IOWA CITY, Iowa - Tim Polasek will earn over $300,000 annually as the new Iowa offensive line coach.
This is the same Tim Polasek who once had to sell a brand new driver just to have enough gas money to travel from his home in central Wisconsin to Fargo, N.D., where had been hired as an assistant coach at FCS power North Dakota State.
"I didn't really have the means to get back out to Fargo, so I had the means to get a really good driver the summer before, and so I sold it to get enough gas to come back," Polasek said Thursday during a press conference in which he and Iowa receivers coach Kelton Copeland both were introduced to the media. "The really cool part of that story -- and it just comes back to people - a guy purchased that driver and he mailed it right back to me right away. So it was kind of a running joke that he would have given me the money regardless. But that's a true story."
Polasek grew up in Wisconsin and was as standout quarterback for Concordia University.
His climb up the coaching ladder has been steady, but now always spectacular. Polasek used to double as an assistant coach for Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point and as logger. He would recruit for three days each week and work as a logger for three days.
"I mean, cutting timber down and doing it all," said the 37-year old Polasek, who comes to Iowa after serving as North Dakota State's offensive coordinator for the past three seasons.
Polasek made quite an impression last September when he helped North Dakota State upset Iowa 23-21 at Kinnick Stadium. His offense shredded the Iowa defense for 239 rushing yards.
"That one went pretty good for us," Polasek said. "But sometimes, you come out on top and whatever. Our kids got to the fourth quarter, and some kids made some plays. By no means was I going in there thinking that in the interview process, that I had known something they didn't know.
"But I did feel like it was an opportunity to potentially answer some questions of some things that we did during the game, and some of those things came up, some didn't. You know, it was really fun coming into the interview process, being able to speak on behalf of all 11 guys on offense. That's one thing that's neat about being a coordinator is you are now in charge of the offensive staff. You are in charge and responsible for how those guys perform."
Polasek is now in charge of an Iowa offensive line that returns four full-time starters from a group that won the 2016 Joe Moore Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate offensive line. He replaces Brian Ferentz, who was promoted to offensive coordinator shortly after the season. Brian Ferentz also will coach the running backs.
"I just want to get to know these guys, what makes them tick," Polasek said of the Iowa offensive linemen.
Polasek has no previous experience coaching the offensive line, but he has plenty of experience to draw from with Kirk Ferentz and Brian Ferentz. Kirk Ferentz coached the Iowa offensive line from 1981-89 under Hayden Fry and for six seasons in the NFL, while Brian Ferentz coached the Iowa offensive line for the past five seasons.
Brian Ferentz also was an offensive linemen at Iowa under his father.
"Not only are they great coaches in the O-line here, some real good experience," Polasek said. "But I think some of the best teachers early on are going to be some of the veteran players or can be. And that should be the case all the time."