overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support we have received from family, friends, the community and the Hawkeye Nation,” the Greenwood Family said in the statement. “It means a great deal to us to have so many people reaching out to us and telling us that they are praying for Brett.”

Brett Greenwood played safety for the Hawkeyes from 2007-2010 after joining the team as a walk-on. He earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2009 and 2010. He led the Big Ten with five interceptions in 2010 and his 12 career picks ranks sixth in Iowa history.

So far, more than 4,250 people have said they plan to wear Green at Kinnick on the “Wear GREEN for GREENWOOD” Facebook page.


Former Hawkeye Punter Now Kickin’ it in First Grade

Former Iowa football player Andy Fenstermaker went from booting punts to grading spelling tests.

Photo from Iowa.Scout.com

Fenstermaker, a three-year letterwinner for the Hawkeyes from 2004 to 2006, is in his third year teaching first grade at Penn elementary school in North Liberty, Iowa.

The Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, native joined the Hawkeye football program as a walk-on in 2003 after transferring from Missouri Western. Fenstermaker was the Hawkeyes starting punter for two seasons and earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors in 2006. He punted 105 times in his Hawkeye career, averaging 38 yards per punt and placing 40 kicks inside the opponents 20-yard-line.

During his time in Iowa City, he also developed a passion for working with kids. The former punter was a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and eventually decided to pursue a career in elementary education.

“I wanted to have a job where you could make an impact on the future,” Fenstermaker said. “Everyone has had a teacher or mentor that has impacted them in some way shape or form. That really appealed to me.”

After graduating from the UI in 2007, Fenstermaker became a part-time third grade teacher in the Iowa City school district. He held the position for one year before being hired at his current job in North Liberty.

His time as a student-athlete played a vital role in his teaching style, he said. Being able to see firsthand how Kirk Ferentz and the rest of the Iowa coaching staff interacted and influenced young people greatly impacted the former Hawkeye.

“There’s a lot of similarities with playing sport at the college level and teaching,” Fenstermaker said. “At Iowa, the big message was that [the team] is much bigger than just one person. That’s kind of the same scenario with teaching. It takes all the support staff at school, the parents, and the teachers in order to make it a success.”

While the 27-year-old teacher educates his students about typical first grade subjects such as math, science, and history, he tries to do so in a unique way — by incorporating new technology into his daily teachings.

He’s set up a class website and blog, complete with videos, photos and links to other learning resources for his students. His class has also made it a goal to try to talk with an elementary school class from each of the 50 states via Skype as a way to a gain a greater outlook on the similarities and differences between schools, communities and states.

In addition to teaching, Fenstermaker continues to be involved in sports. He has previously coached freshman football at Iowa City West and at Iowa City City high school and currently coaches sophomore baseball at West High. He’s also helped with the Hawkeyes special teams camp every summer since he’s graduated.

Although time doesn’t permit him to coach football for the time being, Fenstermaker said he plans to be involved on the gridiron sometime in the future.

Until then, he’s content with teaching his first graders and leaving a lasting impression on the future of America.

“One of the best benefits with the age I work with is their passion and drive for learning,” he said. “Just to see those light-bulb moments when things become routine and knowing that you had a huge part in that success is really rewarding.”


Former Hawkeye Kyle Schlicher Signs with Iowa Barnstormers

Former Iowa kicker Kyle Schlicher will have his first opportunity to kick for a professional football team Saturday.

Photo from Iowa.Scout.com

Schlicher, the Hawkeyes starting kicker from 2004 to 2006, signed with the Arena Football League’s Iowa Barnstormers, the team announced Thursday.

The kicker is one of four former Hawkeyes on the Barnstormers roster, joining Brad Banks, Rodney Filer, and Pete Traynor. He’s the fourth kicker to play for the Barnstormers this season — the team is 0-3 on field goal attempts through six games.

“It feels great to be re-united with some fellow Hawkeyes and to be back in a competitive environment,” Schlicher told HawkeyeLocator via text message. “It also feels good to put the pads and helmet on again. I’m excited, humbled and very grateful for the opportunity.”

Schlicher made 51 field goals during his Iowa career (third-most in school history) and earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 2005. After failing to sign with an NFL squad after college, Schlicher became a strength and conditioning coach for Navy SEALs at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois.

In a February 24  interview with Big 10 Rant, the 27-year-old former Hawkeye said he still aspired to kick professionally. There is a football field on the Naval Base he works at, and Schlicher said he is still able to connect on 55-60 yard kicks.

Schlicher got his wish.

He’ll get an opportunity to prove he still has what it takes to kick in a game situation when the Barnstormers face the Philadelphia Soul in Des Moines on Saturday.


The Fans Have Spoken: Hawkeye Mount Rushmore

After two weeks of voting, four Iowa legends have been forever immortalized on our Hawkeye Mount Rushmore.

Over 9,000 votes were cast, and we thank all of the Hawkeye fans who participated in the poll.

These are the four Hawkeyes who the fans thought were deserving of being enshrined on the historic monument…

HAWKEYE MOUNT RUSHMORE

Tim Dwight (WR & KR from 1994-1997): Dwight was a consensus All-American in 1997 and ranks second in Hawkeye history in career receiving yards (2,271)

Chuck Long (QB from 1981-1985): Long was runner-up to Bo Jackson in the 1985 Heisman Trophy award voting. He was a consensus first team All-American in 1985 — the year he led the Hawkeyes to the Rose Bowl. His 10,461 passing yards is tops in Iowa program history.

Nile Kinnick: (HB, QB, P from 1937-1939): Kinnick needs no introduction. A member of t he 1939 “Iron Man” squad, Kinnick won about every award imaginable. In addition to being named AP Male Athlete of the Year, he won the Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, and is the only Iowa player to ever win the Heisman Trophy.

Dallas Clark (LB/TE from 2000-2002): Moving from linebacker is likely the best decision Dallas Clark ever made. He won the 2002 John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate tight end. His 43 catches for 742 yards were integral to the Hawkeyes successful 2002 campaign where they finished the regular season undefeated.

ROUND OF 16 POLL RESULTS

ELITE 8 POLL RESULTS


Hawkeye Mount Rushmore: Round 2

We asked, and you answered in a big way.

Over 7,000 votes were cast in the first round of our Hawkeye Mount Rushmore poll.

The results are in and it’s time to start the second round. We’re down to the Elite Eight, which means the winners in this round will have their faces enshrined on the Hawkeye Mount Rushmore.

CLICK HERE to vote on the Second Round Match-Ups

Elite Eight

Nile Kinnick vs. BJ Armstrong

Dallas Clark vs. Andre Tippett

Chuck Long vs. Don Nelson

Ronnie Lester vs. Tim Dwight


Hawkeye Links For Your Afternoon Reading Pleasure

Here’s a few Hawkeye news and notes to read about…

– Despite the NFL lockout, Former Hawkeye running back and current free agent Albert Young continues to work out in preparation for the 2011 season, writes Mike Radano of Moorestown Patch

Bob Sanders is no longer a member of the Indianapolis Colts, and the organization didn’t waste any time getting his banner off of Lucas Oil Stadium. What image is in place of the former Iowa ballhawk? Find out at ProFootballTalk.com

– Former Iowa safety Tyler Sash is teaming up with ex-Iowa State QB Austen Arnaud to raise money for a cancer patient, writes Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register

– On a sad note, Bub Krieger, the grandfather of former basketball star Jess Settles and current Hawkeye football player Henry Krieger-Coble, passed away last Saturday at age 91. Susan Harman of the Iowa City Press-Citizen writes about how the Krieger family exemplifies Iowa’s athletic values.