Iowa State football announces new assistant coaches and position changes

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell thanks the crowd during the Cyclone Spirit Rally in Memphis.

Trevor Holbrook

Editor’s Note: Quotes were added to the original story after a press conference on Friday morning.  

Iowa State football announced three coaches to fill positions on the coaching staff in a press release on Friday.

On the offensive side of the ball, Iowa State’s passing game coordinator Jim Hofher will transition to a role as the senior offensive analyst/assistant to the head coach.

Joel Gordon will fill the position as the quarterback’s coach and Jeff Myers is promoted to the offensive line coach after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant.

Joe Houston was added as the 10th assistant, taking over the special teams coordinator position.

Hofher provides some experience to a relatively young staff, spending 13 years as a head coach and 37 years total coaching.

“I think [the change] gave Jim [Hofher] an opportunity to give more of a worldly view of what we’re doing organizationally,” Campbell said. “Here’s a veteran guy that’s been a head coach, that with me maybe moving into a little bit more of a role offensively, [has] the opportunity to impact our program.”

Hofher was instrumental in Iowa State’s carousel of rotating quarterbacks last season.

This season, Gordon will be the coach mentoring a crowded quarterbacks room, featuring Kyle Kempt, Zeb Noland, Re-al Mitchell, Brock Purdy and Devon Moore.

Gordon spent the last two seasons as Iowa State’s offensive analyst, resulting in two of the top 10 offensive seasons in Iowa State history.

During Gordon’s stint as the offensive analyst, Gordon took advantage of learning under his fellow Cyclones coaches.

“I think some places someone like me sitting in that meeting room for the last two years, probably wouldn’t [have] had a voice,” Gordon said. “[Campbell] allowed me to ask questions everyday, make points if I thought I had one or anything. He allows everyone to have a piece in it.”

In 2016, the Cyclones averaged 27.7 points, and in 2017, Iowa State upped that production to 29.2 points.

For special teams, Houston mentored two All-Big 12 kickers — Cole Netten and Garrett Owens — as a special teams associate for quality control the past two seasons.

“One of the great things that I’m really proud of Joe [Houston] is [that] Joe is definitely one of the most dynamic, young special teams coaches in the country,” Campbell said. “He’s maybe the best kicking coach in the country.”

The new special teams coordinator is a graduate of Southern California, where he was a kicker for the Trojans from 2007-10.

The newly-appointed offensive line coach’s connection with Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell roots back to Myers’ collegiate playing career.

Myers — a Massillon, Ohio native — was a three-year starter on the Toledo offensive line. During Myers’ career, he earned two All-MAC selections and a spot as a Toledo captain in 2014.

Following Myers’ playing career, he pursued a job in the coaching industry, accepting a position as a graduate assistant on the Toledo coaching staff.

After Matt Campbell left Toledo for Iowa State, Myers was one of many Toledo coaches to follow Campbell to Ames, Iowa.

Since arriving at Iowa State, Myers adopted a role as a graduate assistant focusing on the Cyclone offense.

As a graduate assistant, Myers took a large chunk of responsibility.

“Coach Manning wouldn’t even come down for halftime, he stayed up in the box,” Campbell said. “So Coach Myers was kind of the anchor for [adjustments] in a lot of ways on the field and off the field.”

Part of Myers’ abilitiy to accept that type of leadership and responsibility was a result of Campbell and his staff’s openness to the younger coaches.

“When we’re sitting down, breaking down and getting ready for a game we all throw our ideas on the table,” Myers said. “I would throw any idea I had in the run game, and it would be heard. We would kind of work together to develop game plans.”

The offensive line has played a pivotal role in Iowa State’s recent success. In Campbell’s two seasons at Iowa State, the Cyclones have given up 19 and 26 sacks. When Iowa State finished 3-9 in the 2015 season, the Cyclones surrendered 30 sacks.

“We are excited to get started with our new offensive staff,” Campbell said in a press release. “I have great faith and trust in Jeff Myers, Joel Gordon and Joe Houston. Continuity and trust is important for 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.”