Continuity on Rhoads’ staff is a bonus

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If continuity and familiarity on a coaching staff breeds success, the Iowa State football team is positioned nicely going into the fall.

 The Cyclone football office gathered information on coaching staffs around the nation and six members of Coach Paul Rhoads’ initial staff are still at Iowa State. That is tied for the fifth-most in the nation for head coaches, who have been at the same school since 2009.

 There must be a longevity clause for the service academies as Navy (all nine assistants have remained with Coach Ken Niumatalolo), Army (eight have stayed with Coach Rich Ellerson) and Air Force (six have been with Troy Calhoun) are towards the top of the list.

 Northwestern (eight) and UCF (seven) are the other two schools with more assistants remaining from the ‘09 staff than the Cyclones.

 Of the 21 Division 1A head coaches hired in 2001 (the year Rhoads came to ISU), eight are still serving those schools. Here is the number of assistants still on staff for those programs:

 Army (Rich Ellerson) – 8

Iowa State (Paul Rhoads) – 6

Bowling Green (Dave Clawson) – 5

Kansas State (Bill Snyder) – 5

Mississippi State (Dan Mullen) – 5

Washington (Steve Sarkisian) – 2

Wyoming (Dave Christensen) – 2

Eastern Michigan (Ron English) – 1

Rhoads has shifted some of his coaches to different positions over the years, but he’ll be greeting Wally and Shane Burnham, Courtney Messingham, Bill Bleil, Ken Pope and Curtis Bray for the fifth consecutive fall camp in a few months.

That familiarity will be a bonus for both the staff and, most importantly, the student-athletes when camp opens this fall.

 

Ten teams make Big 12’s first division, a record for Cyclones!

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At the macro level, the Iowa State athletics department took another step forward competitively in 2012-13.

 The championship season in the Big 12 recently concluded and the Cyclones placed seventh in the league all-sports race. That is ISU’s best finish since the conference formed in 1996 (although the school did finish eighth in a 12-team conference the first year and again in 2010).

 Like most prior seasons, schools from the south led the all-sports standings as Texas (which won the title for the 15th straight year), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor finished 1-2-3-4.

 What stands out more than anything from 2012-13 is that 10 of the Cyclones’ 18 sports finished in the upper division of the conference. That’s an all-time high for one season at Iowa State.

 To put that accomplishment into proper perspective, consider this:

 One decade ago (2004), the Iowa State gymnastics program (placing 2nd of four teams) was the one and only sport that finished in the first division of the Big 12 standings. That was the second year in succession that only one sport (in 2003, it was men’s cross country) finished above the mid-point in the Big 12.

 The record-breaking total of first-division programs in 2012-13 is a sign of total department progress. It’s proof positive that the Cyclones are trending in the right direction. Finally, it’s a reflection that some of the investments made in prior seasons are paying dividends.