NFL coaching rumors: Top head coach candidate won’t meet with New York Jets

By Matt Johnson
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets helmet on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets are at the center of NFL coaching rumors as the team conducts its search to replace Adam Gase. Interviews are already underway, but the Jets have now lost out on a second prospective candidate to become their next head coach.

Just a day after Him Harbaugh signed an extension with Michigan, the deal coming after weeks of speculation connecting him to New York, another prominent college football head coach will reportedly take himself out of the running for the top spot with the Jets.

NFL coaching rumors: Matt Campbell unlikely to interview with New York Jets

According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is not expected to interview for the New York Jets head-coaching vacancy this offseason.

Campbell fit a lot of what the Jets reportedly sought in their next head coach. CEO Christopher Johnson told ESPN that the team sought a CEO-like coach who could build a winning culture in the organization and work with the entire 53-man roster as a whole.

At Iowa State, Campbell has built an impressive program. While his entire coaching career has been spent on the offensive side of the ball, it largely came as an offensive line coach. That’s a unique position, one that requires someone who can bond with a unique group of players and rally them around a common goal and chemistry is essential for success.

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Campbell also has an outstanding track record in two stints as a head coach. Toledo posted a 35-15 record, with two bowl wins, across his five seasons at the helm. He took over at Iowa State in 2016. A program that won eight total games from 2013-’15, went 8-5 in 2017 and 2018 under Campbell. Now, the Cyclones are coming off a 9-3 season and a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2020.

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It’s worth noting, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline said this week it would likely take the perfect opportunity for Campbell to leave Iowa State. While the Jets can offer two first-round picks and plenty of cap space to build a roster that Campbell likes, it evidently wasn’t enough to even land an interview with him.

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With Campbell and Harbaugh off the board, the Jets still have plenty of options. They’ll meet with Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley before the Divisional Round and have been connected to several of the top assistant coaches in the NFL.