Born in Nevada, Iowa, just 10 minutes from Jack Trice Stadium, Rhoads came back to Iowa State after a year as defensive coordinator at Auburn. His stellar track record complements his Iowa roots. The man who was valedictorian at Ankeny High School, one of the largest schools in the state (located just 20 minutes south of Ames), Rhoads was the ideal individual to take control of the Iowa State football program. Rhoads coordinated the Pitt defense for eight seasons (2000-07) before moving to Auburn in the same role in 2008. His resume includes a 2004 Big East Conference championship with the Panthers. Five of the defenses he coordinated ranked in the nation's Top 30 for scoring and three in the NCAA's Top 12 for fewest yards allowed. His aggressive philosophy allowed Pitt to score 10 defensive touchdowns from 2004-06. Rhoads' last two defenses (Auburn in 2008 and Pitt in 2007) before coming to Ames ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense and fifth in total defense, respectively. The Sporting News named him the best defensive coordinator in the Big East Conference. Rhoads coordinated defenses for both Walt Harris and Dave Wannstedt at Pitt. He was approached by Auburn's Tommy Tuberville to move to Auburn in 2002 after two spectacular seasons at Pitt but turned down the offer. Tuberville again offered Rhoads his top defensive coaching position prior to the 2008 season and he accepted. Rhoads' familiarity with Iowa State goes back to his youth growing up in central Iowa but also includes a five-year stint as inside linebackers (1995) and secondary (1996-99) coach with the Cyclones. He was a member of Dan McCarney's first staff at Iowa State. Six of Rhoads' former defensive backs have been drafted by the National Football League, including Pitt's Darrelle Revis (the 14th overall pick by the Jets) in 2007. He has coached in seven bowl games, including the 2005 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the 2000 Insight Bowl (against Iowa State), and the 2002 Insight Bowl with Pitt. Fourteen of his Panther defenders earned first-team All-Big East honors including H.B. Blades (the 2006 Big East Defensive Player of the Year) and Scott McKillop (the nation's leading tackler in 2007). Blades and McKillop both earned All-America honors. The Iowa State head coach lettered three seasons (1986-88) as a defensive back at Missouri Western. Rhoads earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1989 at Missouri Western and was the recipient of the Chris Faros Scholarship, which honors the football team's top senior student-athlete. Rhoads added a master's degree from Utah State in 1991. Rhoads' father, Cecil, was a high school coach for more than three decades and has been inducted into the Iowa High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. Pros: -24-26 in fours years at Iowa State, 2 bowl games -team always plays tough, always competitive, always beats someone they shouldn't despite playing in a very tough conference and having no recruiting base -defensive background (DC at Pitt for seven years, numerous accolades; DC at Auburn for one year, 17th in scoring D) Cons: -may not be available - just signed 10-year deal ($2M per) -west coast recruiting?