Toledo's Matt Campbell to be Iowa State coach - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Toledo's Matt Campbell to be Iowa State coach

Posted: Updated:
(AP) -

Toledo's Matt Campbell will be Iowa State's new football coach, a person briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement was still in the works, though one was expected later Sunday.

Campbell will replace Paul Rhoads, who was fired a week ago after seven seasons leading the Iowa State Cyclones.

The anticipated announcement would come on Campbell's 36th birthday, making him the youngest coach at a Power Five school. He is 35-15 in four seasons with the Rockets, including 9-2 this season with victories over Iowa State and Arkansas.

Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien told the AP on Saturday that the school had offered Campbell a contract that would have made him the highest-paid coach in theMid-American Conference.

Toledo announced a 5 p.m. ET Sunday news conference with O'Brien. Defensive coordinator Jon Heacock will be named interim coach for the Rockets, according to the person with knowledge of the ISU decision.

According to USA Today's coaching salary database, Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck is making $800,000 this season, which is the MAC's highest salary. Rhoads made $2.2 million this year at Iowa State.

Campbell's first win came in the 2011 Military Bowl after Tim Beckman left Toledo for Illinois. The Ohio native then went 9-4 and 7-5, and the Rockets beat Arkansas State in a bowl game last season for another 9-4 finish.

The Rocket started 7-0 this fall before a loss to Northern Illinois. Western Michigan stunned Toledo 35-30 on Friday, handing NIU the division title and likely speeding up Campbell's departure for Ames.

Campbell was an offensive coordinator prior to taking over as Toledo's head coach, and the Rockets averaged at least 31 points a game in each of his first four seasons as coach.

Campbell will take over an Iowa State program with a long history of finishing at the bottom of the Big 12 heap. Iowa State went 8-28 in its last three seasons under Rhoads, a popular and energetic coach who took the team to three bowls in his first four seasons.

The Cyclones will bring back Mike Warren, who rushed for 1,339 yards as a freshman, and star wideout Allen Lazard. Sophomore quarterback Joel Lanning was up and down after taking over as the starter midway through this season, but he showed plenty of promise with both his arm and legs.

Iowa State will lose four starters on its offensive line, but the Cyclones return as many as nine starters on their defense — including six in their front seven.

The Cyclones weren't expected to be big-time players in a flooded coaching market, but made a pre-emptive move to grab one of the nation's brightest young coaches. Campbell's first season as coach brings a brutal schedule, with trips to Iowa, TCU and Oklahoma State in the first six weeks.

Iowa State will likely show patience with Campbell, knowing how challenging it is to win in Ames, with its inherent recruiting challenges and lack of historical success. But the Cyclones have revamped their facilities and stadium greatly in recent years, and appear set for a more serious push toward relevance in the Big 12.

Iowa State is hopeful that Campbell is the guy who will finally turn things around for good.


AP Sports Writer Luke Meredith in Des Moines, Iowa, contributed to this report.

Powered by Frankly