As a way to celebrate Thanksgiving, we asked Iowa State superfan Mike Rouse to give us several reasons Cyclones fans are giving thanks
1. Jack Trice South Endzone. To put it bluntly, this is the second-best news I have received this year (my wife pregnant with our first child was the best news). Kansas State has finished an $80 million renovation that looks very impressive. Baylor is building a brand new football stadium. Oklahoma State has T. Boone Pickens money and Texas, welp is Texa$. These are some of the conference teams that Iowa State competes against. The time has come and football facilities are a priority. A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to Roy and Bobbi Reiman for helping to build Iowa State football for the next step.
2. Fred Hoiberg. ‘The Mayor' received write-in votes in the 1993 Ames mayor race. He turned down a football scholarship to play quarterback at Nebraska. He was a ball boy at Hilton and a star basketball player at Iowa State and played in the NBA. Everything he touches turns to gold. He coaches an NBA style and relates well to his players. He is trying to get five-star shooting guard Rashad Vaughn to commit. Be very thankful Cyclone Nation, be very thankful.
3. Paul Rhoads and his football staff. He's a local boy and he's SO PROUD. Who else in America would you like to play for, or want to coach your team? A few of his staff members have high upside and could coach anywhere. Wally the ‘Wizard' is a grizzled veteran at defensive coordinator. Graduate Assistant Derek Day and defensive tackles/special teams coordinator Shane Burnham are excellent on the recruiting trail. Can you say Allen Lazard anyone? Offensive line coach Chris Klenakis has developed ‘The Union' offensive lineman everywhere he's coached. Coaches Troy Douglas, Kenith Pope, and Todd Sturdy are solid teachers. I fully expect there will be some staff changes this offseason.
4. Jamie Pollard/Steven Leath/the retired Gregory Geoffroy. These are leaders with a vision and who accomplish big goals. They are remarkable marketers who have gotten all-time high record enrollments for the University and record season ticket sales for football and basketball. These are excellent leaders and spokesmen for our University. We owe these guys our upmost respect.
5. Cyclones.tv. John Walters is a pro. The former Iowa Sportscaster of the year gave the network lots of credibility. Iowa State, BYU, and Texas are the only universities with a dedicated 24/7 network. Mediacom has the highest number of cable subscribers in this state, and is therefore a solid provider.
6. "Hilton Magic" by definition means the power to get unexpected wins. This started in 1989 and was due to the success of legendary coach Johnny Orr. The floor often shakes with the loudness and intensity of the crowd. Fred Hoiberg and Bill Fennelly have maintained and groomed ‘the magic.' Enough said.
7. Cyclone Nation. What other fanbase gives $25 million to improve the football stadium during a 2-9 football season? What other fanbase sells out season tickets to football, and men's basketball, and has the third highest attendance in America for women's basketball? What other fanbase sends 25,000 people to Memphis to support the football team and watch a bowl game? Iowa State does. It's a great time to be a Cyclone.
8. Wrestling has a 5-0 start. This proud program has eight national championships. The glory days of Harold Nichols, Jim Gibbons, Bobby Douglas and Cael Sanderson have come and gone. There's a HUGE dual meet with No. 4 Iowa at 2:00 pm this Sunday. Be there.
9. Bill Fennelly. The dean of the Big 12 women's basketball coaches. He has a "lifetime" contract to coach for the rest of his career. He started from the bottom and has turned a dormant program to one of the most successful and popular women's teams. He created a family friendly environment and gets tons of support from Cyclone fans.