IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery announced Tuesday that junior Ahmad Wagner has decided to depart the Hawkeye basketball program and explore college football opportunities. Wagner will finish out this semester academically at Iowa before deciding on an institution to complete his college eligibility playing football.
Wagner (6-foot-7, 235-pounds) played in 96 career games, starting 25 at forward the past three seasons. As a junior, Wagner averaged 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 30 contests. Wagner averaged 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds and earned the team’s Most Improved Player Award and the inaugural Kenny Arnold Hawkeye Spirit Award his sophomore season.
“I have had recent discussions with my family and the coaching staff, and ultimately decided to leave the Hawkeye basketball program and end my college basketball career so I can finish my collegiate eligibility playing football,” said Wagner. “A person of strong faith, I am following God’s plan and I am eager for this next chapter. I leave the Iowa men’s basketball team with new friendships and incredible memories that I will forever treasure. I want to thank coach McCaffery, staff, and teammates for helping me grow both as a basketball player and person.
“My plan now is to train and get my body into football shape so I can be ready for when I decide where I will finish my athletic and academic goals. Thank-you Hawkeye nation for your support and welcoming me when I first stepped onto campus.”
Wagner, a native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, was a three-sport athlete at Wayne High School. Wagner also played wide receiver for one season as a senior, helping lead the team to the state title game. He garnered first-team all-conference, all-state, and all-division accolades while hauling in 58 receptions for 1,028 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns as a receiver his senior season.
“Ahmad has been a tremendous teammate and an absolute joy to coach the past three seasons,” McCaffery said. “Ahmad has a unique blend of athleticism and strength to go along with a tremendous work ethic. I have no doubt that he will be successful in his pursuit of playing football. I am excited for his future and wish him nothing but the best. We will work with Ahmad any way we can to assist him during this transition.”