Lions never formally offered Matt Campbell head coaching job

The Lions hired Dan Campbell as their head coach earlier this year, but a report this week indicated the team was looking for another Campbell to coach the squad before making the hire.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported that Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell turned down an eight-year, $68.5 million offer to leave the school for the job in Detroit. Campbell, who also drew early interest from the Jets, said in January that he would remain at the school and later signed an eight-year extension at Iowa State.

A report on Friday pushes back at the notion that Campbell turned down that offer. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that the team never formally offered the position to anyone other than Dan Campbell and that the Iowa State head coach only spoke to the team once.

With Dan Campbell coaching the team, the Lions have every reason to want the headline to be that they hired their No. 1 choice and Birkett reports they knew he was their man after a January 11 interview. That was after they would have spoken to Matt Campbell, however, and their decision not to make a formal offer could have been related to a feeling that it wouldn’t have been accepted.