Iowa State's Matt Campbell named Big 12 Coach of the Year

Allen Lazard, Kamari Cotton-Moya, David Montgomery are first-team picks

Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell is the Big 12 Coach of the Year. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell is the Big 12 Coach of the Year. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

AMES — Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell was named Big 12 Coach of the Year on Thursday, voted on by league coaches.

Campbell coached the Cyclones to a 7-5 overall record and a 5-4 conference record. The five conference wins are tied for the most in school history.

Iowa State had two wins over top-five teams this season. The Cyclones upset then-No. 3 Oklahoma on the road with backup quarterback Kyle Kempt at the helm. Kempt had only thrown two passes in his career before the game.

Two weeks later, Iowa State upset then-No. 5 TCU in Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State and Auburn are the only schools to beat two top-five teams this season.

Campbell’s performance had Iowa State ranked in every major poll, including a stint in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Cyclones are bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.

Campbell’s philosophy centered on details and not making mistakes. His team bought into that philosophy.

Iowa State led the Big 12 and was ninth in the nation in turnover margin at plus-11 and Iowa State was the only school in FBS history to not lose a fumble throughout the season.

The second-year coach was rewarded with a new contract on Monday that pays him $3.5 million per year for six years.

In 2015, he won the MAC Coach of the Year while he was at Toledo.

Iowa State had 20 players named to the all-Big 12 first and second teams or were honorable mentions.

The first-team honorees consisted of receiver Allen Lazard, safety Kamari Cotton-Moya and running back David Montgomery. The second team featured linebacker Joel Lanning, defensive end J.D. Waggoner, offensive lineman Jake Campos, cornerback Brian Peavy and tight end Chase Allen.

Lazard is the first player since running back Ennis Haywood in 2000 and 2001 to earn first-team all-Big 12 honors in back-to-back seasons.

Lazard led the Cyclones with 61 receptions, 799 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions.

Montgomery was a force on the field, leading the nation in broken tackles according to Pro Football Focus with 104 forced missed tackles. He was second in the Big 12 in rushing with 91.2 yards, behind Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill. The sophomore also broke the 1,000-yard mark, rushing for 1,094 yards.

Cotton-Moya led the Cyclones with three interceptions and recorded 60 tackles this season, including three for a loss. The senior is Iowa State’s leader in tackles with 250 and interceptions with five.

The honorable mention players included defensive end JaQuan Bailey, receiver Hakeem Butler, punter Colin Downing, offensive lineman Julian Good-Jones, linebacker Willie Harvey, quarterback Kyle Kempt, defensive tackle Ray Lima, kicker Garrett Owens, cornerback D’Andre Payne, receiver and punt returner Trever Ryen, fullback Sam Seonbuchner and linebacker Marcel Spears.

CONTINUE READING

MORE College Football ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

IOWA CITY - The University of Iowa isn't offering football scholarships to class presidents and Eagle Scouts hoping it'll work out. You need the right height and weight and you must possess a certain degree of athleticism to play ...

DES MOINES - The correlation between wrestling and football is well known.The sports are bridged by the skills that lead to success in both. College football coaches have even expressed their preference to recruit players with wre ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.