After toying with a return to the Big Sky Conference as an offensive coordinator, former St. Ambrose football coach and quarterback Todd Sturdy will instead return to his home state.

Sturdy was named Tuesday as the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator on coach Paul Rhoads' staff, bypassing the opportunity to become the offensive coordinator at Montana State.

He said the success Iowa State has had under Rhoads, earning two bowl berths in three seasons, factored into his decision to return to the Midwest.

"It is great to get back to Iowa, which is still home to a lot of our family,'' said Sturdy, who spent the past four seasons as the offensive coordinator at Washington State.

Sturdy's 2011 offense at the Pac-12 school ranked ninth nationally in passing offense and 33rd in total offense

He worked as the offensive coordinator at Eastern Washington in 2007 after leaving the St. Ambrose program he coached to an 85-40 record in 12 seasons. Sturdy won five Mid-States Football Association championships with the Fighting Bees.

Sturdy's coaching career began as a graduate assistant at St. Ambrose in 1990, one year after he completed his playing career for the Fighting Bees as the captain of the SAU team.

Rhoads likes the depth of Sturdy's experience.

"It is a real coup for us to get a coach from Tipton, Iowa, who has been an offensive coordinator, a play caller and proven himself as a West Coast recruiter,'' Rhoads said. "Todd Sturdy brings all of that to Iowa State as a coach with a stellar reputation based on all he has accomplished. ... He has been a football coach for 22 years with success at each stop. That says it all.''

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