Hawkeye History Podcast: AJ Blazek

July 26, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – When Kirk Ferentz took over as Iowa’s head coach before the 1999 season, he was looking for bodies. That’s what A.J. Blazek was.

The Butler Junior College center received his only FBS offer from the Hawkeyes. Ferentz would later tell him what he lacked in natural ability, he made up for in work ethic and toughness.

That’s served Blazek well as he’s climbed the college football coaching ladder. He began as an Iowa graduate assistant and continued on a path that took him through JUCO and the Big Ten. He became the North Dakota State offensive line coach this past offseason.

Blazek leaving his position as the Rutgers O-Line coach and assistant head coach for an FCS job caused outsiders to wonder what he was doing. The same could be said about the time he took his hat out of the ring to return to his alma mater a few years ago.

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While his journey has brought questions from others, Blazek couldn’t be more comfortable with the decisions he’d made. He spoke with us about that, his time as a Hawkeye, watching the recruitment of his nephew Xavier Foster and more in the latest Hawkeye History Podcast.

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