Insight Bowl Win Proof Paul Rhoads Has ISU on the Right Path

B.Senior Analyst IJanuary 1, 2010

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Paul Rhoads of the Iowa State Cyclones celebrates with the Insight Bowl trophy after defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Arizona Stadium on December 31, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Cyclones defeated the Golden Gophers 14-13.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads isn't known for holding his emotions back.

The now-infamous YouTube video of his post-Nebraska game celebration is proof enough of that.  In the video, he tells his players with an intense emotion just how proud of them he is.

After his Cyclones defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the 2009 Insight Bowl, his pride was clearly on display for the world to see again.

"I'm proud to lead this program and this team in whatever we do, whether it is a community service project, or through a practice or winning a Bowl game," Rhoads expressed in his post game press conference.  "But you don't do that without the kids believing and being all in and going out there and accomplishing all the goals and expectations that we set."

Rhoads has every right to be proud.  Iowa State finished off the 2009 season with a 14-13 win over Minnesota, its first post-season game since the 2005 Houston Bowl and its first bowl win since 2004. 

ISU was a paltry 2-7 all-time in bowl games before Thursday night's game in Tempe.

The win helped solidify that Rhoads is the great fit for Iowa State.  He looks to turn this year's modest success into long-term prosperity in Ames.

"By finishing with a winning record and you go into the off-season with a program that certainly is on its way," Rhoads stated at the press conference.

Rhoads was also quick to throw in a reminder for everyone in attendance.  "By the way, this 2009 Iowa State winning football team never had a losing record."

That is an important reminder, as the Cyclones bring back most of their offensive starters for the 2010 season.

"When we start our workouts in January, our guys will report to work.  The program has credibility based on what we've done thus far, what we set out to do and what we've  accomplished.   And I certainly owe that to all the kids in this program and embracing what we set out to do and doing it day after day after day."

Rhoads came into a down Cyclone football program and fired it up with some much needed inspiration. He ended an ugly 10-game overall losing streak and snapped the nation's-worst 17-game road losing streak. 

He gave Iowa State fans their first winning since since 2005 and even beat Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time since 1977.

"It's overwhelming," said the first-year head coach. "I'm proud to lead this program."

It's safe to say that Cyclone Nation is proud to have him as head coach as well.