As someone who has followed Iowa State Women's Distance perhaps closer than anyone since 2016 I would like to give my thoughts on Andrea Grove McDonough's tenure at Iowa State.
Point #1: The success she had in the early years, including the 2014 runner up team, was not just a result of Ihmels. She brought in Bethanie Brown and Margaret Connelly. She also undoubtedly helped Katy Moen and Crystal Nelson improve in 2013 & 2014.
Point #2: Over her 5 years she brought in at least 10 proven freshman recruits, and Ames is not the easiest place to recruit top talent to. Jasmine Staebler, Anne Frisbie, Cailie Logue, Evelyne Guay, Larkin Chapman, Amanda Vestri, Erinn Stenman-Fahey, Bethanie Brown, Kelly Naumann, and Karly Ackley have all been solid to very solid Big 12 runners, Guay & Brown have graduated, but the other 8 are still on the roster so Andrea leaves with the team in very good shape. In addition to those 10, Morgan Gigandet, the Ohio large school cross country champion, and Sydney Milani, who won the 100, 200, 400, & 800 at the Iowa large school meet, are freshmen this fall.
Point #3: The idea that Andrea cannot coach track is not true. Iowa State was 4th indoors in the Big 12 in 2018 without Logue and almost all of the scoring came from Jhoa Luque and Andrea's athletes. They had 1 scorer in the 800, 2 in the 1000, 2 in the mile, 2 in the 3000, 3 in the 5000, and won the DMR. Outdoors they had 2 scorers in the 800, 1 in the 1500, 3 in the 5000, and 2 in the 10,000. Andrea's athletes are all over the indoor and outdoor ISU top 10 lists from 800m to 10,000m.
Point #4: She accomplished all of this without a paid assistant and while having a baby in the middle of her tenure. She is savvy with the media and fans and will only get better as a recruiter as her kids get older. Hiring her was a coup for North Carolina and a loss for ISU. Do we wish the national cross country finishes had been higher and do we wish we had a few more qualifiers to Nationals in track? Sure, but she won 3 out of 5 Midwest Regional titles, made the NCAA Cross Country Meet all 5 years, and won 4 out of 5 Big 12 Cross Country titles. If Amy Rudolph matches this in her first 5 years I'll be more than satisfied.