"We had a huge number of people interested in both of our open positions," McCarney said. "Barney knows the Big 12 Conference and has been successful at each level of college football. He is coming here after being offensive coordinator of a 10-3 team that won its bowl game. Todd has worked in major conferences under several of the biggest names in college football history. Both are excited to come to Ames and will get to work right away."
Last fall was Cotton's first season on the coaching staff at Nebraska, his alma mater. He tutored the Huskers to a No. 7 national ranking in rushing. The Huskers rushed for more than 250 yards in seven games last season and averaged 235.6 rushing yards per game. Just the third offensive coordinator at Nebraska since 1973, Cotton also coached the offensive line in 2003. Despite losing depth and rest time due to numerous injuries, four Husker linemen earned all-conference honors, led by Richie Incognito, who was a first-team All-Big 12 honoree and an Outland and Lombardi Watch List member. Josh Sewell, Mike Erickson and Dan Vili Waldrop each earned honorable-mention all-conference honors.
"The opportunity at Iowa State is a great one," Cotton said. "I've really been impressed with Dan McCarney. To be a coordinator in the Big 12 Conference and work with Dan and his staff was something I couldn't pass up."
An Omaha native, Cotton joined the Nebraska football staff as offensive coordinator after six seasons on former Husker assistant Tony Samuel's New Mexico State coaching staff. Cotton served as the Aggies' assistant head coach and offensive coordinator and also tutored the offensive line. Under his direction, the Aggie offense ranked in the top 25 nationally in total offense three times in six seasons and ranked in the top 25 in rushing offense in each of Cotton's six seasons as offensive coordinator.
Cotton was a three-year letterman at Nebraska from 1976 to 1978 and started on both the offensive and defensive lines for head coach Tom Osborne. Following his college career, Cotton was selected to play in the 1978 East-West Shrine Game and was a third-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979. After one season in Cincinnati, Cotton joined the St. Louis Cardinals and played three seasons from 1980 to 1982. A knee injury forced his retirement after the 1982 season.
After his NFL career and assistant coaching stops, Cotton gained experience as a head coach at Hastings College in 1995 and 1996. In 1995, the Broncos won the Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference championship and made an appearance in the NAIA playoffs. Cotton was named the 1995 Nebraska-Iowa Conference Coach of the Year.
Cotton earned a bachelor of science degree from Nebraska in 1983 and a master's degree in athletic administration from St. Cloud State in 1994.
Fitch was the South Carolina quarterbacks coach in 2003 after four years as the Gamecocks' wide receiver coach -- all under Holtz. During Fitch's tenure at USC, the Gamecocks appeared in the 2001 and 2002 Outback Bowls. Before coming to South Carolina, Fitch was at Connecticut for five seasons, the last four as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His final UConn offense (1998) ranked 11th nationally, averaging 36 points per game as the Huskies won a school-record 10 games.
"The Big 12 is a great conference, like the SEC," Fitch said. "I think Dan McCarney is a special person who is dedicated to putting Iowa State's program back where it was the previous three years. I have known several individuals who have coached for him and they had the highest respect for Dan."
Fitch was an all-conference defensive back at Ohio Wesleyan, where he was an all-conference defensive back. He earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism there in 1986 and a master's degree at Ohio State in 1987. Fitch coached under Nehlan at West Virginia (1989) and Bruce (1991-93) at Colorado State. He also coached at Bowling Green.