In the words of Paul Rhoads, "We go way back."
That's how the first-year Iowa State football coach sums up his relationship with Kansas State head man Bill Snyder.
In return, Snyder says, "I've known him since he was a youngster."
The two share a history that dates back to when Snyder was a coordinator at Iowa and Rhoads was playing high school football at Ankeny (Iowa) High for his father/coach Cecil Rhodes almost 30 years ago.
"He happened to recruit my high school," Rhoads said. "He happened to recruit my father's high school. I was a terrible player, so he never recruited me, but I got to know him through that process. He always treated my family first class. Our family has always remembered that."
So even though today's 2 p.m. game between the Wildcats and Cyclones at Arrowhead Stadium will be Rhoads' first conference game at Iowa State, he will see a familiar face across the field.
Rhoads said that will be a thrill.
"I've always admired great coaches and their successes," he said. "And I've always had an eye on what he's done at Kansas State and the University of Iowa."
Snyder said he's looking forward to the experience as well. From what he's seen of Iowa State on film, he's impressed with the job Rhoads has done.
What Snyder likes most is the way Iowa State always makes the routine play. The Cyclones run the ball well and appear to have bought into Rhoads' system. They are off to a 3-1 start, and aside from a lopsided loss to Iowa have exceeded early expectations.
"What I see in a nutshell is both sides of the ball and special teams, they're extremely sound," Snyder said. "They play hard, they don't get themselves out of position and you have to work for everything you get (against them)."
Coming from a football family in Iowa that he's known for years, Snyder said he could see that success coming.
"I think Paul, as was well expected, has done extremely well," Snyder said. "I had no doubt about that being the case."
Notes _ K-State's game at Texas Tech on Oct. 10 will start at 6 p.m. and be telecast regionally on both Fox Sports Net affiliates that serve Kansas.... ISU's David Sims and K-State's Tysyn Hartman lead the Big 12 with three interceptions each.