Dec. 20, 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State hired Paul Rhoads as its football coach on Saturday, giving the Auburn defensive coordinator and former Cyclones assistant a five-year deal worth $5.75 million.

Rhoads spent last season with the Tigers after serving as Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator from 2000-07. A native of nearby Ankeny, he was an assistant with the Cyclones under Dan McCarney from 1995-99.

"Paul Rhoads is an outstanding and intelligent football coach, a highly successful national recruiter and has nearly 10 years of experience as a BCS coordinator," Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said in a statement on Saturday. "He was the one candidate that clearly demonstrated both extensive experience and an extreme passion for and familiarity with our institution.

"In addition, and most importantly, he also has a comprehensive plan for how to be successful at Iowa State."

Iowa State said Rhoads' contract also includes incentives that could increase his salary. The school will hold a press conference later Saturday to introduce the 41-year-old Rhoads.

Former Cyclones coach Gene Chizik was introduced as Auburn's head coach on Monday. Chizik was technically Rhoads' boss for about a week.

"In my two face-to-face meetings with Paul this week, it was obvious that his enthusiasm, energy and warm personality would be well-received by our players, fans and university community," Pollard said. "He has a presence with a 'look-you-in-the-eye' style that makes you feel comfortable."