Why We Love Coach Rhoads

Rhoads, Paul-UT13
Iowa State head football coach Paul Rhoads wears his emotions on his sleeve, and it’s for real. Anyone who’s had the privilege to interact with Rhoads understands this is not an act.

The man who’s led Iowa State to bowl games in three of the last four seasons has become famous for his emotional, heart-felt speeches, and he hit another home run the other night with his passionate postgame press conference after the Texas game.

Unless you have been hiding in a cave, the whole world is aware of how the game unfolded. The Cyclones were clinging to a 30-24 lead in the final minute until a controversial call went against the Cyclones, giving the visiting Longhorns a 31-30 victory.

Losing hurts, especially in that fashion. Rhoads was upset. Not for himself, but for his players, who laid it on the line only to come up short, and for the Cyclone fans, who have filled Jack Trice Stadium in record numbers the past three seasons.

He had to let his players and the fans know how he felt, and he delivered it emphatically at the press conference.

If you have not watched the press conference, you need to.

The national feedback from his speech has created a groundswell of positive energy. Here are some examples.

“Paul Rhoads’ postgame should be transcribed, chiseled in stone and hung in every officials locker room.”– Dennis Dodd, CBS College Football Writer

“I’ve interviewed Rhoads three times for SI’s conference magazines. He’s honest and raw. This was the full him.”– Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated writer

“He sounds so convincing. This is where Hollywood goes, ‘If we are going to write this and this is a script and we are going to have a coach who says this. Nobody, I don’t care who it is, is not delivering it the way he did.”– Dan Patrick, Emmy-winning sportscaster, national radio host, columnist for Sports Illustrated

“After watching Coach Rhoads talk after the game I can see why those players lay it all on the line for him. I respect him so much.”
– Jake Waters, QB at Kansas State

“I have so much respect for Coach Rhoads and the passion he brings leading the program I’ve cheered for my whole life.”– Iowa State head men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg

The whole world is finding out what Cyclones fans already know. Coach Rhoads is pretty special.


About Mike Green

I'm in my 24th year working in the Athletics Communications office at Iowa State and in my sixth year as Assistant Athletics Director for Communications. My passion has always been ISU Athletics and the seed was planted by my father, Ken, who was an All-Big Eight pitcher for Iowa State in 1960. I graduated from UNI in 1993, where I was a two-year letterwinner on the golf team, and received my master's at ISU in 1997. I've covered volleyball, wrestling, baseball, golf, football and men's basketball at ISU, including 13 seasons as the men's hoops contact. It's an honor to be the football contact for Coach Campbell and the Cyclones. I've got stories to tell, and I love telling them.
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12 Responses to Why We Love Coach Rhoads

  1. Phil says:

    His teams are a reflection of his passion. They battle through adversity.


  2. Lynn Moore says:

    We love Paul Rhoads at Cyclone One Nation. He is contagious and is what every Mother wants to see their son playing football for. He can stay at ISU forever as far as we are concerned.


  3. Paul coaches like he played, leaving everything on the field. The way it should be. I am proud to be able to say I played my college ball with Paul Rhoads.

    Dwayne Wimmer
    Vertex Fitness Personal Training Studio


  4. Barb Henn says:

    Coach Rhoads is the coach ISU needed. And ISU picked the best coach for the job. Coach can make a person a ISU fan in a heart beat. I am proud to be a ISU fan. Coach Rhoads belongs at ISU foraver.


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  6. Rod Hurd says:

    I LOVE coach Rhoads, too bad the big12, and their refs don’t respect our CLASS program. I sincerely wish ISU would leave the Texas league, I mean big 12. It seems to me we get this treatment at least once every year. At least we still have basketball to look forward to. Oh, I forgot we can look forward to the same thing there too, just ask Kansas.


  7. Laurie Gray says:

    As a graduate of ISU but now living in Pennsylvania, I am so proud of the Cyclones. As many of my friends state, “there must be something special about Iowa State University with your passion”. You have to live it to know it. I am so proud of Coach Rhoads and Coach Hoiberg as they promote this passion with their players every day. ISU – You make me proud!!!!!!!!!


  8. Brian Carlson says:

    SO PROUD TO BE ONE CYCLONE NATION! Whenever and wherever you see or hear any one of the coaches or AD Jamie Pollard, you can feel the passion, the commitment and the desire on which the programs are built on and being improved on.


  9. Sven Swanson says:

    I’ve seen a lot of tough losses and some memorable victories for ISU football over the last almost 50 years, and the loss to Texas last Thursday tore out my insides more than any loss I can remember. But what is so neat about ISU is that we have a football coach who has the passion I have for the Cyclones, and who will express it publicly. He represents not just the team, the coaches and the school, but he represents me. The last coach who really did that was Coach Majors. I truly hurt for the players and coaches for the pain of the recent loss, but I hope they can get some solace in the fact that for me at least (and I’m sure scores of others), I am even more proud to be a Cyclone and love my school even more because of how well the football team represents MY school. One and three, or four and oh, is beside the point for me.


  10. Lee says:

    I am a passionate Cyclone fan because I loved my experience at ISU back in the 1970s and because I believe we have a group of classy, passionate, dedicated coaches in many sports. I have not had the opportunity to watch all our current coaches in person. But I’ve seen Coach Rhoads, Coach Hoiberg, Coach Johnson-Lynch, and Coach Fennelly (whom I know) in action for their entire tenures at ISU so far…if not live, on TV. They and their staffs are classy, excellent strategists, great recruiters of good young people, and thoroughly love what they do. And every one of them has their own style of coaching, but I can absolutely guarantee you that they are all equally passionate about their teams and their university. They make me proud to be a Cyclone!


  11. David Gray says:

    I think it’s safe to say we all knew Coach Rhoads was great for the program right after the post game speech to the team after the win in Lincoln was released and he yelled, “I am so PROUD to be your coach!!!”. The team needed to hear that after Chizik’s bad tasting departure, and it was made even better by the emotion he put into saying it. Coach Rhoads is proud to be ISU’s football coach, and the fan’s of ISU are proud to have him as the football coach.


  12. Byron Hartwig says:

    In the 1972 season down at Okie State a football player came off of the sideline to make a game saving tackle. The refs missed that one also just like they missed the stolen fumble thursday nite. It seams like we always get the shaft. I meet Paul when he was on Mac’s staff, he was the real deal then and he is now. He bleads cardinal red and gold. Go ISU


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