Iowa State has yet to make move on Steve Prohm, but the Cyclones are 2-19 this season and may be looking for a new head coach this offseason.
At least some Iowa State fans want to bring T.J. Otzelberger back to Ames as the next head coach. And now Jeff Borzello of ESPN listed Otzelberger as one of the top two candidates for the Cyclone job.
“Otzelberger hasn’t quite gotten it rolling in his two seasons in Vegas, but he would be one of the two favorites at Iowa State if it opened,” Borzello wrote.
Utah State’s Craig Smith was the other top candidate mentioned for Iowa State.
Otzelberger spent time in Ames as an assistant coach under Greg McDermott and Fred Hoiberg from 2006-2016 (with a two-year stint in Washington in the middle). His reputation as a recruiter is what most Iowa State fans see as an upside.
It would be a massve blow to UNLV to lose a coach to a power conference program when that coach has yet to win anything at UNLV. And it would be fascinating to see Iowa State reach for a head coach that has not had a UNLV team competing for a conference title.
If Iowa State fired Prohm, they would have to pay half of his remaining salary. He is under contract for the next four seasons at roughly $2.5 million a year. Meaning Iowa State would owe him about $5 million to move on.
Plus, if Otzleberger takes another job before July 1, 2021, he would owe UNLV 75 percent of his remaining salary. That would equate to a buyout of $3.15 million.
If Otzelberger takes another job after July 1, that number drops to 25 percent of his remaining salary or only $1.05 million.
So If Iowa State wants Otzelberger they will likely have to pay over $8 million before accounting for Otzelberger’s salary.