Oct 30, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell along the sidelines late in the fourth quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Campbell has a simple answer to the question of why he’s still at Iowa State after six years and numerous reported opportunities to move elsewhere — he’s passionate about building a program.
That was the Iowa State head coach’s message on Sunday during a brief teleconference with reporters following the announcement that Iowa State will play Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.
“Building a program has always been my dream,” Campbell said. “Whether it was at the collegiate level or whether it was at the high school level, to me, that doesn’t matter. It’s always been about people for me.”
“It’s always been I think about the priorities of number one, my own family. Number two, I think the people that I get to work with and for. Then, number three, the purpose of making a difference in the lives of young people. Those are my goals and aspirations. I know a lot of people like to put words in my mouth or assume that they know who I am or what I’m thinking, but I think the people that are really close to me understand my value system and really what’s important to me.”
That answer tracks with everything we’ve ever heard from Campbell on this topic as his name has been hot in coaching circles every offseason since his arrival in Ames in Nov. 2015.
That heat seemed to be cranked up considerably this past week with high-profile openings across the countries at programs such as USC, LSU and Oklahoma, each of which Campbell was connected to at different points by people in the media.
“I think there’s been a lot of things said, and I think when you when you go back to my belief system, it’s really been your actions speak louder than your words,” Campbell said. “I think even from my end for the last six years, I’ve said and followed through with the same actions. I answered the question of everybody wanting to say or speculate other things, but my sole purpose has been in my job to focus on No. 1 our football players, No. 2, our staff, No. 3, our fan base, and No. 4, the future of our program.”
“Whether it’s been the last week or every day in the last six years, I’ve woken up with a passion and action to lead our program the right way. I really think it just comes back to your actions speak louder than your words. I think that we are in a time and a place where a lot of people say a lot of things, but I think your actions are what is indicative of who you are and what you’re about.”