Matt Campbell will head into the 2018 season with a heavily-adjusted coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball.
Late last month, Tom Manning left his post as ISU’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach to take the tight ends coach job with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. While the Cyclones won’t replace Manning as a coordinator — Campbell will handle those responsibilities — the football program announced that Friday Jeff Myers has been promoted to line coach. Myers spent the past two seasons as a graduate assistant at ISU.
Additionally, Joe Houston has been hired as Campbell’s special teams coordinator. The last two years, Houston was an associate for quality control for special teams for the Cyclones.
And, finally, Joel Gordon, an offensive analyst at ISU in 2016-17, has been named quarterbacks coach. Gordon replaces Jim Hofher, who has shifted into a new role as senior offensive analyst/assistant to the head coach.
“We are excited to get started with our new offensive staff,” Campbell said. “Continuity and trust [are] important for [the] success of a football program. Everyone is familiar with our program goals and I’ve witnessed the hard work they all have put forth on a daily basis the last two years. Each have earned the respect from our players and we won’t miss a beat as we head into spring practice in a couple of weeks.”
After one of the most successful seasons in recent memory at Iowa State, it appears head coach Matt Campbell will not be able to keep the band together for another run.
Campbell confirmed to The Des Moines Register on Saturday morning that offensive coordinator Tom Manning was leaving Ames and will be taking a job in the NFL. The paper later was able to confirm that the team in question will be the Indianapolis Colts for a spot on Frank Reich’s new staff. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg says Manning will be the team’s tight ends coach.
“I’m really happy and proud of him,” Campbell told the Register.
Manning has been with Campbell for years and the two actually played (and coached) together at famed D-III power Mount Union in the early 2000’s. Both were on the same staff at Toledo and Manning served as offensive line coach both there and at Iowa State. As offensive coordinator in 2017 he guided the Cyclones to a bit of an offensive renaissance despite relying on backup quarterback Kyle Kempt for most of the season, helping the team produce the third most points per game in school history while ranking in the top five in both total yards and passing.
ISU memorably upset Oklahoma in Norman and capped off an eight-win campaign in the Liberty Bowl with a victory over a ranked Memphis team.
The move leaves two openings on Campbell’s staff for 2018 but the Register notes that graduate assistant Jeff Myers is a possibility for the offensive line job and special teams analyst Joe Houston could be the team’s potential 10th assistant coach.
Somebody needs a new fake ID.
Iowa State offensive lineman Sean Foster spent some time in jail overnight after being arrested for being in a bar while underage and interfering with an official. He was charged with two counts; one for “minors prohibited on certain premises” and another for “interference with official acts,” according to an Ames Tribune report. Foster was released from jail with $600 in total bonds for his two charges.
A redshirt sophomore right tackle, Foster started six games for the Cyclones in 2017, including the final four games of the season that concluded with the Liberty Bowl against Memphis. He remains in line for the starting job at right tackle again in 2018, beginning with a chance to start the spring as the expected starter. This particular incident may not affect that outlook all that much in the grand scheme of things, so long as Foster stays out of additional trouble and there isn’t more to the story behind the scenes.
According to the Ames Tribune, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was not expected to release any comment or statement about the incident. Foster’s status with the Iowa State program is unchanged until given further notice, although some form of internal discipline for an act like this is likely to occur in some capacity at some point in time.
Two days after adding some youth to its roster, Iowa State received some very good news regarding one of its veterans.
Late last month, it was confirmed that Kyle Kempt was attempting to gain another season of eligibility from the NCAA. A little more than three weeks later, the football program confirmed the quarterback has indeed been granted the sixth year he sought.
“We are excited that Kyle was given another year of eligibility by the NCAA,” ISU head coach Matt Campbell said in a statement. “We alerted Kyle and our recruits when we received the clearance notification on Jan. 30. Since then all of our efforts had been focused on our 2018 football team and recruiting. Kyle has established himself as a leader on our team and we are thrilled by the NCAA’s decision to allow him to remain a Cyclone in 2018.”
“I’m relieved the decision has been made and extremely excited to be back with the team in 2018,” Kempt said. “We have a lot of work to do and it is a thrill for me to be able to represent this great university for another year. I am also thankful for the NCAA for looking at my situation so thoroughly and for all of the people involved in this process. They put in a lot of hard work and I really appreciate it.
Kempt made his first career start in October against Oklahoma last season, with his 343 yards and three touchdown passes leading the Cyclones to a stunning upset of the third-ranked Sooners. All told, ISU went 5-3 in eight starts under Kempt, who was named honorable mention All-Big 12 after the regular season.
The NCAA’s decision in Kempt’s favor was based on the “run-off” rule, which grants players who were “run off” from their original programs additional eligibility. Kempt began his collegiate career at Oregon State but didn’t play at all in two seasons, with the quarterback arguing to the NCAA that he was told by OSU officials that he “wasn’t going to play there.”
Tanner Lee used the same rule, albeit under different circumstances, to gain an extra year of eligibility at Nebraska that he ultimately didn’t use.
It had been more than a month since an actual arrest had reset the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker. With the window closing on this most recent weekend, it’s time, finally, to set that ticker back to double zeroes.
According to multiple media outlets, Iowa State’s Kamilo Tongamoa was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with four misdemeanor counts in connection to a traffic incident. The specific charges the defensive lineman is facing include operating while intoxicated, striking an unattended vehicle, failure to have a valid license or permit while operating a motor vehicle and failure to prove security against liability.
No details of what led to the arrest and charges have been released.
As a result of the incident, however, the program has confirmed that Tongamoa has been indefinitely suspended from all football-related activities.
Tongamoa, a former four-star prospect, transferred to the Cyclones from the junior college level prior to the 2017 season. The rising redshirt senior played in four games for ISU last year, and is expected to play a bigger role in the Cyclones’ interior line rotation this season.