Rhoads takes “hands off” approach with new coaching staff


AMES — Even if Paul Rhoads wanted to have much of an input on what new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino has been doing to prepare for the spring, he wouldn’t have been able to.

“Mark’s locked me out of the offensive meeting room so I don’t know what we are going to get,” Rhoads joked during a Monday press conference. “I am anxious to see myself. You will get the first glimpse just like I will today as we go out there.”

Iowa State’s first practice of the spring will be open to the media this evening. We will have complete coverage of it later tonight at

Obviously, Rhoads was halfway joking about Mangino “locking him out” of the offensive meeting room, but the point still remains the same. Iowa State’s head coach is letting Mangino, the man best known for once leading Kansas to a BCS game, do his “thing.”

“I haven’t been in there one minute, Rhoads said. "The same with the defensive staff. They’ve got half of their staff different as well. I want guys to feel comfortable with coaching their kids and coaching their side of the ball. Mark knew exactly what I wanted as he came in. So did the coaches.”

There are six new assistant coaches on Iowa State’s heading into the spring. Four of the new coaches work on the offensive side of the ball. The one holdover from last year, Todd Sturdy, will coach quarterbacks instead of wide receivers, the position he coached the last two seasons. 

“With spring practice starting, I will start to spend a little more time as I observe things and get a chance to evaluate,” Rhoads said. “Going back to 2009 when I hired Wally, that was important to him as a defensive guy. He didn’t want a guy who was always going to be over his shoulder.”

While Rhoads admitted that what he sees on Monday from the offensive will be a surprise to him, don’t expect the Cyclones to show much of anything with the media in attendance.

“Understandably so, we are sort of keeping that in check, what’s going to be different comparatively speaking to the last five years,” Rhoads said. “We will be no huddle. We will do things at the line of scrimmage. Speed will vary as it has in the past but what exactly we will be doing schematically we will hold under wraps for a little bit.”

Chris Williams


Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football’s postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines’ top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO.

Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old ( He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, and is the former sports director at KMA Radio.

When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.