Iowa State has hired Bluffton (D-III - OH) defensive coordinator Josh Runda to its staff as a defensive quality control.
Like many on the Cyclone staff, Runda's coaching DNA traces to the Ohio small college scene. He played for Iowa State assistant head coach/linebackers coach Tyson Veidt, then the Beavers' head coach, where he was a 3-time all-conference linebacker.
Runda then entered coaching as a GA at Bluffton in 2014 before landing the defensive line and special teams job at Ohio Wesleyan in 2016. After a season there and a season as the University of Indianapolis's linebackers coach, he returned to Bluffton as defensive coordinator in 2018.
Freshman defensive back Montez Archer, Jr., earned Heartland Conference newcomer of the year and defensive player of the year honors under Runda during the spring 2021 season.
The Cyclones have also hired Mason Tomblin as a defensive GA.
Like Veidt, and Runda, and head coach Matt Campbell, and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, and offensive coordinator Tom Manning, and, well, you get the point, Tomblin also got his start in Ohio. He played at Ohio Wesleyan, then entered coaching as a graduate student intern at Miami (Ohio).
Tomblin returned to OWU as the defensive line coach in 2018 and '19, then returned to the MAC as a GA at Ohio for the 2020 season. Tomblin played linebacker at Ohio Wesleyan, worked with the linebackers on Frank Solich's Ohio U staff, and will work under Veidt with the linebackers in Ames.
Both men will join an ascendent Iowa State program that enters 2021 with the highest expectations in program history. The 2020 Cyclones scored victories over Oklahoma and Texas for the first time ever; reached the Big 12 Championship for the first time ever; and won a New Year's Six game for the first time ever.
The 2021 team returns its top three tacklers, all linebackers: Big 12 defensive player of the year and consensus All-American Mike Rose, super senior Jake Hummel, and senior O'Rien Vance. The trio combined for 241 stops in 12 games last season.
The expectations this fall include the program's first conference title since 1912 and a maiden voyage to the College Football Playoff.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.