A Tribute to McCarney: More Player Letters

Dan McCarney isn't only a football coach to his former players. He's more like a father figure. CN compiled around 20 letters from former Mac players, that they wrote to their former coach. Read them here in this tribute to Dan McCarney before moves on to the next stop in his career.

Many people go through the impressionable periods of their lives with few,
if any, positive role models. Typically, our parents or guardians will do
their best to fill this role. If we are lucky, there will be others that also
try to give direction.
College athletics is an area where I have been fortunate enough to have
exposure to numerous positive influences. Coach McCarney and his entire staff
have always strived to win as many games as possible. But they also took the
opportunity to be positive role models to the players.
While the victories were not as many as anyone had wished under McCarney,
the experience was all that it could be. The entire staff did everything they
could to win, but more than that, to treat players like family.
At a minimum, a man can be judge by the company that he keeps. Dan
McCarney is no exception. He has worked hard to keep people around him that
continue to be a positive impact on young adults; young adults which they mold
into responsible, hard working men.
Charley Bogwill




When I look back on my time with Mac I will remember the following:

1.  Positive outlook on life (always looked at the glass 1/2 full)
2.  Energy (raised everyone's level of performance)
3.  Character (was honest in how he ran his program)
4.  Detailed in preparation (was always prepared)
5.  Purposeful (everything we did was planned)
6.  Passionate (He loved his job and the people close to him)
7.  Caring (He treated everybody with respect and wanted to make
everyone feel welcome)
8.  Presence (People wanted to be apart of what he was doing)
9.  Leadership (Made tough decisions and stood by what he believes in)
10. Friend (Many stories about him going out of his way/busy schedule
to help people)
Jamie Kohl

Cyclone Nation,


A few players have decided to put some letters together to let all fans understand what coach McCarney has not only met to us but what he has brought you.  As you read these letters you are going to understand how all the former players feel about this very special coach, mentor, and leader.


Coach Mac is like a dad to all of us.  We all love, care for and respect him like he was our own dad.  Coach Mac has had the most influence on my life outside of my immediate family.  He has taught me about how to live my life with Class.  As I watched him resign on Wednesday with tears in my eyes, he confirmed everything I had thought about him because he did that with as much class as you'll ever see in this business.


The condition Mac is going to leave this program is one that someone will be able to walk right in and win.  Obviously this season has not gone the way the Cyclone fans would have wanted but the only person more disappointed then you is coach Mac.  The reason we get to feel the disappointment of this season is because of the success Coach Mac has brought to this program.  


Without Mac we would have no Bowl win, indoor practice facility, Big 12 North co-Championship, 5 of the last 6 years in bowls and the game atmosphere you get to enjoy today.


I could go on and on but in closing I think we all need to let coach Mac know how thankful we are of his hard work, dedication and SUCCESS at Iowa State.




Ryan Harklau 1996-2000




"Why not Iowa State?"  This was the phrase behind the man that sold the dream that brought me to Iowa State - a decision I will never regret.

Coach Mac wove the threads of cardinal and gold into every fiber of the community,  university, athletic department, and most importantly his players.  His passion and optimism are qualities I reflect on and draw upon when life causes an unexpected fumble. The proud Cyclone family you created will always support you in your future endeavors.  Thanks Coach Mac for twelve years of hard work, inspiration and class!



Josh Rank 

1996 - 2000

The thing about Mac that always stood out to me and my family was his
personality and abundance of class.  My parents loved him when he came
to our home in New York in 1995 to recruit and sign me.  They loved him
when they would come to visit during my time as a student athlete at ISU,
but what really impressed them and me took place 6 years after I left ISU. 
Before my senior year of college my father suffered a devastating and
crippling accident when he fell off a boat breaking his neck.  He would
fight to live as a quadriplegic for the next 7 years of his life.  When it
happened Coach Mac and the rest of the staff would always ask how he
was and give my family their best.  Last year my father succumbed to his
injuries and passed.  As I was leaving the funeral home with my mother to make
the arrangements I noticed two messages on the voicemail of my phone.  The
messages were from Coach Mac and Coach McGettigan.  They wanted to let
me know they were thinking about me and my family and that I would always
be part of the cyclone family and if there was anything they could do just
call.  My mother heard the messages and commented how good these two men
were for calling.
To me, Mac will always be associated with class, charisma, humor, and
the best part about him, that he could sell a ketchup popsicle in the
middle of July to a woman wearing white gloves.

-Joe Parmentier

Coach McCarney,




As I sit in my office today, I am reflecting on what you said Wednesday night: "I think the best thing for me is to step down." You may not realize this, but I am more than a former ISU player. I grew up watching the Cyclones from the time I was born. In fact, from the age of 2 until I graduated from ISU, I only missed 2 ISU football games. I played catch on the hillsides every other Saturday from the time I was 5 or 6 years old. I grew up with ISU football watching the Cyclones play against Barry Sanders, Brian Bosworth, Rashaan Salaam, etc. I sat through Walden's final year at ISU, when you could pick your seat in Cyclone Stadium. I watched your first victory, the night game against Ohio, with TD going for 291. I watched TD go for 378 against Coach Cross and Mizzou. I saw the first win over Iowa in Iowa City. Simply put, ISU was not only part of my life for the 5 years I was there. It has been my school and my team for my entire life.


I know how much you have done for the town, the school, the players and the fans. I have witnessed it firsthand. You have built ISU into a legitimate program, and done it the right way. You have integrity, class, and an outstanding work ethic. Nobody exemplifies ISU football the way you do.


I want to say thank you for so many reasons. When I stepped onto the ISU campus, my goal was to put on the ISU helmet and someday step on the field. I appreciate the fact that you gave me and so many others a chance to follow our dreams. You and the coaches didn't discriminate based on skin color, height, weight, speed, or anything else. You looked at two things: the player's character and if they can help win games. I was never the fastest, tallest, or strongest player, but if I made the catches on third down, I knew I would have a chance to play. I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity you gave me.


Being a part of the Cyclone family was so much more than Saturday afternoons. You taught me, and the rest of the guys, to work hard, dream big, have integrity, have class, and ‘do it the right way.' You helped shape me from a quiet, small town Iowa kid, into a person that was confident and willing to dream big.


Like any organization/business/team, we had our ups and downs. But through it all, you were the guy we looked up to and were a real leader to our team and school. You will never know how many boys you turned into men and the difference you made on our lives. You always had a positive and can-do attitude.


Some people were born to be successful, and we all know that you will go on to bigger and better things. I truly believe that ISU is losing a lot more than you are losing. That is why I have to disagree with your comment from last night. We are losing the person who built our program, the face of the university and our leader, and for that, we all mourn.


In conclusion, thank you for the opportunity you gave me and my family to join the ISU family. Some of my parent's best days were spent driving to Big 12 stadiums across the country. My future wife, Rachel, spent her college days on the dance team for ISU. We will never forget our days at ISU and the opportunity you gave us.


Best wishes,

Jack Whitver

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