Chizik Hires Three More Assistant Football Co

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State head football coach Gene Chizik announced Wednesday the addition to his staff of a defensive line coach who has Division I-A coordinator experience, a former Big Ten quarterback and proven coach to tutor wide receivers and a coach with more than 20 years of experience to work in football operations.

Troy co-defensive coordinator Mike Pelton will coach the Iowa State defensive linemen. Stephen F. Austin quarterbacks coach Jay Rodgers will coach ISU receivers and Mississippi assistant athletics director for football external affairs Barney Farrar will work in football operations under Chizik. The trio joins offensive coordinator Robert McFarland and defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt on the growing Cyclone football coaching staff.

In 2006, Pelton was the co-defensive coordinator in his sixth season at Troy.  He worked four seasons as the defensive ends coach. His efforts made an immediate impact. Pelton coached two of the most dominant rush ends in Troy history.  Demarcus Ware was drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Osi Umenyiora was drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

"Coach Pelton has developed a great rapport with the young men who have played for him," Chizik said. "He also brings a great understanding of the ins and outs of college football.  He has coached NFL players at Troy and his coordinator experience will aid all of us in the Iowa State program."

During Pelton's tenure, the Trojan defense was consistently among the nation's leaders in several defensive categories.  It ranked eighth nationally in rushing defense and 16th in total defense during the 2004 season after coming in 26th and 39th respectively, in those categories in 2003. In 2002, the Trojan defense finished fourth nationally in total defense, allowing just 276.83 yards per game. At Troy during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, Pelton served under Bolt, who was working as defensive coordinator for the Trojans.

"I'm excited about the possibilities," Pelton said. "The chance to work with coach Bolt again and to do so under Gene Chizik was an opportunity I could not pass up.  I am ready to get going."

Another Pelton protégé, Dave Williams, was taken in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. Prior to his Troy experience, Pelton coached the defensive line at Valdosta State in 2000 as the Blazers posted a 10-2 record and made the NCAA Division II playoffs

Pelton lettered four times as a defensive lineman at Auburn (1991-94), where he earned second-team All-America honors in 1994. A native of Goshen, Ala., Pelton was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft.  He moved to the Indianapolis Colts a year later as a free agent. Pelton earned a bachelor's degree in health and promotions from Auburn in 1995.

Rodgers spend the last two seasons has quarterbacks coach at Stephen F. Austin under McFarland, the former Lumberjack head coach and new Iowa State offensive coordinator. The former Indiana quarterback tutored two record-setting quarterbacks in his two years at SFA. Danny Southall, the Southland Conference's top-rated signal-caller in 2005, led the league in total offense last season, averaging 208.64 yards per game.

"Jay has been a Big Ten quarterback and is a rising star in the football coaching community," Chizik said. "He is the son of a coach who has proven himself as coach and player on the field.  He is a talented recruiter.  He will be a coordinator soon."

Southall's predecessor as Stephen F. Austin quarterback, Zeke Dixon, became one of the top producing quarterbacks in SFA history under the tutelage of Rodgers. The 'Jacks led the SLC in pass offense averaging 283.5 yards per game in 2005 and Dixon finished among the league's top three in passing yards and total offense. He recorded the school's fourth-best single-season mark in passing yards (2,407) and the third-best effort in touchdown passes (20).

A 2000 graduate of Indiana, Rodgers served as the quarterbacks' coach at Missouri State in 2004 and helped the Bears post their first winning season in seven years. He formerly worked as an intern at Ohio State and a graduate assistant at LSU before spending one year at Dodge City Community College.

"This was a chance to coach in a premier college football conference," Rodgers said. "To get an opportunity to work under someone like Gene Chizik and do so under coach (Robert) McFarland is something that I had to be a part of."

As a player, Rodgers spent three seasons at Indiana where he started 15 games at quarterback before transferring to Missouri State for his senior season. He was voted team captain and was the squad MVP in his lone season with the Bears in 1999, setting several single-season passing records. Rodgers is a native of Austin, Texas.

Farrar comes to Iowa State after a year as assistant athletics director for football external affairs at Mississippi.  His move to Ole Miss came after 12 years at Rice, where he coached under Owl head coach Ken Hatfield.  Farrar coached outside linebackers the first three seasons, including on the 1994 Southwest Conference championship team.  In 1997 he became defensive ends coach and then he coached cornerbacks through the 2005 season.

"Barney Farrar knows football," Chizik said. "He had a great career as a position coach and has been to seven bowl games.  At Mississippi, he moved into another aspect of administrating an NCAA Division I-A BCS conference school.  He has proven himself as an able contributor to the day-to-day operations of a major college football program."

"Coach (Gene) Chizik and I were graduate assistant coaches together at Clemson," Farrar said. "You could tell even then that he had everything it took to be a great success.  He has a great drive to succeed and is known as a good person for whom you would like to work."

Farrar earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from Delta State in 1983 and a master's degree there in physical education in 1985.  The native of Kossuth, Miss., he played football at Northeast (Miss.) Junior College and at Delta State.  He began his coaching career at Delta State before going to Clemson in several positions under Hatfield until he moved on to Rice.

 


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