Iowa State coaches and athletes talk growth, success at Virtual Cyclone Tailgate Tour


Cyclone student-athletes speak at the Virtual Cyclone Tailgate Tour.

Andrew Harrington

The Virtual Cyclone Tailgate Tour is an annual event that features many faces of Iowa State sports. Due to the pandemic, the event was virtual this year, airing on on Wednesday and lasting about an hour and 45 minutes.

John Walters, director of broadcasting for Iowa State Athletics, interviewed some of the biggest student-athlete stars of Iowa State. There were recap videos, fan questions and giveaways throughout the event.

Featured guests included national champion wrestler David Carr, gymnast Addy De Jesus, volleyball player Eleanor Holthaus and softball player Sami Williams.

The athletes discussed the true importance of being a student and an athlete, the things they miss during COVID-19 and some of their favorite teammates.

Women’s basketball Head Coach Bill Fennelly was the next guest to speak at the event. Fennelly spoke about the growth of women’s basketball, the commitment of the players to being great and his contract extension.

“You’ve got to believe in everything you do,” he said. “I do not care if you are an athlete, a businessperson, family member or whatever. We had a very good group, and they understood what they had to do.”

One of Fennelly’s players, Ashley Joens, joined him as they discussed preparation for next season.

Men’s basketball Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger talked about his love for Iowa State. Otzelberger also discussed the importance of building trust with the players and developing an identity as a team that can play on both sides of the ball.

Football Head Coach Matt Campbell was the final coach to speak at the event. Campbell mentioned a wide variety of topics, such as developing culture and the leadership of his players. Campbell was joined by safety Greg Eisworth II to discuss mindsets and improvement of the team.

The final guest at the event was Athletics Director Jamie Pollard. The biggest topic Pollard talked about was the Sports Performance Center, which is currently under construction. He also stressed the success Iowa State is having in spring sports.

“Clearly, [this spring is] the most successful spring we have ever had,” Pollard said. “If you get the right people, both student-athletes and coaches, you can have incredible success.”

The event brought in many viewers from all over Cyclone nation, and the plan is for the event to be an in-person tour of Iowa again next year.