Iowa State running backs coach Louis Ayeni is leaving Ames to join the Northwestern coaching staff, according to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel.
Source: Louis Ayeni will be the new running backs coach at Northwestern. He'd been at Iowa State and coached Kareem Hunt at Toledo.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 7, 2018
This is an excellent hire for Pat Fitzgerald, as Ayeni is an up-and-coming coach with a strong track record. Unsurprisingly, it’s also another hire of someone familiar with the program. Ayeni played at Northwestern from 1999-2003, and was a team captain in his senior year.
Ayeni played a couple seasons in the NFL before returning to Evanston as a graduate assistant. From there, he went to Toledo and then Iowa State.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein, Ayeni will serve as the Wildcats’ recruiting coordinator in addition to his role as running backs coach.
Just days after it was announced that Tim McGarigle was joining the staff, Fitzgerald’s group of assistants is now complete. FBS teams are allowed to add a 10th assistant starting on Tuesday, which is presumably when this move will be officially announced.
It’s unclear what this move means for current running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Matt MacPherson.
UPDATE: Per Greenstein’s story, McPherson will be “shifting to coach cornerbacks and be the Wildcats’ special teams coordinator.”