AMES - Larry Eustachy jumped at the chance to succeed good friend Tim Floyd as basketball coach at Iowa State in 1998. Then, once the excitement had subsided, it hit him.
This was one tough league he was joining, a league that had some of the best coaches in the business: Roy Williams at Kansas, Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State, Kelvin Sampson at Oklahoma and at the time, Norm Stewart at Missouri.
"If you ask Tim and ask me, we were nervous as heck," Eustachy admitted. "We were scared. My biggest fear was could I recruit with these guys."
He has more than held his own. Eustachy has guided Iowa State to the last two Big 12 championships and Wednesday, he was named the league's coach of the year for the second straight season.
Eustachy received 18 of the 21 votes cast by a panel of media who cover the league. Sutton received two and Sampson one.
"It's a real honor when you look at who is in this league," Eustachy said. "It's a Hall of Fame coaching group. To brush it off would not be the truth. It's special. It does not come around very often.
"But it always goes back to your players. You don't do it without players."
Read the rest of this story in the 3/8 Pilot Tribune.