After formally being introduced as the new Iowa State football coach and hitting the recruiting trails hard since arriving to Ames, Matt Campbell took time to do his first national interview as the head coach of the Cyclones on the Jim Rome Show Thursday.
The beginning of the show started like every typical interview.
Rome stated some things that Cyclone Nation already knows about Campbell – that he is only 36-years old, which is the youngest age for a Power 5 head football coach and how he went 35-15 during his time at Toledo.
The interview began with Campbell talking about how humbled and honored he is to be the new head man in Ames. However, Campbell did state that it was difficult leaving Toledo, as he helped bring the Rockets to where they are now. But he believes Toledo is built to last.
After talking about Toledo for a couple of minutes, Campbell mentioned how he had the opportunity coaching against Iowa State back in 2014 in Ames.
“I remember calling my wife after the game and telling her how incredible it is here,” Campbell said. “Iowa State has tremendous opportunities and only a special place could have taken me away from Toledo.”
Hearing that, Rome followed that up with saying how Campbell’s name was linked to other openings and then asking Campbell what made Iowa State the place for him.
Campbell listed multiple reasons for why Iowa State was the place for him. The first one was the leadership in Ames. Campbell stressed how critical it is to be surrounded by great support.
“[ISU] has one of the elite athletic directors in the entire country leading this program, in Jamie Pollard,” Campbell said.
Not only was Pollard a factor in this reason, but also Iowa State president Steven Leath was a factor as well. Both whom Campbell believes to be visionaries.
The second reason was one a new coach cannot really control: fan support and the facilities in Ames.
“You work really hard at some places to build those, but Iowa State has exceptional fans and facilities,” Campbell said.
The challenge of coaching the Cyclones really lured Campbell to Ames.
Rome asked, "Can you take the process you used at Toledo and apply to Iowa State? Or do you have to change it up because of how different Iowa State is to Toledo?"
The philosophy of how you lead players, coaches and the people around you doesn’t change for Campbell, but Campbell must adopt to how he recruits.
“How recruit, where you recruit too, and the standard of recruiting certainly have the potential to be influx,” Campbell said.
Then came the biggest question of the interview: recruiting.
How different is recruiting to Iowa State and the Big 12 then recruiting to Toledo?
“There is a misconception about recruiting,” Campbell said. “It is about relationships and develop those relationships.”
If you look at Toledo’s roster, the players there make up a top-25 players. So Campbell will need to build strong relationships with his potential recruiters and then as he stated develop them for however look they stay are Iowa State.
After recruiting, the interview transitioned to how comparable is Iowa State to Toledo.
Back in September, Campbell told Rome that if he would want his Toledo roster to back him up in a street fight because they are very physical. So Rome wondered if the current Iowa State roster was just as physical as the Toledo roster or if he has to go out and recruit that physicality.
“It is a little bit of both,” Campbell said.
Campbell wants Iowa State’s calling card to be the most physical team in the Big 12 and he believes there is already a foundation in Ames to become that. But on the recruiting side, he looks to see if a recruit is physical enough to be a Cyclone.
To wrap up the interview, Rome wonder what made Campbell want to be the head coach before him and Pollard discussed composition.
“It has never been about money for me,” Campbell said. “It has been about the people.”
Campbell cited how he was told there were better opportunities for him, but Pollard’s value on people struck him so much that he knew the job was for him.
And that was ending of Matt Campbell’s interview on the Jim Rome Show.
As Rome said to Campbell to send him off, congrats and good luck in Ames.