New guy on the block knows the block

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By Courtney Baumann

courtney-baumann@uiowa.edu

Now four practices into spring practice, the Iowa football team is starting to get the hang of things once again.

While there aren’t too many new faces just yet on the football front because many of the incoming freshmen are still in high school, there are a couple when it comes to coaches.

One is Tim Polasek, who arrived on the Iowa campus recently to take over as the offensive-line coach for the
Hawkeyes. Polasek has never served as an O-line coach before, and he has admitted to his players that the new position will be an adjustment. It hasn’t taken him too long to fit in, though.

“He came in, and he just laid it on the line. He goes, ‘I love football, I love the game, and I’m excited to teach the offensive line,’ ”offensive lineman Boone Myers said. “He said, ‘It’s going to be a challenge for me, it’s going to be a challenge for all of us …’ He’s very passionate, he’s very excited. We’re all excited. I think it’s going to be a good fit.”

If there is one thing the Hawkeyes have learned about the new addition, it is that he is not exactly a Shrinking Violet. Even if the team is merely watching film, he has no problem building energy in the room.

“He’s such a high-energy guy. He’s always moving around. Even in meetings, it’s funny; he finds a way to get himself pumped up, just watching film,” senior offensive lineman Sean Welsh said. “It’s great to see. I think he does a great job with his energy level in motivating younger guys, especially. It really gets them moving.”

Polasek accepted the job at Iowa after spending some time at North Dakota State as offensive coordinator and running-back coach. He led the Bison — which ran for 239 yards and passed for 124 more last season in Kinnick — to a 407.9 average yards per game season in 2016. Surprisingly, this number ranked second in his career at North Dakota State. The year before, the offense averaged 432.3 yards per game.

Before taking over at the lead offensive position for the Bison, Polasek was a tight-end coach at Northern Illinois for a year, as well as at North Dakota State for three years before that. In total, Polasek helped coach the Bison offense in one way or another for 10 years.

Polasek’s influence now is not only on the Hawkeyes. It extends all the way to his home state of Wisconsin, where he will take over recruiting duties from linebacker coach Seth Wallace.

A native of Iola, Wisconsin, Polasek spent his first three years coaching at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His accent is easy to distinguish.

Wallace is not worried about losing some recruiting turf to the new offensive-line coach.

“When he officially signed on, I raised my hand, threw up the white flag, and said, ‘You can take the state, and they can put me somewhere else,’ ” Wallace said. “He’s really good, he’s really thorough, and he’s got a ton of relationships up there. He knows everybody. Everybody knows him. So it’s a perfect fit.”

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