The University of Toledo and Head Football Coach Jason Candle have agreed to a contract extension through the 2026 season, Toledo Vice President and Director of Athletics Bryan B. Blair announced.
Candle guided the Rockets to a 9-5 record in 2022, including a 17-7 victory over Ohio in the MAC Championship Game, the second conference title in his seven-year tenure as head coach. Candle went on to lead Toledo to a 21-19 win over Liberty in the Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl, marking the first time the Rockets have won a MAC Championship and a bowl game in the same season since 2001. Candle is the only current MAC head football coach with multiple conference championship titles and only the third Toledo head coach to claim multiple outright MAC titles.
“This year’s MAC title and bowl win gave all of TeamToledo reason to celebrate,” Blair added. “Building on that foundation, he and I are committed to elevating our football program to even greater heights in the years ahead. Continuity is increasingly advantageous in today’s college football landscape, and we are fortunate to have Coach Candle guiding our program for many years to come.”
“I’m very appreciative of the support and confidence that President (Gregory) Postel and Bryan Blair have shown in me and in my staff,” Candle said. “The success of our football program is a team effort that is the result of the hard work by the student-athletes in our program, as well as the support provided by the tremendous team of coaches, staff and countless others. We are determined to continue our mission of building on our program’s tradition of success. I’m proud to be a Rocket and proud to represent this great University.”
Candle’s 54 career wins rank third in program history behind Gary Pinkel (73 from 1991-2000) and Tom Amstutz (58 from 2001-08). He took over the head coaching position at the end of the 2015 regular season, leading UToledo to a 32-17 victory over No. 24 Temple in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl. In his first full season as Toledo’s head coach in 2016, he led his team to a 9-4 record and an appearance in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. Candle took the Rockets to even greater heights in his second season in 2017 as head coach as Toledo went 11-3 (7-1 MAC) and won the school’s first MAC Championship in 13 years.
Candle has coached 26 Rockets who have made it to the NFL, including eight who were selected in the NFL Draft between 2017-22.
His teams have excelled in the classroom too. Toledo was one of only seven schools in the nation to earn the 2022 American Football Coaches Association’s Academic Achievement Award. This past season, the Rockets earned a 93 Graduation Success Rate (GSR), the highest score in school history and the best mark among Mid-American Conference schools in 2022. His teams have surpassed the 3.0 GPA mark four times since he became the head coach and have led the Mid-American Conference in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) in seven of the past eight years in which the data was made available to the public.
Candle and his wife, Nicole, have a daughter, Avery (5), and two sons, Cameron (4) and Colton (2).