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.”

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