Iowa State has hired Matt Campbell as its new football coach, the school announced Sunday. Campbell replaces Paul Rhoads, who posted a 32-55 record in seven years with the school and had not won more than three games since 2012.
At 36 years old, Campbell is one of the youngest head coaches in the FBS. He took over Toledo in 2011 just days after being named the interim coach, and did not produced a losing season in his time with the Rockets. The Rockets won seven games or more in each of his four full seasons at the helm, including three nine-win campaigns. He's 2-1 in postseason games as a head coach.
Campbell is a pretty big hire for Iowa State, which we ranked as the worst available power conference job. Just Friday, it was reported that he was a "strong candidate" at Mizzou, and fans from Maryland and Virginia Tech made the case for him as a potential hire. Under Campbell, the Rockets have ranked in the top 40 in terms of FBS total offense each year. That proficiency made him a "legit candidate" for Wisconsin's vacancy in 2014.
This is Campbell's first position outside of his native Ohio. He was an All-American defensive lineman for a Mount Union team that won three straight NCAA Division III Football Championships between 2000 and 2002. After graduating in 2003, he spent two years as a graduate assistant at Bowling Green before returning to his alma mater to serve as the Purple Raiders' offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. The Falcons hired him back in 2007 as their OL coach and promoted him to run-game coordinator a year later. That led him to Toledo in 2009, where Tim Beckman only needed to see one year of his work to make him the Rockets' offensive coordinator.