There will be 6 new faces in the staff meeting room when Coach Paul Rhoads begins preparations for the 2014 Iowa State football season.
Rhoads will be welcoming Mark Mangino (offensive coordinator / tight ends), Brandon Blaney (offensive line), Stan Eggen (defensive ends), Lou Ayeni (running backs), Tommy Mangino (wide receivers) and Maurice Linquist (secondary) to his staff.
The backgrounds of the men joining the Cyclone football family are varied, of course. But there are a couple of significant, common elements. Those include recruiting prowess and Big 12 familiarity.
In a way, those factors are tied together. You need good players and they need to be good enough to compete successfully in one of America’s top conferences.
- Mark Mangino served as head coach at Kansas (7 years), offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and assistant coach at Kansas State. He counted recruiting coordinator as one of his many duties last year at Youngstown State.
- Blaney was an assistant coach at both Kansas and Oklahoma, working alongside Mark Mangino. He was in charge of the Jayhawks’ recruiting efforts.
- Eggen coached the defensive line for Dennis Franchione at Texas A&M for 5 years when the Aggies were in the league. Most recently, Eggen was recruiting coordinator at Louisiana Tech. He has been named one of the nation’s best recruiters multiple times.
- Ayeni doesn’t have Big 12 ties, but he is familiar with the Midwest having played at Northwestern when it won the 2000 Big Ten championship. He has an exceptional reputation in the Chicagoland area, where Rhoads plans to recruit.
- Tommy Mangino worked in the Big 12 for his father at Kansas as a graduate assistant. He is also former offensive coordinator at Hutchinson CC. The Kansas junior college landscape is a hotbed for Big 12 recruiting.
- Linquist played for Baylor, earning all-league mention, before serving as a G.A. for the Bears. He was previously the secondary coach at Buffalo, where he was also responsible for recruiting coordination.
Certainly, Rhoads was scouring the nation for excellent coaches. He got that.
But, it appears he was drawn to Big 12 experience and recruiting expertise as well.