Diaco photo

FILE - Int his Nov. 4, 2016, file photo, Connecticut coach Bob Diaco watches his players warm up for an NCAA college football game against Temple in East Hartford, Conn. Former UConn head coach Bob Diaco has been named the new defensive coordinator at Nebraska. UConn fired Diaco last month after three straight losing seasons. Nebraska coach Mike Riley hired Diaco to take over a Nebraska defense that struggled in the most important games. He replaces Mark Banker, who was fired Wednesday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File_

The Associated Press

This might be as good of a time as any for the Iowa offense to go through the "re-organizational effort'' coach Kirk Ferentz said the Hawkeye staff is working through right now.

A number of teams in the Big Ten are going through the same thing and as of today — it's still a fluid thing — only two coaching staffs in the West Division are expected to be led by the same offensive and defensive coordinators in 2017 as they were in 2016.

Those two? Northwestern and Illinois.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune earlier this month that he anticipates the Wildcats' staff remaining intact for seventh straight season.

That's a lifetime in the coaching world these days.

Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson on Coach Lovie Smith's staff in Champaign have barely had a chance to unpack its bags after being hired last March after Smith's whirlwind hiring during the initial days of Josh Whitman's tenure as the Illinois director of athletics.

Everywhere else in the West, things are changing.

That includes the hiring of former Hawkeye Bob Diaco on Saturday as the new defensive coordinator at Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers made the former Connecticut head coach the highest paid assistant coach in the program's history when they agreed to pay Diaco $825,000 in 2017 and $875,000 in 2018 as part of a two-year contract.

By comparison, Iowa offensive and defensive coordinators Greg Davis and Phil Parker were paid a base salary of $625,000 last season.

No coordinator in Nebraska history had made ore than the $715,000 Tim Beck was paid as the Cornhuskers' offensive coordinator in 2014, but it took that to bring Diaco back to his Big Ten roots.

A linebacker on Hayden Fry-coached Iowa teams from 1992-95, Diaco worked as a graduate assistant at Iowa.

He followed former Hawkeye assistant Don Patterson to Western Illinois, where Diaco coached running backs in 1999 and 2000 before moving on in a career which ultimately led him to work as the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame and a four-year run there before spending the last three seasons as the head coach at Connecticut where his teams combined for an 11-26 record.

"Coach (Mike) Riley has such great respect from everyone in football and he is building something special here,'' Diaco said in a statement released by Nebraska on Saturday. "I started my college football experience in the Big Ten and am thrilled to be back in this conference. I can't wait to get to work and help build a championship football program.''

Riley praised Diaco as a teacher and recruiter, calling him an "energetic coach'' who was ready to hit "the recruiting trail and find future Blackshirts.''

The hire comes less than a week after Mark Banker was shown the door by Riley, among a lengthy list of changes that will alter preparations for Iowa at a time when Hawkeye opponents will have to adjust to whatever wrinkles Brian Ferentz and as many as three new assistants bring to the Hawkeye offense this fall.

Head coaching changes and Minnesota and Purdue will lead to new coordinators on both sides of the ball there, while Wisconsin appears to be positioned to hiring its third defensive coordinator in as many years.

The Golden Gophers have not yet officially announced their hires, but P.J. Fleck has reportedly selected third-year Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith to lead Minnesota's defense and will put the program's offense in the hands of Kirk Carrocca, who worked as Fleck's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan.

Smith and Fleck have a history as well. Both worked on Greg Schiano's staff at Rutgers during the 2010-11 seasons.

Jeff Brohm has hired seven assistant coaches at Purdue but the former Western Kentucky coach has not announced position assignments or coordinator roles for any of those coaches at this point.

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Brian Brohm and Tony Levine, who shared the offensive coordinator's role on Jeff Brohm's staff at Western Kentucky, are part of the Boilermakers' staff.

Nick Holt, who worked as Brohm's defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Western Kentucky, and the defensive coordinator on Diaco's Connecticut staff the past three seasons, Anthony Poindexter, are also part of the Purdue staff.

The deal hasn't been finalized, but Wisconsin will also likely be in the market for a new defensive coordinator as well.

Justin Wilcox, the Badgers' defensive coordinator last season after being fired from the same position at USC in 2015, is reportedly in negotiations to replace Sonny Dykes as the head coach at Cal. Wilcox's resume includes stops as a coordinator at Boise State, Tennessee and Washington.

The multitude of moves in coordinator roles isn't exclusive to the Big Ten West.

Ohio State has hired former Indiana coach Kevin Wilson as its new offensive coordinator. He arrives as Ed Warinner leaves that role with the Buckeyes to become the offensive line coach for Fleck at Minnesota.

The Hoosiers' defensive coordinator last season, Tom Allen, was promoted to the head coaching position in December.

Allen has hired a new offensive coordinator in Mike DeBord, who filled the same role at Tennessee and previously worked as Lloyd Carr's offensive coordinator at Michigan.

Rutgers will have a change as well. Former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has been hired as the eighth offensive coordinator in the past eight seasons with the Scarlet Knights' program.

Michigan State and Penn State, two of the three teams Iowa will face from the East Division next season, join Michigan and Maryland in enjoying current stability at the coordinator spots.

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