The Wolfpacker

January 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 37 of 107

38 ■ THE WOLFPACKER WHEREARETHEYNOW? The road back to Raleigh was filled with some twists and turns over the years, but it still feels like home. Campbell finished getting his bachelor's degree at St. Paul's College in Lawrencev- ille, Va., and then got his master's at Wil- liam Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss. He still ponders getting a doctorate at NC State one day. The Campbell family resided in Gulf- port, Miss., where his wife's family is from, before they moved to his hometown in Vanceboro, N.C. The former West Cra- ven High standout was coaching at his old rival high school, New Bern (N.C.) High, while being an assistant principal at his old middle school, West Craven Middle School in the same city. "When I was playing for the Giants, I would go back to West Craven Middle School to substitute teach," Campbell said. "It was something that I always wanted to do. My mom was an early childhood edu- cation teacher, and she gave me the joy of teaching little kids. It was instilled in me." Campbell still has relationships with his football coach, Clay Jordan, and basketball coach, Lorenzo Jones, from West Craven High and hopes to be able to forge strong bonds with the players he coaches in the future. The 48-year-old Campbell at one point thought of being a principal of a school or running a school district, but now his goals have evolved in a different direction. "I was noticing all the principals were on blood pressure medication from all the stress and daily fires they had to put out," he joked. "I really wanted to become a teacher again. I'm just enjoying being a part of education." The former defensive star keeps tabs on the Wolfpack and has enjoyed this year's 8-4 season and berth to the Sun Bowl on Dec. 29 in El Paso, Texas. He laments the close losses to South Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest, calling them "almost wins" in trying to get over the hump and be a playoff contender. "The excitement of winning and being in every game makes it fun for the fans," Campbell explained. The program, Carter-Finley Stadium, facilities and the ACC are all different from his playing days. He remembers practicing inside a warehouse at the fairgrounds when the weather was poor. "The facilities are just outstanding and get better every year," Campbell said. "The luxuries they have now are way different compared to what we had, but we had ev- erything we needed. "The ACC is now a football conference and has gotten bigger and better. Teams are competing for the national championship." One thing Campbell added that always remains the same at NC State is the pres- ence of Bobby Purcell, who is a senior associate athletic director and executive director of the Wolfpack Club. He has been instrumental in the many improvements to the facilities. "I always enjoy talking to him [Purcell] and I got to see [head] Coach [Dick] Sheri- dan, who I hadn't seen in a long time, at the past spring game," Campbell said. "I also saw [defensive backs] Coach [Buddy] Green, who I hadn't seen in a while." Purcell called Campbell one of the best safeties in the history of the ACC. "He's a great person and was a great football player with a great work ethic," Purcell said. "He was the most physical defensive back I've ever seen at NC State. He was a load, and people did not want to get near him with the ball. "He would break people's backs. He could do it all — he had size, he could run, he was smart and he could cover. He was a great competitor." ■ After playing in the NFL from 1991-98 for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Washington Redskins, Campbell became a teacher and school administrator. He currently teaches at Wendell (N.C.) East Wake High, where he also coaches football. PHOTO BY MATT CARTER

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