Cleveland fired Hue Jackson in October following a 2-5-1 start to the 2018 season to bring his record with the franchise to 3-36-1 across two-plus seasons. Gregg Williams has filled the void on an interim basis.
In mid-November, Browns general manager John Dorsey said he kept telling himself, "Just don't mess this thing up" in regard to the coaching search.
"I would like to see a man of character. I would like see a man who can lead young men," Dorsey told reporters. "I would like a man who has high football acumen."
He added: "I have multiple lists [of candidates], but what I want to do is make sure that we, as a group, whenever you make a tough decision like this one, an overarching organizational decision, you want to get as much information as you possibly can. You want to do it in a collaborative manner and make sure you are very prudent."
Campbell has overseen a reclamation project at Iowa State. The Cyclones went 3-9 in 2016, his first season in charge, but have a combined 15-9 record over the past two seasons. He posted a 35-15 mark across four-plus years with the MAC's Toledo Rockets.
In August, he was linked to the Ohio State Buckeyes amid questions over Urban Meyer's future while OSU investigated Meyer's knowledge of domestic violence allegations against former assistant Zach Smith.
"Over the last two-and-a-half years, I've proven that my whole sole mission is to be here and to do something," Campbell told reporters. "With that said, as we go forward, I have the utmost respect for you and the job you have to do, but I'll only answer questions that pertain to our football program, Iowa State football and our future."
He's had stops as an assistant with the Bowling Green Falcons and Mount Union Purple Raiders before joining Toledo's staff in 2009 and working his way up to head coach.
La Canfora reported Campbell generated interest from the New England Patriots as a potential assistant before opting for Toledo.