Yet another reminder of the importance of football coaches to university success

We realize we're preaching to the choir here, but this is a statement that bears repeating: successful football programs, and the coaches that run them, are incredibly important to the athletic departments the support and the universities represent.

Example No. 2,118 comes in Sunday's Des Moines Register as Randy Peterson details Paul Rhoads' importance to Iowa State's bottom line. In taking over for Gene Chizik after a pair of 3-9 and 2-10 seasons, Rhoads has led the Cyclones to three bowl games in four seasons, a two-game winning streak over intrastate rival Iowa and monumental defeats of Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma State. 

Equally important to Rhoads' impact on the Cyclones inside the white lines is the 46-year old's effect on the athletic department and university as a whole.

- To start, Iowa State drew an average of 55,274 fans per game in 2012, and the number is expected to rise this fall. Jack Trice Stadium holds 55,000 spectators. 

- Athletic department revenue has risen from $19.9 million in Rhoads' first year to nearly $30 million this year. Yes, a lot of that can be attributed to new television contracts, but Iowa State bean counters can thank Rhoads for the department's near-record $7 million in fundraising.

- Finally, there's the unquantifiable but crucial intrinsic value of fielding a successful program, as Peterson notes that Cyclones games that were previously unavailable on the radio in certain parts of Iowa are now broadcast statewide.

“It is a little bit hard in today’s society to be perceived as a great university if your athletics aren’t good, (although) that might be an exception for some Ivy League or small private schools," said ISU president Steven Leath. “I do know that our athletic success breeds excitement about the university.”

Read the full story here.

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