The biggest win of the year was their upset victory over Oklahoma, the Sooners’ lone loss of the season. There’s no debating that, it was a massive win for the program, and a win that put Matt Campbell’s Cyclones on the map for the first time in years. The second biggest win came earlier today (sorry TCU, you’re third for now), as athletic director Jamie Pollard announced on Twitter that head coach Matt Campbell had signed a new, six-year contract worth $22.5 million.
Excited to announce Matt Campbell has agreed to a new six-year
contract worth $22.5M. Matt's annual salary will increase
from $2.1M to $3.5M. We will also increase the football staff's annual compensation by $1M. Go Cyclones! #raisethestandard
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) November 27, 2017
This announcement comes at a crucial time, not just relative to other programs, and the current swirling coaching carousel, but also for Iowa State’s program. The Cyclones were without any kind of direction after firing Paul Rhoads, and had sat in the basement of the Big 12 for years, but in the two seasons Campbell has been in Ames, the program has done a heel turn, on their way to an incredible seven win 2017 season, with a bowl game still left to be played.
Campbell has been at the forefront of a number of coaching search rumors for months now, but with this news, Campbell is all but entirely off the table now. While buyout information is not yet available, it’s fair to assume that his $9.4 million buyout increases as well with this new deal.
Campbell is 10-14 in two years in Ames, though his record doesn’t tell the full story. Campbell took over a team that had won just eight games in three seasons under Paul Rhoads, and turned it into a bowl team with wins over TCU, Oklahoma, and four losses by just one possession. Campbell is 45-29 overall, after an excellent tenure at Toledo, where he put up a 35-15 record and three bowl appearances in four years.