Jul 21, 2014; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Bryce Brown (35) carries the ball as defensive back Deon Broomfield (46) pursues during training camp at St John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Deon Broomfield always had a nose for the football.
As a standout Iowa State safety, he bowed up for big stops again and again — including a critical tackle late in the massive 2011 upset of No. 2 Oklahoma State.
Now the Palm Bay, Fla., native is back with the Cyclones coaching those in the position he excelled at; serving as both a mentor and shining example of what’s possible when a strong work ethic shapes raw talent.
“(It’s) a huge opportunity for growth,” ISU coach Matt Campbell said of hiring Broomfield, who spent last season as a defensive assistant with the Houston Texans. “You bring somebody like Coach Broomfield back to Iowa State — (a guy) who chose to come to school here at Iowa State, had a great career here at Iowa State, actually had some of the biggest plays prior to maybe us getting here in the history of this school, and a guy that is respected by everybody within our university on the academic side, on the social side, in terms of our athletic training room … everybody (who’s) touched this program thinks the world of Coach Broomfield. You see a gentleman that has success, goes and plays professionally (for two seasons on practice squads in the NFL), and has the opportunity, that says, ‘I want to get into coaching,’ and instead of starting kind-of on the high end of things, goes back to Division III football (Carthage College) and works his way up to where he gets to the National Football League as the assistant DB coach with the Texans and then wants to come back to his alma mater.”
Broomfield’s rise through the coaching ranks has been both swift and methodical. He coached cornerbacks at Western Illinois following his stint at Carthage, did the same at Indiana State the next three seasons, then snagged the spot on the Texans’ staff.
Broomfield also ably fills a void at ISU created by the departure of longtime Campbell assistant D.K. McDonald, who has joined the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles.
So call it a win-win: McDonald moves up to coach the Eagles’ secondary, and Broomfield — who turns 30 in August — moves into a role he’s perfectly suited for.
“I think it’s huge for our players to see somebody that was in their shoes at one point, that had the ability to have success and go on to play the next level — and then also see somebody that was in their shoes succeeding in their professional field at the next level,” Campbell said. “So I just think (it’s) a huge win for us in our program and then I think you talk character, cultural, you know, a great smile … great, great energy about himself. It’s already, you can tell it’s already had a huge impact and a huge positivity in our hallways, so we’re really excited to have Coach Broomfield here.”
The addition of Broomfield isn’t the only change to Campbell’s staff for the 2021 season. Longtime protege Taylor Mouser was promoted to coach the Cyclones’ tight ends after serving in the role of senior quality control for the offense the past two seasons.
“The biggest thing about Coach Mouser, probably a two-fold number, and maybe I should say three-fold, I would say, number one is relationships,” Campbell said. “I think Coach Mouser from the day he started with us at Toledo as an unpaid intern, who said, ‘I just want to come to school at the University of Toledo and work for you,’ to where he is today in our program is Taylor is an incredible relationship-driven person. He’s a great servant-leader. He knows how to develop tremendous relationships and trust with not only the coaching staff but the players. I think that’s a huge value … and I think his growth over the last seven years together, it’s been really enjoyable to watch. I think the second thing is, from a technical standpoint, Coach Mouser’s made himself into an elite technician. He’s studied the game. He’s studied some of the great players that have had success both at the tight end position and receiver position. From a skill standpoint, I think (he’s) maybe one of the great skill, technical coaches that I have had the opportunity to be around. He’s put a lot of time and effort into really growing that craft. … I’d say the last piece of it from a recruiting standpoint is Coach Mouser has always been a great evaluator. He’s been on the front end of some of the evaluation pieces. He started off in our recruiting department and I think has always had a really good eye of, not just are you a good player or not, but also do you fit Iowa State? Do you fit who we are; what our program’s about? I think (he’s) got the ability to kind of take the ego out of the recruiting and really find what fits best for the whole culture and the whole program. I think those three things are probably the three strong suits from my end of why we’re really excited about Coach Mouser and really what he brings to our program.”