The Super Bowl stage is set and yet again there will be a Cyclone flair sprinkled in the sub-plot.
A year ago, Cyclone All-American Kelechi Osemele was a starter as a rookie on the offensive line for the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens.
This year’s Super Bowl will feature a number of coaches on both sidelines who at one time called Ames and Jack Trice Stadium their home.
Five coaches competing in the Big Game, including both head coaches – John Fox (Denver Broncos) and Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks) – have Cyclone roots.
Carroll was the Iowa State secondary coach for one season (1978) as a member of Earle Bruce’s staff. When Bruce resigned after the 1978 season to take over head coaching duties at Ohio State, Carroll went with him.
Fox also spent a year in Ames as Iowa State’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 1984. Fox was on Jim Criner’s staff and the former Cyclone head coach also had Fox as his assistant at Boise State. Fox left ISU after one season to join the USFL’s Los Angeles Express.
Carroll employs two other former Cyclone assistants on his Seahawk staff in Brian Schneider and Darrell Bevell. Schneider, who is in his fourth season as the special teams coordinator in Seattle, was ISU’s special teams coordinator for one season (2006) as a member of Dan McCarney’s staff.
Bevell is considered a rising star in the NFL coaching business with his success as offensive coordinator at both Minnesota (2006-10) and Seattle (2011-13). Bevell is in his third season as the offensive coordinator for the Seahawks and he received one of his first coaching gigs when McCarney hired him as a graduate assistant at Iowa State in 1997.
Bevell left ISU after one season when he earned his first full-time job as the wide receivers coach at Connecticut in 1998.
Fox has the help of former Iowa State wide receivers coach Jay Rodgers (2007-08) on his Bronco staff. Rodgers, who was at ISU in both of Gene Chizik’s seasons with the Cyclones, is now in his fifth year with Denver, including the last two seasons as the defensive line coach.
Even if you don’t have a vested interest with the teams in Super Bowl XLVIII, as a Cyclone fan, it should be entertaining to follow former Ames residents battling for the coveted ring.