AMES — Nobody saw this coming.
On a Monday morning where news of Joel Lanning taking over as Iowa State’s starting quarterback was supposed to pop, it’s barely getting any play.
That’s because to lead off his weekly press conference, seventh-year Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads dropped the bombshell that he had dismissed Mark Mangino from his duties as Iowa State’s offensive coordinator.
“Mark and I couldn’t get on the same page on a few important items,” a subdued Rhoads said. “We tried to talk that through again this morning in an effort to get us moving in a different direction. In the end, Mark was not interested in that. I wish that wasn’t the case. But I respect and understand his conviction. I’d like to thank Mark for all he has done for our football program and wish him well."
Through the first seven games of the season, Iowa State is ranked 57th nationally in total offense. Most importantly, the Cyclones currently rank a disappointing 83rd in scoring offense averaging only 26.9 points per game. That number puts Iowa State at seventh best in the Big 12.
What are these important items that led to Mangino’s departure exactly? Is it Lanning, who threw three touchdowns in the second half of Saturday’s 45-27 loss to Baylor in relief of fifth-year senior Sam Richardson?
“The details with that won’t be discussed,” Rhoads said. “Joel was not the case that made this come to a head.”
According to Rhoads, the apparent rift between he and Mangino has been going on for several weeks.
“We tried to work that out and in the end, we couldn’t come to a conclusion together,” Rhoads said. “He has decided to not accept the direction that we wanted to go.”
Another question: Was Mangino fired or did he resign?
“I don’t want to get into the differences in those things,” Rhoads said. “We were trying to move forward with everybody in place as I said and I surely wish that we could have. Those changes, he wasn’t settled with and decided he didn’t want to accept those things.”
Rhoads did not hesitate to name quarterback’s coach Todd Sturdy the program’s new offensive coordinator, which is effective immediately. Sturdy, a Tipton native, is currently on year four of his tenure at Iowa State. He spent the first two seasons in Ames as the wide receivers coach before switching to quarterbacks in 2014.
Sturdy has experience as an offensive coordinator. He previously served in that role during his time at Washington State. In 2011, Sturdy’s offense ended the season ranked ninth nationally in passing offense and 33rd in total offense.
“There won’t be drastic changes,” Rhoads said of what to expect from the offense when Texas comes to town for Saturday’s 6 p.m. kick. “You’re not going to see us come out in this type of a backfield set or that – things that we haven’t done. We will work to get more efficient, as you are always trying to do as an offense, especially going into the eighth game of the season with a new quarterback providing leadership. Todd is the right guy in the right spot to provide us that leadership.”
TOMMY MANGINO TO STAY ON STAFF
This is awkward.
Mark Mangino’s son, Tommy, is still Iowa State’s wide receivers coach. That will not change after Monday’s news, according to Rhoads.
“Tommy has grown up in the profession,” Rhoads said. “He understands the business side of it and Tommy was fantastic in his response. I’m proud of his response and is ready to attack the work that we have ahead of us.”
NEWS TO COME ON TE’S COACH
Rhoads now has one spot to fill on his staff as Mark Mangino was also the tight ends coach.
Rhoads hinted that graduate assistant Ryan Olson will likely be the guy but it is not yet official.
Check out CycloneFanatic.com later today for more coverage on this breaking news.