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Iowa State fires coach Paul Rhoads

Author: Kristy

The Iowa State Cyclones have fired coach Paul Rhoads, effective after the season, athletic director Jamie Pollard announced Sunday.

Rhoads, who was informed of the decision by Pollard on Sunday morning, will be on the sideline as the Cyclones finish the season Saturday at West Virginia.

The team will meet Sunday afternoon to address the change, and Rhoads and Pollard will address the media on Monday.

The Cyclones (3-8, 2-6 Big 12) blew a 35-14 halftime lead Saturday at Kansas State and lost 38-35.

Rhoads went 32-54 in seven seasons at Iowa State, guiding the Cyclones to bowl appearances in three of his first four seasons. Iowa State’s win in the 2009 Insight Bowl marked its first bowl victory since 2004.

He posted notable wins against Nebraska (2009), TCU (2012) and No. 2 Oklahoma State (2011), which knocked the Cowboys out of the BCS championship race.

Rhoads’ teams, however, have struggled the past three seasons, going just 7-26 overall and 4-23 in the Big 12. Iowa State shut out Texas 24-0 on Oct. 31 but squandered big leads the past two weeks in losses to Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

Former Cyclones offensive coordinator Mark Mangino, who was fired by Rhoads in October, took to Twitter after Saturday’s loss to Kansas State:

Rhoads’ fiery but approachable persona was also a big hit with Iowa State fans, as were his passionate postgame locker room talks.

Iowa State signed Rhoads to a 10-year, $20 million contract before the 2012 season. He is due a buyout of roughly $4.5 million under the terms of that deal.

Rhoads, an Iowa native, served as an Iowa State assistant from 1995 to ’99 before becoming defensive coordinator at Pitt (2000-07) and Auburn (2008). He was something of an unknown commodity when he was hired by the Cyclones to replace Gene Chizik before the 2009 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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