Vander Sanden: McCarney Deserves Credit

With all of the questions surrounding the Iowa State football team, former Cyclone and CN ambassador Luke Vander Sanded wanted his thoughts to be known. Find out what the big offensive lineman is thinking right here at CN.

I hope this article really opens a lot of eyes around Cyclone Nation.  I am going to talk with you about Coach McCarney, through the eyes of a former player, and tell you what he means to me as a former player, and now a fan.


I will never forget the first phone call from Coach Rhodes telling me about Iowa State and how they were interested in me.  I will never forget the day Coach Mac came to small-town Iowa to my high school to visit me.  The depth of everything started when I was invited to Iowa State's football camp.  They thought well enough of me, and Coach Mac pulled me aside one night and asked how I would feel about them giving me a scholarship.  I was so excited that I cannot describe it in words.  The point here is that Coach Mac provided so much for me not only as a player.  He gave me the opportunity to extend my abilities as a football player.  Mac instilled accountability, discipline, leadership, the drive for success, the value of hard work, and the value of team, among other things. 


There are so many things people don't realize about Coach McCarney.  You can say all you want, but no one knows better than his own former players.  I was the one that was with him and the staff from six in the morning until seven at night.  I was the one that shed sweat, blood, and tears.  Coach Mac is the hardest working man I know, and I think I will ever know.  He led by example for his players, and now being out of the program, I try to do some of the same things in my career.  I have found myself falling back on those same qualities that he instilled in me while my years at ISU.


Coach Mac is such a great person outside of football.  He promotes community.  While at Iowa State, he promoted hospital visits because he cares about people.  He promoted community service projects because he cares about the community.  He promotes his players the importance of family because he cares about family.  He promotes hard work and discipline because he is a proven winner at the game of football and the game of life.  I would go to battle for this guy, and he would be one of my choices to bring down a dark alley with me.  He has done so many things for ISU, and ISU football, and no one cares about the magnitude of change he has done at Iowa State.  I was a part of the change, and I know how much it means to members that have been in the program.


No one can take anything away from what his staff and he have done.  He has proven his system works, he has proven that he cares, he has backed his staff and his team, and he has shown his support outside of football.


To wrap things up, Coach McCarney is very special to me.  He has made me who I am today, and that is a successful fourth grade teacher and high school football coach.  The fact of the matter is…I would not be the kind of man I am today without the guidance, the support, and the opportunities he has provided me with.

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