January 19, 2010
The last month has mostly been about coaches behaving badly -- see coaches insulting players, coaches slapping players, coaches telling players to stand in a shed, coaches running up the score, coaches waffling on their status for next fall or coaches outright bailing on a school that took a chance on them and treated them well, and making every effort to take their recruits with them. Iowa State knows all about that: In 2008, the Cyclones lost their last 10 games, only to watch their embattled coach, Gene Chizik, bolt to Auburn off a dismal 5-19 record in just two years in Ames.
It's only appropriate, then, to allow Chizik's successor, Paul Rhoads, to clear the air with a fine parting speech to that same group of Cyclones, just moments after they locked up an unlikely winning season with a 14-13 Insight Bowl win over Minnesota:
ISU was not a great (or even very good) team by any means, but give them this: No coach or team anywhere seemed to enjoy victory more. On the heels of his emotional locker room speech after the 'Clones' upset win at Nebraska last October, Rhoads' latest outburst makes him a shoo-in for 2009's Overly Enthusiastic Coach of the Year, an honor he's damn proud to accept, I'm sure.