Iowa State fires offensive coordinator

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is looking to amp up the offensive attack in Ames.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope have been relieved of their duties, Rhoads announced in a school release Sunday afternoon.

Rhoads expects to begin an immediate search to replace the duo, but no timetable was given.

The Cyclones' offense was stuck in neutral for the majority of the season. It finished in the bottom three of the Big 12 in points per game (24.8), yards per game (363), yards per play (4.82), rushing yards (143.83) and passing yards (219.17).

Messingham has coached at Southern Mississippi and Missouri State during his 23-year career. The Cyclones quarterbacks were inconsistent throughout much of the year. Quarterback Sam Richardson did not progress as expected during his sophomore season, though freshman quarterback Grant Rohach came on during the Cyclones' two-game winning streak to end the year.

Pope has been in coaching for over three decades, with stops at several programs, including Texas A&M and Alabama. No Cyclones running back had more than Aaron Wimberly's 567 yards rushing, and Wimberly also paced the running backs with a 4.02 yards per carry.

Messingham and Pope were hired in 2009 and had been members of the ISU staff for Rhoads' full five-year tenure.

"I want to thank both Courtney and Kenith for their service to Iowa State," Rhoads said in a statement. "They have great character and work ethic, and have been excellent ambassadors for the university and community. They worked hard to help elevate our program and have been an important part of the success we have had in this program the last five years."