Auburn Tigers Tickets - the 5.75 Million Dollar Deal
Iowa State is the nightmare for any football coach, but not for Paul Rhoads. Rhoads, 41 who has never been a head coach is all smiles about getting to coach the Cyclones. "I can honestly tell you, on a beautiful day in Ames, Iowa, it's great to be home, there are deep roots here. I was born 10 miles down the road." Rhoads said at his introductory news conference where he was surrounded by friends and family and seemed overwhelmed, he was barely able to remain composed.
"Paul Rhoads is an outstanding and intelligent football coach, a highly successful national recruiter and has nearly 10 years of experience as a BCS coordinator," Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement on Saturday. He was offered the program only after the authorities considered 11 more candidates for the position, but he was selected for his passion and his crystal clear strategies of making the Cyclones a successful team. He will be offered a five-year deal worth $5.75 million in guaranteed compensation; on top of this lofty package are incentives to keep the drive to succeed, flaring.
Rhoads was the assistant with the Cyclones under Dan McCarney from 1995-99. He spent the last season with the Tigers after serving Pittsburgh's defense coordinator from 2000-2007. His bosses at Pittsburgh include Walt Harris and Dave Wannstedt. They lead the Panthers to the 2004 Big East title. He turned down the offer made to him by the former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville in 2002 to be the Tigers' defensive coordinator, but he moved to Auburn before this season.
Turning around the Cyclones is a Herculean task; the Cyclones went 2-10 in the last season and were denied of any win in the Big 12. Under Chizik, the Cyclones were 5-19 and never won a road game. The Cyclones started out 1-8 in Chizik's first year, wins over Colorado and Kansas State at the end of the season gave the program some momentum heading into 2008. The Cyclones opened this season with wins over South Dakota State and Kent State before their poor run started. They ended with the year with a 10-game losing streak. Chizik took up the job as the Auburn coach replacing Tuberville.
Rhoad's first goal would be to help the players get over Chizik. The Cyclones played a lot of young players this season with the strategy of developing a good team for the future. Most of them still haven't been able to digest his move just after 2 seasons of his appointment. They felt betrayed by his move.
Engagement with the Iowa state team is more than profession for him, it is an emotional connection. His father, Cecil, was a high school coach in Iowa for more than 30 years and is a member of the Iowa High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. Rhoads was also a special mention All-State pick and the class valedictorian at Ankeny High.
"To you, I issue this challenge," Rhoads said to Iowa State's players. "It's time to roll up our sleeves, put on our hard hats and go to work together. We are going to make the Cyclones nation proud once again," Rhoads told the crowd during a short speech.
He surely has driven the point home.