Can Iowa State Afford To Keep Matt Campbell?
Iowa State knew that head coach Matt Campbell was a rising star in the college football ranks when they hired him from Toledo in 2015. I'm not sure they knew he'd have the program on the rise this quickly.
Iowa State beat their second top 5 opponent when they knocked off #4 TCU on Saturday in Ames. Suddenly, Iowa State has become the Cinderella story of the college football season. With that comes a brighter spotlight on everything, including a young, successful head coach. Can Iowa State afford to keep Campbell in Ames? And for how long?
Campbell's current contract with ISU is through the 2021 season. His base salary is 'just' $265,000. But with incentives, he'll make just over $2 million this season. He also receives an annual $100,000 raise each year of the contract. If Campbell decides to leave for another job, Iowa State doesn't owe him another penny. Iowa State would then be owed the remainder of his contract, which after this year would be over $9 million.
While that total may seem like a lot, it's chump change for a huge school with a long football tradition. The University of Florida fired its football coach last week. You don't think the boosters or alumni with that school couldn't write ISU a check and then give Campbell a blank one to coach the Gators? To Campbell's credit, he's said all the right things to this point. He and his family love Ames and Iowa State. You can be sure that ISU will offer him a fat pay raise after the season. But you don't get a winning lottery ticket handed to you very often. And that's not something Iowa State fans want to think about this morning.