According to a report from sports writer Nicholas Piotrowicz at The Blade, Matt Campbell has agreed to become the next head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones football program. The report was further confirmed by the Ames Tribune shortly after being published.
The Ames Tribune can now report that Matt Campbell is the new ISU football coach. First reported by @NickPiotrowicz— Bobby La Gesse (@BobbyLaGesse) November 29, 2015
According to sources cited in the story from The Blade, Toledo tried desperately to keep Campbell as the head coach of the Rockets, offering him a contract that would have made him the highest paid coach in the MAC. However, Iowa State's monetary offer was more than Toledo could match.
More details will be available over the next few days, but don't be surprised to see Campbell retain current Iowa State running backs coach Louis Ayeni. Coach Ayeni spent three seasons at Toledo prior to coming to ISU, where he served as associate head coach and run game coordinator.
Star freshman running back Mike Warren was pleased to hear the reports that Campbell could be coming to Ames when he was told earlier today.
Mike Warren told of Campbell report. Was pumped. Said he thought it would mean Ayeni stays. #Cyclones— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) November 28, 2015
Campbell's career head coaching record is 35-15, and his Toledo Rockets are currently 9-2 in 2015. Cyclone fans should be very familiar with Campbell, as ISU has faced Toledo in back-to-back seasons. Iowa State won in 2014, and Toledo won in a game that went into overtime in 2015.
At only 36 years old, Campbell is one of the youngest head coaches in FBS. His offensive style is a mix of power run and spread concepts, which should fit well with the players that Iowa State currently has on its roster.
Nicholas Piotrowicz, the writer who broke the news, had some great things to say about Coach Campbell on his Twitter account following the announcement. Piotrowicz' tweets are summed up in the quote below:
Here's what I can tell you in two years of covering Campbell's program... Not one person, not a recruit, not a player, not a parent - not one person - ever said anything bad about him to me, on or off the record. When Campbell took over for Tim Beckman, the Toledo team facility EXPLODED with cheering. His players universally love him.
To his players, he's very, very honest. Every player in his program knows where he stands, good or bad. He does not shortcut. He'll recruit above his weight class and the kids will get better under his program. He inspires a lot of loyalty from the people he's around. He's not always forthcoming with media, but I've always believed him a good man.
WRNL will keep you updated as more details on the situation unfold. In the meantime, be sure to follow your new head coach on Twitter at @UTMattCampbell (he's gonna have to get that handle changed...).
UPDATE 11/29, 2:35 p.m. - Iowa State's official release announcing the Campbell hire has been made public. Also, his contract details have been leaked and ISU will be holding a press conference on Monday at noon to introduce Campbell as the new head coach.