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Friday, December 16, 2011
Iowa State 'proud' to keep Paul Rhoads

By David Ubben

Iowa State hasn't been a "destination job" for many coaches.

It might be one for Paul Rhoads.

The Cyclones coach signed a 10-year, $20 million contract with Iowa State, making clear his intentions to stay in Ames for quite a bit longer.

Gene Chizik won five games in two seasons at Iowa State before leaving for Auburn. Rhoads took over a two-win team and won seven games in 2009, capped by a bowl win.

This season, he has the Cyclones back in a bowl game for the second time in three seasons, and is 18-19 over his tenure.

His five-year deal that ran through 2013 paid him $1.15 million this year. The school said the total value of the new contract was $20 million, with specific terms to be released later.

"The support of everyone in Cyclone Nation has been fantastic," said Rhoads, who took his first head coaching job at Iowa State after serving as defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2008. That followed eight years as defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh coach Todd Graham left after one season to coach Arizona State this week, and the Panthers were reportedly targeting Rhoads for a return.

"Today is a great day for Iowa State University," athletic director Jamie Pollard said. "Paul Rhoads and Iowa State are a perfect match for one another, and we could not be happier that he is going to be our football coach for the long term."

Rhoads helped the Cyclones pack Jack Trice Stadium with 50,000-plus fans for all six games this season, the most in school history. He also helped the team achieve notoriety with his famous postgame YouTube videos after big wins, capped by his signature catchphrase, he's "so proud" to be his team's coach.

This season, Iowa State beat then-No. 2 Oklahoma State for the first win in program history against an opponent ranked in the top six. Before the win, the Cyclones were 0-56-2 against such opponents.

The Cyclones also ended a three-game losing streak to Iowa this season, and beat Texas for the first time in school history last season. That win against the Longhorns, combined with an upset of Nebraska in 2009, gave Iowa State wins against ranked opponents on the road in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976-77.

The news also had Rhoads' name trending on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

Does he get a bonus for that?