Whenever anything happens in or about Toledo, Ohio, a few people usually want to shout or simply say, "Holy Toledo!"
All right then.
On with business.
Holy Toledo! Matt Campbell is Iowa State's new football coach.
And Holy Toledo! He's going to be paid $2 million in his first year on the job.
“Two years ago after we played the Cyclones in Ames, I called my wife [Erica] and said you simply would not believe this place. Their fans, the game-day environment and facilities are all incredible.
"I could see us living in Ames and me coaching the Cyclones some day. My family and I are truly humbled.”
I'm sure he is an eager young man.
I'm sure he welcomes challenges.
It's good to be 36 and eager.
He'll have plenty of challenges as Iowa State's coach.
He will be paid well to meet those challenges head-on.
Iowa State said Campbell agreed to a six-year contract with a first-year salary of $2 million.
His 36th birthday is today. Nice birthday gift, that $2 million first-year salary.
“Matt’s coaching and playing achievements are extraordinary, but we were even more impressed by his character, leadership and commitment to his family,” Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said.
“I could not be more excited to welcome Matt, Erica and their children to the Cyclone family. We are truly blessed to have one of the industry’s rising stars leading our football program.”
I refrain from predicting success in the Big 12 Conference for a coach--Campbell or any other coach--from the Mid-American Conference.
But I wish the new man in Ames the best.
He is in a league in which it is very difficult for a football program like Iowa State to succeed-- whether the coach is a young man or a man not-so-young.
In my working years, I closely observed Iowa State coaches such as Clay Stapleton, Johnny Majors, Earle Bruce, Donnie Duncan, Jim Criner, Jim Walden and Dan McCarney.
None had it easy.
Some left the Cyclone job on their own terms.
Campbell, whose team handed Iowa State one of its nine losses in the just-concluded 2015 season.
Toledo officials were well aware that Campbell would be in high demand by athletic directors elsewhere, and the Mid-American Conference university tried hard to keep him.
But Toledo's efforts failed, the Toledo Blade reported. The newspaper was among the first to report that Campbell agreed to become the successor to the fired Paul Rhoads at Iowa State.
Reports surfaced that Toledo had offered Campbell a contract that would've made him the highest-paid coach in the Mid-American Conference. He earned $495,000 this year.
"We think very highly of Matt Campbell and have made him a very generous ffer to keep him as our head football coach," news sources quoted Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien.
On Sept. 19, Campbell's Toledo team defeated Iowa State, 30-23, in double overtime at Toledo, Ohio.
Reports say Iowa State will pay a $200,000 buyout to bring Campbell on board. Campbell had a 35-15 record in four seasons at Toledo after taking over for Tim Beckman in 2011.
Campbell perhaps agreed to terms with Iowa State even before the fired Paul Rhoads finished a 3-9 season at Iowa State with a 30-6 loss Saturday at West Virginia. Rhoads was paid $2.2 million this year at Iowa State.
I hope Campbell fares better at Iowa State than another former Toledo coach--Frank
Lauterbur, who won his final 23 games and had a 48-32-2 record from 1963-1970 at Toledo, was hired as Iowa's 22nd head coach prior to the 1971 season.
I got to know Lauterbur well, and regarded him as a good friend.
Unfortunately, his success at Toledo didn't follow him to Iowa.
Lauterbur lasted just three seasons in Iowa City.
His first Hawkeye team had a 1-10 record, his second was 3-7-1, his third was 0-11.
That 1973 season was nightmarish for lots of folks, including me. I was writing plenty about the Hawkeyes in those years [when Iowa went through 19 consecutive seasons of non-winning football].
Wikipedia described Lauterbur's final season at Iowa this way:
"The 1973 season was a disaster. Iowa finished with the worst record in school history. The Hawkeyes lost all 11 games to finish the year 0–11. The only other winless season in Iowa history occurred in 1889, [the university's] inaugural campaign, when the Hawkeyes lost the only game they scheduled that year.
"Lewis' defensive units, so spectacular at Toledo, were horrible at Iowa. In 1973, Iowa yielded 401 points on the season, the most in school history. In addition, Lewis was notoriously profane in public, which embarrassed and appalled several fans. That might be tolerated if Iowa was winning, but not at 0–11.
"Elliott approached Lauterbur about firing Lewis as defensive coordinator. Lauterbur refused, stating that he had to have full control of his staff and that it was his right, not Elliott's, to hire and fire assistant coaches.
"Elliott agreed, but then reminded Lauterbur that it was his right, as athletic director, to hire and fire head football coaches by relieving him of his duties as Iowa head coach.
"Lauterbur's loyalty to his assistant backfired, as now Lauterbur and Lewis were both out of a job. Ron Maly, a reporter for the Des Moines Register, wrote, "On the day he was fired, Lauterbur held an umbrella over my head so he could protect the notepad I was using from the rain that was falling near the stadium. He was a good guy, but Iowa clearly was not the right place for him."
ABOUT MATT CAMPBELL
Record as Head Coach
2011 Toledo 1-0 Military Bowl Champions
2012 Toledo 9-4 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
2013 Toledo 7-5
2014 Toledo 9-4 GoDaddy Bowl Champions
2015 Toledo 9-2 TBA
Bowling Green, Graduate Assistant, 2003-04
Mount Union, Offensive Coordinator, 2005-06
Bowling Green, Assistant Coach, 2007-08
Toledo, Run Game Coordinator, 2009 & Offensive Coordinator, 2010-11
Toledo, Head Coach, 2012-15
Bowl Games As Coach
Bowling Green, 2003 Motor City Bowl
Bowling Green, 2004 GMAC Bowl
Bowling Green, 2007 GMAC Bowl
Toledo, 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Toledo, 2011 Military Bowl
Toledo, 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Toledo, 2015 GoDaddy Bowl (’14 season)
National Championships (Division III)
Mount Union (player), 2000-2001-2002
Mount Union (offensive coordinator), 2005-2006
[Source Iowa State University]