AMES, IOWA — Longstanding disagreements on offensive philosophy and stubbornness for compromise ultimately gave way Monday morning as Iowa State and offensive coordinator Mark Mangino parted ways.
The decision to end Mangino’s tenure after 1 ½ seasons, and with five games remaining in the 2015 season, came after he and Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads couldn’t see eye-to-eye after weeks of disagreement.
“Mark and I couldn’t get on the same page on a few important items,” Rhoads said Monday. “We tried to talk that through again this morning in an effort to get us moving in a different direction. In the end, Mark was not interested in that. I wish that wasn’t the case, but I respect and understand his conviction.”
With Mangino out as offensive coordinator — neither side has been interested in saying whether Mangino resigned or was fired — Iowa State has promoted quarterbacks coach Todd Sturdy to Mangino’s position. Sturdy has previously served as offensive coordinator at Washington State in 2011.
Rhoads wouldn’t elaborate Monday on what aspects of the offense he and Mangino couldn’t see eye-to-eye on, though he said the decision to part ways didn't come down to Iowa State's quarterback decision. The seventh-year coach did say no major changes are in store for the offense other than Joel Lanning taking over as the team’s starting quarterback, which had been announced earlier Monday morning.
“There won’t be drastic changes,” Rhoads said. “You’re not going to see us coming out in this type of backfield set or this type of formation, things that we haven’t done. We’ll work to get more efficient as you’re always working to as an offense, especially going into the eighth game of the season with a new quarterback providing the leadership.”
Mangino had called Iowa State’s plays all season, Rhoads said, including in the final 2 ½ quarters Saturday against Baylor when Lanning entered and led the Cyclones to some success. The quarrel between Rhoads and Mangino had been ongoing for weeks and ultimately dates back to the 2014 season according to people familiar with the situation.
While the two have coexisted in recent weeks despite not being on the same page, a discussion Monday led to the offensive-minded Mangino’s departure.
“We’ve been trying to work that out and in the end we couldn’t come to a conclusion together and he’s decided to not accept the direction that we wanted to go,” Rhoads said. “I don’t want to get into the differences in [him resigning or being fired]. Those changes, he wasn’t settled with and decided he didn’t want to accept those things.”
“We tried to get to a point where there wasn’t a disruption. We couldn’t get there, so in the end there was no compromise but to move forward.”
So Iowa State moves forward into preparation for Texas with both a new quarterback under center and a new play-caller on the sideline.
“I don’t know what his reasons were for that or anything but we’ve just got to move on,” Lanning said. “It was kind of shocking, but nothing is going to change. It’s going to be the same plays anyways, so nothing’s going to change.”