SIOUX CITY -- The room in the Sioux City Convention Center was full of Iowa State fans who were ready to hear from ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard and coaches Matt Campbell, Steve Prohm, Bill Fennelly, Christy Johnson-Lynch and Kevin Dresser.

The Iowa State fan base had to wait longer than expected to hear from Pollard and the coaches, though.

The Iowa State Tailgate Tour started on Monday and the second stop was in Council Bluffs. The group stayed the night in Council Bluffs and tried to make the trip to Sioux City on Tuesday morning.

However, due to some detours the bus had to make, it couldn't fit underneath a couple of the overpasses. So Pollard and the coaches were delayed by about an hour and a half.

The event started at noon and the Cyclone fans waited patiently. Even after an hour, the room was still full ISU fans when Pollard and the coaches arrived a little after 1 p.m.

Pollard said that shows the dedication of the Iowa State fans in Sioux City and how the Cyclone fan base has grown throughout the past couple of decades in Northwest Iowa.

"We previously had to do it at a bar because there weren't as many people that were engaged. Today was awesome because we were an hour and a half late and a good majority of the people stayed," Pollard said. "That shows a lot about the passion and how many Cyclones really are in this area."

ISU fans have plenty to be passionate about. The football team is coming off an eight-win season and Campbell has the program at a level of excitement that doesn't happen too often. Prohm and Fennelly brought both basketball programs back to the NCAA Tournament. Dresser is having success rebuilding the Cyclone wrestling program and the volleyball team won the National Invitational Championship. The Cyclone track and cross country programs along with the golf programs are also performing at a high level.

Pollard said Iowa State athletics is at a spot where it has only been once before and the other time, it wasn't able to continue that success. He said the key now is to continue the progress over the next couple of seasons.

"It's a long journey to get to where we've gotten to and now the journey gets even harder because there are fewer milestones ahead. If those milestones were easy, someone else would've already done it," Pollard said. "That's also part of the excitement and joy of what we do. Can we do something that maybe others failed trying?

"As we say, just being talent and passion isn't going to get us to where we want to get to. It got us here, but now we have to be more precise and more focused and have better endurance to where we ultimately want to go."

Even with the hiccup in Tuesday's schedule, the coaches are enjoying the tour so far.

"I am really impressed with the Sioux City fans for sticking around an hour and a half after we were supposed to get here," Dresser said. "It just shows you the grit and stick-to-it-iveness of Iowa State fans. There's some good wrestling (in Western Iowa) right now. Some sophomores and juniors, there are some really good wrestlers here right now."

Once Campbell arrived at the Convention Center, a line started to form right away for kids and adults to get Cyclone gear and posters signed by the popular football coach.

"As we talk about building our football program, it's been the fans that have been the rock to what we've built upon," Campbell said. "To come to this side of the state and to give back, interact and thank the fans that make the program really special, it's really an honor for me."

Prohm said the Tailgate Tour is one of the "coolest" things that he's been a part of since coming to Iowa State.

"It's one of the best things we do at Iowa State if not the best thing for a number of reasons. The comradery among the staff, all of the coaches and administrators can bond and tell stories," Prohm said. "But also to get around the state. Really from the West to the East to thank all of the fans. We have an elite fan base and we want them to know they are appreciated."


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