Hiring Burnham a wise move by Rhoads

February, 18, 2009
2/18/09
11:38
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It took a long time, but I think new Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads made a good hire when he tapped veteran South Florida defensive coordinator coach Wally Burnham as his defensive coordinator.

One element I've observed over the years is when new head coaches often struggle when they hire new coordinators who are their friends rather than someone with experience in the position.

That's why I think  hiring Burnham, 67, is such a smart move. He likely has seen every offense known during his 40-year coaching career, and he's pretty accomplished, too. His defenses have ranked among the top 30 nationally in total defense in eight of the past nine seasons at South Florida.

I'm sure Rhoads has visions of the Cyclones' version of George Selvie one day racking up sacks for his defense under Burnham's tutelage.  

Surrounding himself with veteran coaching experience is a good move for Rhoads. It won't necessarily translate into any more ease in turning around the struggling Cyclone program, but it will help to have somebody who's been around the block a couple of times to help him get there.  

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