AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is signed through the 2021 season at a place that understands the challenges of fielding a winner in the Big 12.
But 3-9 won't cut it at anywhere.
Rhoads and the Cyclones began the process of erasing the worst season of his five-year tenure on Monday with the start of spring practice.
Iowa State has plenty of questions to answer, most notably at quarterback, and a revamped coaching staff will get its first chance to work with the Cyclones outside of the film room.
The Cyclones, who finished 3-9 in 2013 despite closing with a two-game winning streak, hold their annual spring game on April 12.
"I think this team is very hungry," Rhoads said. "There isn't anything about the gains we've made that's disappointing."
Much of the offseason buzz surrounding the Cyclones will be about their latest quarterback competition.
Incoming sophomore Grant Rohach appears to be the favorite after closing 2013 with a relative flourish. Rohach started in late wins over Kansas and West Virginia, and he threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns in rallying the Cyclones from a 24-point deficit at West Virginia in poor weather.
Richardson, who will be a junior next season, entered 2013 as a likely three-year starter. But Richardson's season unraveled in the opener, as thumb, ankle and leg injuries and a shaky offensive line derailed his first extended shot at the starting job.
"He was hurt a lot more than I ever got across during the fall," Rhoads said. "Getting him back, getting him healthy and getting him competing, there, there's no question that he's still our best runner."