Redskins: 30 candidates who could potentially replace Jay Gruden as head coach
If Jim Harbaugh represents a proven option with recent struggles on his resume, Matt Campbell is the opposite. The Iowa State head coach has a lot of college-level experience but hasn’t yet held a role in the NFL. But the upside is certainly there.
Before the Cleveland Browns hired Freddie Kitchens, Campbell was among the candidates they were considering for a head coaching spot. Ultimately, Campbell elected to stay put and wasn’t seriously involved in the interview process for the Browns. But he could have a chance to coach in the NFL at some point.
Campbell has been a college head coach since 2011 when he took over as Toledo’s interim head coach. He coached Toledo full-time from 2012-2015 before moving onto Iowa State. Toledo posted consecutive nine-win seasons during his final two years as the head coach and made it to three bowl games overall in his four-year tenure.
Campbell moved on to Iowa State for another challenge. The team had just one winning season in the decade before Campbell was hired. In his three years with the team, he has posted two 8-5 seasons and earned them their first bowl win since 2009. He helped make the offense competitive enough to keep up with the high-powered offensive attacks of the Big 12 and was twice named the Big 12 Coach of the Year as a result.
If the Redskins investigate college candidates, Campbell is one who will stick out because of his rich history as a solid offensive player. He also did well to get the most out of his quarterbacks Kyle Kempt and Brock Purdy and was able to maximize David Montgomery’s abilities better than the Chicago Bears currently are. Those should be positives for Campbell and while he might be unproven, he could get consideration if the team wants to give a young up-and-comer a chance.