Iowa State outside linebacker coach DeMontie Cross is the fifth member of head coach Dan McCarney's staff to head directly to the National Football League since 1997. Cross, who just finished his fifth season at Iowa State is leaving to become a defensive and special teams assistant coach with the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Cross becomes one of seven former McCarney assistants currently on an NFL coaching staff.
"DeMontie has been a part of our family for five years," McCarney said. "I hate to lose him as he has been a contributor to four bowl game seasons during his time at ISU.. The ultimate confirmation that you are hiring good people is when the NFL calls them to the best football league in the world. The presence of seven former assistant coaches now in the NFL demonstrates the respect our program has nationally in the collegiate and professional ranks."
Cross is the second Iowa State assistant coach to leave for the NFL in the past week. ISU newcomer Jeff Horton left to join the staff of the St. Louis Rams as tight ends coach and special assistant for offense. McCarney said national searches are underway to replace Cross and Horton.
"My experience at Iowa State has been second to none," Cross said. "I am very thankful for the opportunity that coach McCarney has given me to grow as a coach. He took a chance on a young coach that most head coaches might have passed up. I surely hope I didn't disappoint him. I am also very fortunate to have been able to study under (Iowa State defensive coordinator) John Skladany. Our chemistry on defense as a staff was really good and I am going to miss that experience. I wish nothing but the best for the Cyclone football family.
The former McCarney assistant coaches currently in the NFL are Cross, Horton, Pete Hoener (ISU offensive coordinator 1998-99) of the San Francisco 49ers, Steve Loney (ISU offensive line coach, offensive coordinator 1995-97, 2000-01) and Kirby Wilson (ISU running backs coach, 1995-97) of the Arizona Cardinals.
In addition, former Iowa State defensive coordinator Larry Coyer (1995-96) is now the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. Jay Norvell, who was quarterbacks and receivers coach and assistant head coach under McCarney at Iowa State from 1995-97, left Ames for the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. He is currently the offensive coordinator at Nebraska.