Toledo Rockets hire OC Candle as new coach
Toledo has named offensive coordinator Jason Candle the Rockets’ new head coach. A source has previously told FOX Sports Wednesday morning of the expected hire.
Candle will replace his close friend Matt Campbell, who left to take the Iowa State job. Toledo had gone 35-15 with Campbell as coach and Candle as OC. Candle was considering joining Campbell.
"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."
Like Campbell, Candle is a Mount Union product. In Candle’s two seasons as offensive coordinator at his alma mater, the Purple Raiders went 29-1, winning the national championship in 2008. In his six seasons as an assistant there, Mount Union won NCAA Division III national championships in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
"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.
The news of Candle’s hire was first reported by WTOL.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Bruce Feldman is a senior college football reporter and columnist for FOXSports.com and FS1. He is also a New York Times best-selling author. His new book, “The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks,” came out in October 2014. Follow him on Twitter @BruceFeldmanCFB and Facebook.