Matt Campbell, the head coach at Iowa State, is set to interview for the vacant head coaching job with the New York Jets, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. La Canfora adds that the Jets are “very high” on Campbell and that other coaches they plan to interview include Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Iowa State went 9-3 this past season and beat Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. Campbell’s name has persistently come up in NFL head coaching conversations for the past couple years. Here is what I wrote about the news that Minnesota coach PJ Fleck was an NFL head coaching candidate a couple weeks ago, because I think it applies to Campbell as well:
Historically, I’m still not sure Fleck would be in the mix for an NFL head coaching job. He would have been a sexy name for a job like Texas or Florida State or any of the top 10 or 15 programs with a real or hypothetical opening, but NFL teams are increasingly willing to look beyond the blue bloods of the college ranks. Coaches like Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Steve Spurrier, and Nick Saban all won at least one national title at a big program before making the jump to the NFL. Jim Harbaugh and Bobby Petrino, who weren’t as accomplished as the others, both left for the NFL after 12-1 seasons in which their teams won the Orange Bowl.
But times have changed. Matt Rhule had a considerable reclamation project on his hands at Baylor, but going 11-2 there would never have entitled him to a seven-year, $62 million contract in the NFL until recently. Matt Campbell has never won more than eight games at Iowa State, but it feels like we hear every year around this time that NFL teams could be considering him. Then we get to Kliff Kingsbury, who went 35-40 at Texas Tech and got hired by the Cardinals after Texas Tech fired him following a 5-7 season.
Do you think Campbell would succeed in the NFL?