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Paul Rhoads on what Mark Mangino brings to Iowa State: "Simplicity"

Rare is the staff where the offensive coordinator has a more accomplished resume - as a head coach - than the head coach himself. But after a season in which Iowa State finished eighth in a 10-team league in total offense, ninth in yards per play, and ninth in scoring, it's a necessary one.

Rhoads had what amounts to a line change on his staff last season with the exchange of six assistants. "That's a lot of change. That's a lot of transition," he said. Highlighting that list, unquestionably, is Mark Mangino. Mangino won the Broyles Award in 2000 for his efforts as Oklahoma's offensive coordinator in driving the Sooners to a national championship, and then earned national coach of the year accolades for taking Kansas to the Orange Bowl in 2007. 

Mangino was the first coach in college football history to win both honors, and has since been joined by Gene Chizik, David Cutcliffe and Gus Malzahn. 

Rhoads and Mangino both hail from western Pennsylvania, though they did not know each other personally until the interview process. "I coached against him in 2009, my first year as the head coach at Iowa State," Rhoads said," and then his proven track record as a play caller, as a tough guy, type of coach in what he could bring to our offensive mentality that way, but at the very top of the list was the simplicity with which his offenses have had success, and that was something that our program needed."

The look and feel of the 2014 offense should be similar to 2013, especially with playmakers Quenton Bundrage and Aaron Wimberly returning, but the functionality should be much cleaner this time around. "We're going to be a spread system. It's a generic term but we're going to deploy at lot of three wide reciever sets one back offense. We're not going to huddle. Those are familar," Rhoads said. "The change I think you're going to see will be in the very pace that we utilize and also the simplicity of what it is that we're trying to accomplish. We're not smart enough in Ames and even though it has several nicknames that would indicate that, that we're going to go out and outsmart other coaches and other teams, we want to be simple where our kids can execute at a high rate of speed, and I think that's exactly what Mark brings to our offense."

Mangino was out of coaching in between his final season at Kansas and his one-year stint as Youngstown State's offensive coordinator last fall. In between that time, Mangino's wife Mary Jane battled cancer (which she has now beaten), which Rhoads believe has provided him with a different perspective.

"He was anxious to get back to this level," Rhoads said. "He and his wife Mary Jane had been through cancer. I think he gained a different perspective on the game, let them step back and get back to it at Youngstown State and get the taste for it. He wasn't going to just jump back in at any job. I think he saw the opportunity for success at our place. He liked the way that the program was being run. He knew that we're full of toughness from playing us in 2009 and talking to other people that had been playing us since then."

Day 2 of Big 12 Media Day: Stoops, Rhoads, Holgo, Snyder, and Strong

We're rolling into Day 2 of coverage at Big 12 Media Day, where the day will start off with Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (10am CST), followed by Paul Rhoads (10:30am), Dana Holgorsen (11pm), Bill Snyder (11:30) and Charlie Strong (noon).

Check back throughout the day for all the pertinent updates.

10:00am CST - Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops

10:30am CST - Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads

11:00am CST - West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen

11:30am CST - Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder

12:00pm CST - Texas head coach Charlie Strong

The most "DFO" answer ever

I've spent some time around James Franklin and his staff over the past few years. They work hard, they play hard, they are always thinking about what is in the best interests of their program and their players and they almost always have smiles on their faces. It's not easy to do all of this unless you have an excellent support staff.  

Having spent plenty of time with Penn State director of football operations Michael Hazel over the years, I can attest that he is truly one of the better guys at his craft. He keeps the wheels greased for the program and keeps everything moving in the right direction. 

Well, this morning I saw this video in which James Franklin went back to his alma mater to speak at graduation. I noticed that Michael Hazel is the one guy who traveled with Franklin. I've got the video below set to play at the relevant mark; but you simply have to see this two minute segment for yourself. Hazel's response to what do you like to do late at night is truly the most "DFO" answer ever. 

Head coaches around the country will laugh at this clip...and then they will think to themselves, "Man, I wish I had a guy like that on my staff."

Video: James Franklin's visit back to his alma mater provides lots of lessons

A few months ago, James Franklin returned to his old stomping grounds at East Stroudsburg University to give a commencement speech. We covered his powerful message to the ESU graduating class of "stay broke and chase your dreams" back then, but Penn State recently released a video highlighting his entire trip, and it's excellent.

The 12 minute highlight of Franklin's time back on campus visiting with old friends, professors, and recent grads is a great profile of him away from football that recruits, parents, and fans will appreciate.

At about the 9:30 mark, Franklin talks about a sign that he remembers from campus that reads "OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE". It's a sign that he has duplicated wherever he's been because of the simple message it sends; you can either read it as "opportunity is now here" or "opportunity is nowhere" depending on your outlook.

Franklin talks about how he uses that message to teach perspective to his players and coaches.

"I think that's a really good tool to show people that life is how you see it."

"I ask players on our team, and I ask coaches all the time, 'How's your day?' and if they say 'alright' that's exactly how their day will be. If they say 'It's the best day I've ever had,' or 'I'm living the dream' that's how it will be."

Overall this is just an outstanding video from Penn State with a number of great messages, and a great behind the scenes look at Franklin's visit to his alma mater.

"It was great talking and laughing and telling stories and just being able to relax...which isn't always the case. It's tough to do that in State College a lot of times and there, I'm still just James." Franklin shared.

#GoACC - Maker's Mark has created a commemorative Louisville bottle

You might recall that a few months back Maker's Mark put Mark Stoops on a special commemorative bottle of bourbon

Well, this morning, in celebration of their move to the ACC, Maker's Mark has unveiled a bottle featuring Louisville coach Bobby Petrino Louisville AD Tom Jurich. Maker's Mark has a long history of including Louisville legends on their bottles.

JurichMakersMark 

Side note> For those looking to get a commemorative "Charlie Strong - Louisville Head Coach" bottle of Maker's Mark, it's still out there...

CharlieStrongMakersMark

 

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