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Iowa State hires Paul Rhoads as football coach

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa State has hired Auburn defensive coordinator and former Cyclones assistant Paul Rhoads as its football coach.

The 41-year-old Rhoads is a native of nearby Ankeny, Iowa. He spent last season with the Tigers after serving as Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator from 2000-2007. He was an assistant with the Cyclones under Dan McCarney from 1995-99.

“Paul Rhoads is an outstanding and intelligent football coach, a highly successful national recruiter and has nearly 10 years of experience as a BCS coordinator,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said Saturday in a statement. “He was the one candidate that clearly demonstrated both extensive experience and an extreme passion for and familiarity with our institution. In addition, and most importantly, he also has a comprehensive plan for how to be successful at Iowa State.”

Iowa State said Rhoads agreed to a five-year deal worth $5.75 million in guaranteed compensation, with incentives available to increase that total.

Iowa State will hold a press conference later Saturday to introduce Rhoads.

Former Iowa State coach Gene Chizik was introduced as Auburn’s head coach on Monday. Interestingly, Chizik was technically Rhoads’ boss for about a week.

“In my two face-to-face meetings with Paul this week, it was obvious that his enthusiasm, energy and warm personality would be well-received by our players, fans and university community. He has a presence with a ‘look-you-in-the-eye’ style that makes you feel comfortable,” Pollard said.