Highly regarded as one of UNI’s best quarterbacks ever, associate head coach and co-offensive coordinator Bill Salmon has served as an assistant coach in all 35 Panther FCS playoff games in the program’s history. The 2012 season will be Salmon’s 27th season as a Panther assistant coach.
In 2012, Salmon served as the wide receivers coach along with his offensive coordinator duties, leading the receiving corps to a successful season. Salmon saw senior Terrell Sinkfield rack up 499 yards through the air as one of Sawyer Kollmorgen’s main targets. Salmon also led a young group on the receiving team with Brett LeMaster shining as a sophomore with 601 receiving yards and four touchdowns. As offensive coordinator, Salmon helped the UNI offensive finish with 2,594 yards in the air and 1,637 yards on the ground.
During the 2011 campaign, Salmon helped UNI to a 7-1 MVFC record, sharing the MVFC crown.
In 2010, Salmon led the UNI offense to a No. 9 ranking in the nation in rushing offense and No. 1 ranking in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Salmon also took over as the Panthers' running backs coach in 2010, where he oversaw the running of honorable mention all-MVFC back Carlos Anderson.
In 2009, Salmon directed the Panther offense to a Missouri Valley Football Conference-best 417.3 yards per game. UNI also topped the MVFC in passing efficiency and ranked 11th in the nation in that category. The Panthers put up 367 points on the season (33.4 per game), including seven games of 28 points or better.
Quarterback Pat Grace was the MVFC first-team selection at quarterback, tight ends Ryan Mahaffey and Schuylar Oordt were second-team honorees, and wide receiver D.J. Hord was named honorable mention under Salmon's guidance.
Salmon (SAHL-mun) rejoined the Panther staff in 2001 as associate head coach, offensive coordinator and assistant in charge of the wide receivers. Prior to his return to UNI, Salmon served as the offensive coordinator at the University of Kansas from 1997-2000. Salmon was also the running backs coach for the Jayhawks in 1999 and 2000.
"It's still UNI," he said upon his return to the Cedar Valley. "Still football. Still people I know. It's easy. This is home." Salmon is a native of Cedar Falls, a graduate of Cedar Falls High School and a UNI football alum.
Salmon started three years at quarterback (1973-75) for the Panthers and was known for his excellent throwing arm, quick release, great quickness, speed, football knowledge (he called about 75 percent of his own plays), and was superb at running the Panther veer attack. He ran as good as any running back, and was not afraid to do so.
He was a third team all-America selection and North Central Conference Offensive Player of the Year following his senior campaign when he led UNI to the NCAA Division II playoffs. He set a multitude of school records, including throwing for 4,342 regular season career yards and gaining 5,371 yards in total offense. He was drafted in the 10th round by the Minnesota Vikings, but an off-season knee injury ended his playing career.
Former UNI director of athletics and head football coach, Stan Sheriff, called Salmon "the greatest and smartest quarterback I've ever coached. He can throw the ball a mile, runs like any back and could even kick if we asked him to. I've never seen a quarterback with as much talent, confidence, poise and knowledge as Bill Salmon has. But it's his take-charge attitude and game-breaking capabilities which really makes him great."
Salmon first served as a UNI assistant from 1983-96, coaching the wide receivers and running backs. He was Farley's first appointee when he was hired at UNI as head coach.
"Trust is the number one reason," Farley said when describing why he wanted Salmon on his staff. "I was a defensive coach and I wanted someone I could turn the offense over to, and let them control that phase of the game."
In 2005, the Panthers' offense flourished and set a school record with 6,008 yards of total offense. UNI also set school marks in points scored (449), offensive plays (1,024) and first downs (298). UNI ranked No. 6 in the nation in pass efficiency, No. 31 in passing offense, No. 32 in scoring offense and No. 34 in total offense. The Panthers placed first in the Gateway in passing efficiency, fourth in pass offense, fifth in rushing offense and fifth in total offense.
The Panther offense continued to put up impressive numbers in 2006. UNI ranked No. 4 in the nation in total offense (408.3 yards/game), 8th in passing efficiency (152.45 rating), 10th in rushing offense (219.3 yards/game) and 11th in scoring (31.0 points/game). In 2006, the Panthers led the league in total offense.
In 2007, UNI led the league in total offense (457.31 yards/game) and ranked second in the league in passing efficiency (168.19 rating). The Panther offense set school records for points (469), rushing yards (2,956), rushing touchdowns (39), first downs (322) and rushing first downs (163).
The UNI offense put together one of the finest seasons ever in 2007 under Salmon. The Panthers scored 469 points to set a school record and tallied the most rushing yards (2,956) in school history.
In 2008, the Panther offense set a school record with 661 rushing attempts while earning a No. 3 seed for the FCS playoffs and racking up a school-record tying 12 victories. He tutored a pair of freshmen to the Missouri Valley Football Conference's All-Newcomer team in Jarred Herring and Josh Collins in 2008. Collins led the Panthers with 502 receiving yards and 32 catches, while Herring led the team with four touchdown receptions.
Salmon has coached 33 Panther all-conference selections, 13 all-Americans and six wide receivers who have gone on to play in the NFL, including wide receiver Dedric Ward, who was a third-round selection in the 1998 NFL draft by the New York Jets.
His wife's name is Kim. He was born Jan. 27, 1954, in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Cedar Falls High School in 1972, where he was an all-conference, all-district and all-state selection and a team MVP.
The Salmon File
Awards & Honors
- 2001 UNI Athletics Hall of Fame
- 2001-Present UNI Assoc. Head Coach/Offensive Coord./Wide Receivers
- 1998-00 Kansas Offensive Coord./Running Backs
- 1997-99 Kansas Offensive Coord./Tight Ends
- 1996 UNI Wide Receivers
- 1988-95 UNI Running Backs
- 1986-87 UNI Wide Receivers
- 1983-85 UNI Running Backs
- University of Northern Iowa (Bachelor's), 1980
- University of Northern Iowa, 1972-76
- 1974 Honorable Mention All-American, Honorable Mention All-North Central Conference
- 1975 North Central Conference MVP, 1st team all-conference, 3rd team All-American
- Set nine school records
- Born: Jan. 27, 1954, in Des Moines, Iowa
- Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa
- Family: Wife, Kim