AMES, Iowa (AP) Athletic director Jamie Pollard had hoped that Paul Rhoads would spend the rest of his career coaching at Iowa State.
The losing simply became too frequent to ignore.
Pollard said Monday that he dismissed Rhoads because the program simply wasn't going in the right direction.
Pollard spoke to reporters two days after a devastating loss at Kansas State left Iowa State at 3-8. Pollard said he wished he didn't have to fire Rhoads, who signed a 10-year extension in 2012, but the results simply weren't there. The change was announced Sunday.
Iowa State has won just eight games since the start of the 2013 season.
''Sometimes you can want something more than it wants you. I wanted him to be our coach. He wanted to be our coach,'' Pollard said. ''But it just wasn't meant to be.''
Pollard said the search for a new coach is already underway, though he declined to discuss his timetable. Rhoads will coach the Cyclones in their season finale at West Virginia this weekend after Pollard gave him the opportunity to do so.
''I'm no quitter. I would never walk away from the job, walk away from the opportunity to coach these young men,'' Rhoads said Monday in an emotional news conference.
Rhoads raised eyebrows when he mentioned that Iowa State would best be served in a 12-team league with two divisions - like the Big 12 was before realignment - because of the inherent challenges for a program that has struggled historically as much as Iowa State has.
Rhoads touched on an issue that Pollard will likely face in the weeks ahead: There are a number of power five conference jobs likely to be open and the Cyclones probably won't be high on many coaches' lists.
Iowa State has gone to just 12 bowls games and won only three of them. Pollard said the $4.5 million owed to Rhoads in a buyout won't impact how much Iowa State can pay his successor.
''We're in a competition,'' Pollard said. ''We certainly have a history of not letting the grass grow under our feet in search processes. So I think we're equipped institutionally to move forward...but yeah, it's certainly more of a seller's market than a buyer's market.''
Rhoads had trouble composing himself Monday, displaying the passion that endeared him to the Cyclones fan base before the losses really started to pile up. As for his future, Rhoads said he had ''no idea'' what he'll do next, though he mentioned how much he enjoys coaching more than once.
The personable Rhoads also cracked one final joke on his way out the door.
''Go to lunch,'' Rhoads said when asked what he wanted to do next. ''We're going to coach our tails off this week, go to Morgantown and try and give these seniors a victory to end their careers.''
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