AMES, Iowa- Louis Ayeni, who has had a major impact on Toledo’s running game in his four years at the school, has been named an assistant coach for running backs at Iowa State, head coach Paul Rhoads announced today.
Ayeni spent the last three seasons as Associate Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator at Toledo producing outstanding results. The Rockets qualified for a bowl game in three of the last four seasons and finished among the top five rushing teams in the MAC all four years.
The Woodbury, Minn., native helped place a Toledo running back on an all-MAC team and mentored a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last four seasons.
“We are very excited to have Lou join our staff,” Rhoads said. “He brings a tremendous amount of energy and passion to this position, both traits I see as essential to aid in the advancement of our football program. He is a dynamic and relentless recruiter which is also vital to our sustained success.”
The Rockets are coming off a 7-5 campaign in 2013 where they averaged 240.6 yards per game on the ground to rank second in the league and 14th nationally. Under Ayeni’s guidance, senior running back David Fluellen flourished, earning first-team All-MAC honors in 2012 and 2013 with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. His 3,336 career rushing yards ranks fourth all-time in UT history.
Ayeni came to Toledo from Northwestern, where he served as a graduate assistant for two seasons, working primarily with the offense.
During his playing career at Northwestern (1999-2003), Ayeni played running back before switching to safety prior to his senior season. He served as team captain in 2003. He graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in sociology.
Despite being limited his senior year by injury, Ayeni earned respect as one of the most feared hitters in the Big Ten Conference. In four games his senior year, he totaled 22 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He added “Player of the Game” and “Big Playmaker of the Game” accolades against Kansas, Purdue and Wisconsin.
As an offensive performer early in his career, Ayeni helped lead the Wildcats to a Big Ten Championship in 2000. As a true freshman in 1999, Ayeni led the team in kickoff return average and yardage, was third on the team in special teams tackles and was the Wildcats’ second-leading rusher.
Ayeni played for Tony Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts as a safety in 2004-05 before joining the St. Louis Rams and Mike Martz in 2005-06 as a linebacker.