Big 12 News

Former Iowa State Head Coach Paul Rhoads Named Arizona Defensive Coordinator

Paul Rhodes

Former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads is on the move again, this time to Arizona where the Wildcats named him their new defensive coordinator.

Rhoads comes to Tucson from UCLA where as the program’s defensive backs coach the past two seasons. Prior to his time at UCLA, Rhoads spent two years at the University of Arkansas, where he served as the defensive backs coach in 2016, before taking over as the defensive coordinator in 2017. He was also the program’s interim head coach after the team fired Bret Bielema.

Rhoads was the head coach at Iowa State from 2009 to 2015. The program looked to be in good shape his first four seasons, going 24-28 and reaching three bowl games, but then the wheels fell off, as Iowa State went 3-9, 2-10 and 3-9 and Rhoads was let go following the 2015 season.


“I can’t begin to express how excited and grateful I am to have the opportunity to work alongside Coach Sumlin and the rest of the Arizona Football Family,” Rhoads said. “I look forward to getting to know our student-athletes and getting to work on putting them in a position to be successful at a high level. (My wife) Vickie and I are thrilled to be able to become a part of the University of Arizona and Tucson community.”

In Rhoads’ first season at UCLA, the Bruins defense improved statistically in points per game, average yards per rush, total offense yards allowed per game and turnovers forced.

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