New ISU offensive coordinator Taylor Mouser’s coaching journey started “from the ground up”

Iowa State Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell attends with the football team at the Jack Trice 100-Year Commemoration Closing Ceremony in the university Campanile, central campus, on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Ames, Iowa. © Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

 AMESTaylor Mouser grew up in a locker room. But pucks, not footballs, surrounded him as he happily carried out a multitude of menial tasks for ECHL hockey teams his dad served in various front office roles.

 “He sat there in a locker room and watched his dad be a general manager and put teams together,” Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell said of Mouser, the Cyclones’ new offensive coordinator. “(He) did everything from washing the clothes, to filling up Gatorade cups, to — man, my greatest memories growing up were the same thing.”

 Campbell’s father, Rick, coached high school football, Mouser’s dad, Tim, set him on a path that eventually put him in Campbell’s locker room at Toledo as a graduate assistant, where he stuffed envelopes (among other things), moved to ISU, then gradually climbed the coaching ranks to lead the tight ends room before being elevated to the offensive coordinator position after Nate Scheelhaase left in late February to join the Los Angeles Rams’ staff.

 “To say I’m excited doesn’t really scratch the surface of what it means to me to be the offensive coordinator here and be with coach Campbell going into our 11th season together, (and) here at Iowa State for nine years,” Mouser said in his first news conference since being named to the job. “I love everything about this place. My wife went to school here (and) she was a Cyclone kids club member and her dad was the librarian here. So I love Iowa State.”

 Mouser, as Campbell said, started his coaching journey “from the ground up,” becoming an integral part of the program’s recruiting efforts early on. Now he’ll get to serve as a general manger of sorts himself, helping to shape and guide the Cyclones’ roster through spring ball (which begins Thursday), then fall camp, and finally, game days in 2024.

 “The coaching staff that we have right now, they’re all gonna work together, and (Mouser’s) told me before that he’s going to allow any input from anybody,” said sophomore quarterback Rocco Becht, who earned Big 12 offensive freshman of the year honors last season. “My input is just if I see something that I like, or I don’t like, obviously you would let him know the input about that, but it’s his show and it’s his game and I’m gonna let him run it. I’m just gonna be there to support him.”

 Nine players who started five or more games last season on both sides of the ball return for an ISU team that went 7-6 overall and 6-3 in Big 12 play last season. The Cyclones’ offense led the nation in big plays in 2023, scoring 11 touchdowns spanning 50-plus yards. And with several dynamic receiving targets coming back — from receivers Jaylin Noel and Jayden Higgins, to tight end Benjamin Brahmer — ISU may seek to go vertical in the passing game with greater frequency.

 “We’ve got the guys now to be able to stretch the field,” Becht said.

 And Mouser will be at the controls, but calling plays for the Cyclones remains very much a collaborative effort.

 “(The other assistants), those guys are all really good about — they don’t have egos,” Mouser said. “I’d like to think that I don’t, so we can all put our heads together and come up with the best game plan.”