Cyclones football makes staff changes

Tom Manning

AMES — The Iowa State football program has announced multiple changes to its staff, including the return of a familiar name to the sidelines of Jack Trice Stadium.

Tom Manning, who coordinated the Cyclones’ offense from 2016-2017, is rejoining the staff as offensive coordinator after spending a year with the Indianapolis Colts as tight ends coach.

Iowa State also announced the addition of Matt Caponi to work with the secondary. Caponi was defensive backs coach at Big 12 Conference rival West Virginia from 2016-2018.

For the in-house moves, Nate Scheelhasse will be taking over as wide receivers coach — moving from his position as running backs coach in 2018 — and former receivers coach Bryan Gasser did not have his contract renewed. Quarterbacks coach Joel Gordon has been promoted to passing game coordinator, and special teams coach Joe Houston will move to an off the field position.

“I am very excited with the changes we made with our football staff,” Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell said. “We brought in coaches who are familiar with our program, our league and our culture. I also made some adjustments internally which will better serve our student-athletes.”

As tight ends coach with the Colts, Manning helped the team advance to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs and a 10-6 record. Manning was instrumental in tutoring Eric Ebron, who finished second for Indianapolis in receptions with 66 and receiving yards with 750. Ebron also broke the Colt’s single-season touchdown record for tight ends with 13 scores, passing former University of Iowa standout Dallas Clark.

Manning’s work as offensive coordinator in his first stint with the Cyclones produced two of the most prolific seasons in school history. ISU averaged 27.7 points per game in 2016 and 29.2 points per game in 2017, the third-best mark in Iowa State history.

Manning also served as offensive line coach at Toledo when Campbell was the head coach.

“We are thrilled to have Tom return as a valuable member of our staff,” Campbell said. “He is familiar with our program and played a big role in helping establish our culture here. He is an excellent coach and brilliant offensive mind, has been a highly successful play caller and he already has respect within our walls. He did a fantastic job with Indianapolis and we can’t wait to have him back as a Cyclone.”

Caponi has 15 years of collegiate coaching experience and was a teammate of Campbell’s when the two played at NCAA Division III power Mount Union. Before serving as defensive backs coach for West Virginia the last three years, Caponi was the safeties coach at Arizona from 2013-2015.

“Matt is a rising star in this profession,” Campbell said. “I’ve watched him grow as a player and coach, and he will be a great asset to our defense. He understands the game, is a hard worker and will have an excellent rapport with our student-athletes. Matt also brings with him an excellent track record of success at the highest level of collegiate football.”