Phil Parker, who served as defensive backs coach at the University of Iowa for 13 seasons, is in his 10th season as defensive coordinator in 2021, the longest tenured coach at that position in the nation. Throughout his tenure at Iowa, Hawkeye football has been one of the most successful programs in the nation, while featuring one of the top units in the nation on an annual basis. Along with winning the final six games of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Iowa opened the 2021 season with six straight wins. Iowa’s defense has 83 interceptions since 2017, most in the nation. Iowa won 47 games between 2015-19, most in school history.
Iowa has been bowl eligible in 20 of lasts 21 seasons, posted a 9-8 bowl record. Iowa holds the longest non-conference winning streak in the nation at 15 games, which include wins in three bowl games: 2017 Pinstripe Bowl, 2019 Outback Bowl, 2019 Holiday Bowl (2020 Music City Bowl was canceled); Iowa won Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2004, was second in 2009 and won the West Division with a perfect record in 2015. Iowa has finished in the final Top 10 five times since 2002, second-most in the Big Ten behind Ohio State. Iowa won 10 games in 2002 and 2009 and set school record with 12 wins in 2015. Iowa led the nation in yards per play allowed at 4.3. Iowa’s defense was also seventh in scoring defense, ninth in pass defense, 11th in rushing defense and 12th in total defense.
(200 word limit) Iowa is 7-2 through nine games after opening the season with six straight wins. Three of the opening six wins came against ranked opponents (Indiana, at Iowa State, Penn State) and Iowa has been ranked as high as second in the nation. Iowa has been in the national rankings each week during the 2021 season.
In 2021, Iowa leads the nation with 19 interceptions and ranks third in the nation with 24 total takeaways. Iowa ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense, seventh in rushing defense and 10th in total defense. Iowa is the only team in the nation with two players having at least four interceptions.
Iowa has three players in 2021 with at least three interceptions, including Riley Moss (4), Dane Belton (4), and Matt Hankins (3). Ten players have at least one interception. Two players have been named national defensive Player of the Week, including LB Jack Campbell and DB Matt Hankins. In addition, both Hankins and DB Riley Moss have been named Thorpe Award Defensive Back of the Week. Sixteen Iowa defensive backs under Parker have been selected in the NFL draft. Desmond King win the 2014 Thorpe Award and Josh Jackson was one of three Thorpe finalists in 2017. In 2020 DL Daviyon Nixon was a finalist for both the Outland and Nagurski Awards while earning consensus All-America honors.