Campbell outlines formula for success

Recruiting people with ‘great character’ is key

-Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Iowa State Head Football Coach Matt Campbell speaks during the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance annual dinner on Thursday inside Front Frenzy.

Since Matt Campbell became the head coach of the Iowa State University football team prior to the 2016 season, remarkable things have happened on the field.

Campbell has racked up the best winning percentage — 55.3 percent — in school history. He has coached the Cyclones to five straight bowl games: the Cheez-It, Fiesta, Alamo, Liberty and Camping World bowls.

But Campbell told a Fort Dodge audience Thursday night that the most important part of his job really has nothing to do with scoring touchdowns.

“My greatest responsibility is to develop our coaches, the leaders of our football program, our young men to become the best versions of themselves,” he said during the annual dinner of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

The mission, he said is to “transform young people and empower them for the rest of their lives.”

Campbell was the keynote speaker at the dinner held at Fort Frenzy, 3232 First Ave. S.

Campbell said the task of a coach, or any other leader, can be summed up in this question: “How do you create a team that can sustain success?”

His approach focuses on these elements — recruit, retain, develop.

He said when he is recruiting future Cyclone football players, he looks for “great character people” who are passionate about what they do.

Once those people are recruited, keeping them and developing them to the fullest potential are the next steps.

Campbell said Iowa State football ranks in the top three of major college athletic programs in terms of retention of athletes.

“It’s about all of us; it’s about team,” he said.

Success, he said, happens when teams or organizations are able to retain people.

Campbell said he strives to develop his players to not only excel on the field, but become lifelong learners who value education.


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