TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – Toledo decided to stick with what has been working.
Rockets offensive coordinator Jason Candle was promoted to head coach Wednesday, replacing friend Matt Campbell, who left the school three days ago to take over at Iowa State.
The 36-year-old Candle has been at Toledo since 2009 and the offensive coordinator since 2012, when Campbell was promoted to coach. Toledo has gone 35-15 with Campbell as coach and Candle as offensive coordinator.
“Jason has done a terrific job in his seven years with the Rockets, first as our receivers coach, then as our offensive coordinator. During that time, our offenses have been among the best in the Mid-American Conference, and in some cases, the entire country,” Toledo athletic director Mike O’Brien said. “After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that he is the best person to lead this program going forward. His hiring brings us consistency as we look forward to a bowl game later this month, and also going forward as we compete for MAC championships in the years to come.”
Candle was considering joining Campbell, his old college teammate at Mount Union, in Ames, Iowa.
Candle was a receiver at the Division III powerhouse in Alliance, Ohio, and started his coaching career there before coming to Toledo in the Mid-American Conference.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Toledo,” Candle said. “A lot of great coaches have walked through these doors. A lot of players and coaches have built the outstanding tradition of success at Toledo, so I’m very honored and humbled to lead this program.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban and recently retired Missouri coach Gary Pinkel both first became head coaches at Toledo.
“I’d also like to thank Matt Campbell, the coaching staff, and most of all the young men that I’ve had the privilege to coach on this team and teams in the past. I certainly would not be here if it were not for their commitment and dedication to Rocket Football. And finally, I’d like to thank my family for their love and support that helped make a day like this possible,” Candle said.
The Rockets went 9-2 this season and have averaged at least 440 yards per game with Candle as coordinator the last four seasons.
Toledo will find out Sunday what bowl game it will play.
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