Dec 5, 2020; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell waits to do a TV interview after the Cyclones defeated West Virginia 42-6 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports
The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications.
DALLAS – Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is the most successful coach in the modern era of Iowa State football (1928-present). His school-best 54.8 percent career winning percentage (34-28) affirms this.
Campbell started his rebuilding project for the Cyclone program in 2016, piecing together four-straight winning seasons and four consecutive bowl appearances for the first time in school history.
However, it was his efforts during the 2020 campaign that has solidified him as one of the top coaches in the nation, as the Eddie Robinson Award announced today he is one its nine finalists.
Campbell is the first Cyclone coach to be named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.
Campbell, who was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the third time last week, has elevated the Cyclone football program to unprecedented heights. His 2020 team became the first team in school history to claim sole possession of first place in the final conference regular-season standings, compiling a school-record eight league wins (8-1) in the rugged Big 12 Conference.
Iowa State played in its first-ever Big 12 Championship game on Saturday and earned it first-ever berth in a New Year’s Six bowl, accepting a bid to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl against No. 25 Oregon State.
There were many firsts in 2020 behind Campbell’s efforts. The Cyclones reached their highest ranking in any poll in school history (No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings) and rattled off five-straight wins over league opponents for just the second time in program history.
Campbell, who became the only coach in school history to defeat Oklahoma and Texas in the same season, relied on a special group of seniors who will leave Ames as the winningest class in school history (31 victories).
The Cyclones played as a ranked team a school-record nine times in 2020 thanks to a balanced effort from the offense and defense. The Cyclone offense is averaging 32.8 points per game, second in school history, and the defense ranks in the top-three in scoring defense (2nd– 21.8) for the fourth-straight season.
Campbell continued his success against the nation’s best. The Cyclones defeated two ranked teams (Oklahoma, Texas) to give Campbell eight wins over rated teams since 2017.
Campbell is the only coach in school history with an above-.500 record vs. conference competition, owning a 26-19 record vs. Big 12 teams in the regular season.
2020 Eddie Robinson Award Finalists
Tom Allen, Indiana
Brent Brennan, San Jose State
Matt Campbell, Iowa State
Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina
Karl Dorrell, Colorado
Luke Fickell, Cincinnati
Nick Saban, Alabama
Kalani Sitake, BYU
Dabo Swinney, Clemson