Iowa State product will coach Missouri State tight ends in 2013
Iowa State product Ben Barkema joined the Bears' coaching staff on Jan. 25, 2013 and will take over duties working with the squad's tight ends and special teams unit.
Barkema was the defensive line coach for Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, during the 2012 season. He also assisted with special teams and video coordination while recruiting the states of Iowa and Wisconsin. His 2012 Peacocks' punt return unit ranked third nationally in the NCAA Division II ranks.
Prior to his time at Upper Iowa, Barkema spent three years (2009-2012) at his alma mater as a graduate assistant coach for the Iowa State Cyclones. In that capacity, he recruited the states of Missouri and Kansas, organized the offensive scout team and worked with the team's linebackers and special teams. He also spent the 2008 season as an offensive assistant coach at Iowa State and helped with the team's tight ends and offensive line.
While at ISU, he coached four All-Big 12 players, including 2011 conference defensive player of the year A.J. Klein as well as Jake Knott (2010, 2011) and Jesse Smith (2009).
As a standout player for the Cyclones, Barkema started 36 games at tight end from 2003-07. He caught 52 passes for 566 yards and scored 4 touchdowns during his career.
He matched a career-high with 18 receptions during his senior season in 2007 and completed his college career averaging more than 10 yards per reception. His tenure in Ames also saw him play in the 2004 Independence Bowl and 2005 Houston Bowl.
As a freshman, he had 2 receptions for 23 yards in the Independence Bowl win over Miami (Ohio) and tacked on 3 catches for 24 yards in a narrow Houston Bowl loss to TCU his sophomore season. The Cyclones finished 7-5 during the 2005 campaign, including three losses in overtime.
His best individual game effort also came in the 2005 season when he snagged 3 receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in a 30-16 home win over Colorado (Nov. 12, 2005).
An academic standout throughout his career, he earned Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll status in the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007 and was an Academic All-Big 12 second-team selection in 2007.
Bears' head coach Terry Allen was Barkema's position coach at Iowa State from 2003-05. Likewise, MSU offensive line coach Sean Coughlin was also on the ISU coaching staff for the 2004 and 2005 seasons during Barkema's playing days with the Cyclones.
At the conclusion of an outstanding playing career, Barkema was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent following the 2008 NFL Draft. After his playing days ended, he returned to Ames for the 2009 season.
A native of Muscatine, Iowa, Barkema was a three-sport prep standout, earning all-state honors in football and basketball while leading his team to the state tournament in baseball. He was also Quad City Times' 2003 Male Athlete of the Year.
He earned his undergraduate (2007) and master's (2011) degrees from Iowa State University. He completed his postgraduate work in educational leadership and policy studies.