Matt Campbell 1

Matt Campbell smiles as he takes questions Dec. 8 from the media about Iowa State being chosen to play No. 14 Notre Dame in the 2019 Camping World Bowl.

Iowa State Head Football Coach Matt Campbell talked with the media Tuesday in a teleconference regarding the current COVID-19 situations in the country, as it pertains to the sports world around Iowa State and around the football team.

The sports world was turned on its head, and to get ahead of the impending revenue loss, Athletic Director Jamie Pollard announced that faculty in the athletic department would give up 10 percent of their salary.

Pollard also noted that the football season is not totally set in stone for when it will start as the pandemic continues.

"Ice age" not on Campbell's mind

Pollard referred to what could happen with the college football season as an "ice age," noting that the cancelations and stoppages of sports could last longer than people realize.

Despite this, Campbell hasn't thought about the possibility too much.

"That thought hasn't even crossed my mind," Campbell said. "Could it happen? Boy, I think anything could happen as we've seen here over the last couple weeks."

Campbell said that his current plan is spending most of his time concerned with players and day-to-day things that have come up as a result of the unusual situation.

Communication is key

Something that Campbell said he has been stressing is communication among his staff. The ability to control things right now will be hard, so controlling what the football team is doing is something he's focusing on.

"My challenge to our staff first and foremost was a line of communication," Campbell said. "I think the one thing that we can hold each other accountable for with not seeing everybody physically present every day is a sense and a line of communication and touch points."

The second thing he stressed is that teaching is still possible during this time. Campbell mentioned video conferences and film sessions with players and coaches while also staying simple.

Multiple times, Campbell stressed a sense of simplicity to make everything about the situation easier.

"The thing that I've asked our coaches is just be simple," Campbell said. "In times of chaos, simplicity becomes the answer."

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Iowa State fans packed the Pointe Orlando plaza during the Camping World Bowl fan pep rally Dec. 27. Head Coach Matt Campbell thanked the fans for the season and showing up to the game. 

Leaders emerge

A question was asked about what kind of leadership we could see with football being in limbo. Campbell talked about how people on the team were stepping up in the face of adversity.

In some cases, players were working jobs — jobs like working on the family farm or essential jobs in grocery stores.

Specifically, Campbell mentioned Trevor Downing, who has started working again at his family farm in the midst of the pandemic.

Campbell talks cuts

The big story from the last week was the decision by Pollard and the Iowa State Athletic Department to dock pay by 10 percent for all staff, including coaches.

Campbell voiced his support for the decision and said the change would be different for everyone.


Coach Matt Campbell talks to his other coaches during the game against University of Kansas on Nov. 23. Iowa State won 41-31.

"My biggest thing is I just want to be honest upfront and kind of explain to them where [Pollard] was coming from," Campbell said. "[...] I was in full support of his decision to do what he thought was best."

Pollard talked about how different the cuts would be for all the faculty, but he also specifically mentioned Campbell as someone who supported the idea and was instrumental in making it happen.

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