Why Paul Rhoads should be fired at season’s end


Iowa State Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads is popular in Ames, Iowa. He’s brought the program some huge signature wins since his arrival in 2009. Most notably, the Cyclones ended then-No. 2 Oklahoma State’s dreams of a national title berth with a 37-31 upset win in Jack Trice Stadium that sent students storming onto the field.

But the fact of the matter is that Rhoads, while he has a knack for winning some big games, hasn’t brought consistent success to Iowa State. And it’s time the athletic department there began the process of his termination if the Cyclones ever want to see sustained winning.

Including his 1-6 record this season, Rhoads is just 25-33 overall, good for a .431 winning percentage. But where Rhoads’ record gets far worse is in Big 12 conference play. He’s never won more than three conference games in one season while at Ames and is just 12-26 overall in league competition, a lowly .316 winning percentage.

Only the Kansas Jayhawks and West Virginia Mountaineers have lost a higher percentage of conference games in that timeframe. And the Mountaineers have only been in the conference for a season-and-a-half.

The other hard truth that fans in Ames seem to not understand is that nobody has any respect for the Cyclones football team. The Cyclones were 30 points behind eighth-place West Virginia in the Big 12 preseason poll and only placed one player on the All-Big 12 preseason team. Ironically enough, that one player was their punter, senior Kirby Van Der Kamp.

Where Rhoads hangs his legacy on is his ability to get Iowa State to the postseason. In four seasons, the coach has brought the Cyclones to a bowl game three times. But after winning the Insight Bowl in his first season, Rhoads has gone 0-2 in the postseason since. Should the Cyclones lose one more game in 2013, they will not make the postseason this year and for the second time in four seasons.

Where Iowa State made its mistake was signing Rhoads to a 10-year extension in 2011 worth $20 million. That makes it much harder to unload the coach. So simply due to financial reasons, Iowa State is likely stuck with Rhoads for the foreseeable future.

Rhoads is simply not a good head coach. He has had plenty of time to implement his own system in Ames but instead is facing his worst season yet at Iowa State. And that’s especially disconcerting considering this year’s team is mostly all players that Rhoads recruited.

It’s time for Iowa State to try and find a way to terminate Rhoads and go in a new direction, because clearly the Cyclones are going downwards, which is never the direction a program should be going.