Rhoads finally signs ISU contract

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

New Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads has signed his contract with the Cyclones -- nearly six months after his hiring was announced.

Rhoads, who worked last season as Auburn's defensive coordinator, will have a guaranteed package of $5.75 million over the next five seasons in a contract that is stacked with several performance-based incentives.

The contract will make him the lowest-salaried coach in the conference.

That fact doesn't bother Rhoads, according to the Des Moines Register.

"I remember my roots," Rhoads told the Register. "My priority is to win football games. How much money I make isn't even on my mind."

Rhoads will make $950,000 this season and the contract will increase in $100,000 increments each season.

The most interesting part of the contract are some of the incentives. The most intriguing is one caveat that will pay him $100,000 per season for each regular-season triumph after the Cyclones reach seven.

That might seem doable at many schools, but will be a huge challenge at ISU, where the Cyclones have won more than seven games in the regular season only once in the past 20 seasons. That happened in 2000 when Dan McCarney took that team to a 9-3 record.

Some of Rhoads' other perks include:

  • $100,000 per appearance in the conference championship game.

  • $100,000 for each championship game win.

  • $100,000 each time Iowa State cracks the top 10 in the final USA Today/Coaches' poll.

  • $50,000 if the Cyclones finish ranked 11th through 25th in the final poll.

  • $50,000 per appearance in the Gator, Cotton, Holiday or Alamo bowls.

  • $25,000 per appearance in the Sun, Insight, Independence, Texas or any other Tier III bowl.

  • $25,000 for each bowl victory.

Additionally, Iowa State will pay Rhoads' initiation and annual membership dues in the Ames Country Club.

"It's a fair contract for who we are, and where we are at this point in time," ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard told the Register.

It will be a huge challenge for Rhoads to turn things around at ISU, where he's armed with few of the advantages that other Big 12 coaches enjoy.

His contract will be well below market-value, but considering some of the financial challenges that are in place at ISU will still make him one of the highest-paid state employees.