Paul Rhoads Reacts to His Dismissal for the First Time

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads reacted to his dismissal for the first time Monday during the Big 12 media teleconference. Rhoads will coach his final game at Iowa State on Saturday.

What was your reaction to the decision? We’re disappointed. We’ve accomplished a lot here at Iowa State in our seven years and we’ve got a good, young team with a great nucleus of talent and leadership and we were looking forward to the opportunity to coach them as we headed into 2016.

Were you surprised? No, I was not surprised. It’s a bottom-line business and everybody in this profession well knows that and we accept it very openly when we get into it.

Is it a challenge this week against West Virginia? I don’t think we have a challenge to be very blunt and candid with you. Our kids will play. They’ll prepare and they’ll play.

How have players reacted and will this be a distraction this week? I don’t believe it’ll be a distraction. I think any time there’s change and finality to something, it’s hard. Different personalities accept and deal with it in different ways but I think our team, as they have been all season are very dedicated to our preparation and one last opportunity to go out and play as a team and be successful as a team. It probably helps that there’s no school going on and they’re going to spend a great amount of time together this week. We want it to be an enjoyable week as we finish out the 2015 season and they’ll come to work every day distraction-free and ready to prepare and win.

How important is it to go out with a win? It won’t be important for me personally. It’ll be important for the players and especially the senior class. There’s no hiding the fact that we had some internal issues in our program in 2013 and 2014 that needed resolved and this senior class in large part has helped resolve that. I’d love nothing more than to see them go out as winners and with success. This has always been about the kids and always will be.  

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