The Detroit Lions hired Dan Campbell to be their head coach earlier this year. However, it was another Campbell the Lions really wanted. According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the Lions offered Iowa State coach Matt Campbell an eight-year contract worth $68.5 million. This came after the Lions fired Matt Patricia, who only won 13 games in his nearly three seasons with the Lions.
"In the offseason, [Campbell] turned down an eight-year, $68.5 million offer from the Lions, — apparently, with full control, I haven't confirmed that — to stay at Iowa State," Dodd said. "Now if I'm Matt Campbell's wife, I'm having some questions. But he sees his upward arch better at Iowa State than, look, the Lions that are annually at disarray. But look — I would take that money and take my chances at disarray for over the next eight years than Iowa State. But if you want to talk about loyalty, he's the ultimate loyal guy."
Matt Campbell comes in at #9 in our ranking of the top Power 5 coaches in CFB. @dennisdoddcbs thinks he should’ve taken the 8-year $68.5m offered by the Lions@TomFornelli didn’t even have Campbell in his top 15
Ferentz is #17 btwMay 19, 2021
Matt Campbell, 41, became the Iowa State coach in 2016. In his first season, the Cyclones went 3-9 but then had four consecutive winning seasons. In 2020. Campbell led Iowa State to a 9-3 record and a win over Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. As the Lions were searching for a coach, Campbell was a top candidate, but he decided to stay at Iowa State.
"So grateful for the commitment of so many to continue to want to build our program together," Campbell wrote on Twitter. "Our foundation has been built on Loyalty and Faithfulness and it will continue to be our guiding light. Humbled and Grateful to continue to lead to be different." When Dan Campbell had his introductory news conference, Lions president Rod Wood was asked if Matt Campbell was offered the job.
"I'm not going to comment on any college coaches," he said. "I think I've talked to a couple of you about that, out of respect for their current position and recruiting. I'm not going to say whether we interviewed a college coach or whether we didn't or whether we extended an offer. I'll just leave it at, no comment on any college coaches."