RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada football team filled the final spot on its coaching staff Monday with the hiring of Lester Erb, head coach Brian Polian announced.
Erb will serve as Nevada’s special teams coordinator and will also coach the Wolf Pack’s running backs. Erb spent the last 13 seasons at Iowa, including the last five years as the running backs coach. He also worked eight seasons as the wide receivers coach and coached special teams throughout his tenure in Iowa City.
“We are very excited about the addition of Lester Erb to our staff,” Polian said. “He has a proven track record as a coach and recruiter at the BCS level, and, as a friend for the last several years, I know he is a quality person. He is a very good special teams coach and his offensive background gives another resource to draw from on that side of the ball. Lester is going to fit seamlessly into our staff and will be a great resource for our players.”
In his first season working with the Iowa running backs in 2008, Erb had the opportunity to coach Shonn Greene, who earned the Doak Walker Award as the top running back in the nation. Greene earned consensus All-American honors and was the offensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. He rushed for 1,850 yards to set an Iowa single-season rushing mark and was the only running back in the nation to surpass 100 yards in every game during the season.
In 2009, Iowa’s two freshmen running backs combined to rush for 1,475 yards and 13 touchdowns as Iowa posted an 11-2 overall record, placing second in the Big Ten and winning the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl.
Erb was also an integral part of special teams in Iowa City as the Hawkeyes led the Big Ten and ranked 25th in the nation in net punting last season. The Hawkeyes ranked third in the Big Ten in net punting in 2010 after ranking fourth in 2009, third in 2008 and second in 2007. Iowa allowed just 4.6 yards on punt returns to rank ninth in the nation in 2011. In 2010, Iowa ranked sixth in the nation in punt coverage (3.9) and 12th in kickoff returns (25.3). Senior punter Ryan Donahue was a finalist for the Ray Guy Punter of the Year award in 2010.
Erb coached PK Nate Kaeding to first team All-America honors in both 2002 and 2003. Kaeding was named winner of the 2002 Lou Groza Placekicker of the Year award and was one of three finalists for the award in 2003.
Erb was a standout receiver at Bucknell University, where he set records for touchdown receptions in a season and career. He set a school record for average yards per catch in a single game when he averaged 33.7 yards on six catches vs. Fordham. His 902 receiving yards in 1989 ranks second best all-time at Bucknell. He ranks fifth in career all-purpose yards (3,286) and was Bucknell’s Most Valuable Player as a senior in 1990.
He earned his B.A. in business administration from Bucknell and his M.A. in high educational administration from Syracuse.
Erb was born April 22, 1969. He and his wife, Eileen, have four children, sons Jacob and A.J., and daughters Emily and Sarah.