IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -With a football program plagued by arrests, Iowa hired a coach to help players handle off-field issues.
Chigozie Ejiasi was hired Monday as the Hawkeyes' player development director. The position was created by coach Kirk Ferentz and athletic director Gary Barta in response to the nine players with legal issues who have been either been dismissed or left the program in the past year and a half.
Ejiasi is in his third season as an administrative assistant with the Hawkeyes. He has given up those duties to begin his new job.
``We created this position to assist our student-athletes in the transition from high school to college and to help make their experience at Iowa as positive as possible,'' Ferentz said in a statement released by the school. ``We're venturing into new territory with this position and we all expect it to change and evolve as we move forward.''
Iowa from 2001 to 2004. He returned to Iowa after serving as an assistant coach at North Iowa Area Community College in 2005.
Barta said Ferentz approached him last year about the position, which they saw as a positive response to the athletic department's off-the-field problems.
Barta said Iowa is among a small group of programs to fill such a position, and he believes it will become more common in college athletics in the future.
More than 100 people applied for the job, Ferentz said.
``Will he be an immediate cure for all the challenges facing our program, and college athletics in general? Absolutely not. But, I'm confident he'll help to move us in the right direction,'' Barta said of Ejiasi.
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