ISU football promotes Clayton Oyster to head strength coach


The below press release is courtesy of Iowa State Athletics:

 AMESClayton Oyster, who has spent the last six seasons as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Iowa State, has been promoted to Director of Strength and Conditioning for the Iowa State football program, head coach Paul Rhoads announced today.

“We are thrilled to be able to elevate Clayton to the head of our strength program,” Rhoads said. “C.O. has been with us basically from day one. He knows our program inside and out. We have a shared philosophy in developing explosive football players and nobody is more ready and right for the task than Clayton.”

Oyster joined the Iowa State football program as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 2009, helping the Cyclones improve dramatically in the weight room in his tenure in Ames. Oyster has been a part of three bowl teams with the Cyclones, assisting in implementing ISU’s year-round strength and conditioning program which is regarded as one of the nation’s best.

“It’s a big opportunity for me and I am excited to get it going,” Oyster said. “Being here from the beginning of Coach Rhoads’ tenure, it’s been great to build relationships with the players. When I first got into this profession I was on the private sector side of it and you didn’t get to be with the guys. In this job you see these guys daily for sometimes five years. That’s a big part of why I enjoy doing it. Seeing guys in the NFL come back and watching them develop is very rewarding.”

A native of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, Oyster has worked with seven Cyclones who have gone onto play in the NFL: Collin Franklin, David Sims, Kelechi Osemele, Leonard Johnson, Jake Knott, A.J. Klein and Jeremiah George.

Oyster, who now has the resources of one of the nation’s best training facilities in the state-of-the-art Bergstrom Football Complex, came to Iowa State after assisting at Rice from 2006-09. 

Oyster played a major role in developing the strength and conditioning program for the Owls, implementing workouts for baseball and football. He was on the staff of three Rice teams that qualified for the College World Series and the Owl football team went to a pair of bowl games.

He also worked with Owls’ golf, volleyball and women’s basketball teams.

A 2002 graduate of Otterbein (Ohio) College, Oyster began his coaching career at Gahanna High School in Columbus, Ohio. He also worked as a Co-Director of Strength and Conditioning for Performance One Athletic Development in Columbus and as a Sports Performance Coach for Velocity Sports Performance in Houston.

He is a certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and by USA Weightlifting as a Level 1 Club Coach (USAW). 

Oyster earned a master’s degree in kinesiology at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in 2005.


Rob Gray


Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.