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Question about Texas football

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I work for a small paper in Mississippi, and we're writing a story about the history of high school football here. One of the head coaches a long, long time ago was a guy named Mike Campbell, who went on to be Darrell Royal's defensive coordinator at Texas for 20 years.
    I know Campbell is dead, and has some facilities and awards named after him at Texas. What I haven't been able to find is when he died, or how. If there are any UT or Big 12 types out there who can fill me in, it'd be much appreciated.

    I tried calling the Texas SID and they pretty much blew me off. Apparently they have some big game this weekend or something, and no time for the Podunk Press. :D
  2. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    It's a long shot but you could try to get ahold of Dave Campbell (no relation). He was a Waco sportswriter for about 200 years and the creator of what is probably the best regional football publication in the country.

    He could probably tell you anything you want to know about football in the state of Texas.
  3. Batman:

    This article from the Austin American-Statesman should help

    Horns' former defensive guru Campbell dies

    DATE: June 17, 1998
    PUBLICATION: Austin American-Statesman (TX)

    By Mark Wangrin

    When Spike Dykes needed insight, needed to see what he knew was there but could not see, he dialed long distance to Austin to talk to an old friend and coaching buddy whom he considered one of the best coaching minds in the country.

    Mike Campbell would take his call. He hadn't coached in more than 20 years, but no one could diagnose a defense's problems -- and prescribe a cure -- quicker than the former University of Texas defensive coordinator who died early Tuesday.

    ``He had a sixth sense about football,'' said Dykes, the Texas Tech head coach who worked alongside Campbell at Texas from 1972-76. ``He's one of my heroes. He's the John Wayne of what coaching is all about.''

    Campbell, who directed some of the best defenses the Longhorns and college football have known, died at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at Seton Medical Center from a staph infection stemming from recent treatment for a recurrence of a skin lymphoma. He was 76.

    Funeral services for Campbell will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the after the service. The family will receive visitors at the Weed Corley-Fish Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. today.

    Campbell is survived by his wife, Mary, and three sons -- twins Mike and Tom, and Rusty, all of whom played football for the Horns.

    ``I hope and pray that you dig deep and come up with a tribute that befits a great man,'' said former Longhorns All-America linebacker John Treadwell.

    ``I don't know how you can do a guy like him justice. I'm perplexed, because I can't verbalize my feelings, yet I have a strong feeling how he helped me and my teammates to be better players and people. A lot of games we won because of Coach Campbell.''

    The Longhorns won them because Campbell stressed what is often overlooked in today's game. Defensive schemes did not overshadow an emphasis on fundamentals and simplicity, staples that helped the teams Campbell coached win three national, 11 Southwest Conference titles and 30 consecutive games.

    ``I've spent more time with Mike Campbell than anybody in my life except for my wife, Edith,'' said Darrell Royal, the Longhorns coach who brought Campbell with him from Washington in 1957. ``He used to joke, `I know Darrell tells people he thinks I'm his brother,' and he'd get a kick out of it. But I didn't consider him like a brother. He was a brother.''

    ``There's one way of doing things with Mike Campbell, and that's doing things the right way,'' said Longhorns linebacking legend Tommy Nobis. ``That's the way he lived and the way he coached. Yet he's a very genuine, kind and good person.

    ``Coach Campbell did a great job at home, No. 1. No. 2, he helped raise all the people like myself who played for him ... I owe a lot of successes in my life to the principles coach taught me. I was one who had a lot to learn. He had a lot to do with directing me to be a better person.''


    Dedication to coaching

    During World War II, the Memphis, Tenn., native flew more than 50 missions from Italy at the controls of a B-24 bomber, including raids on the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. He returned to the University of Mississippi, played two years for the Rebels and met the woman who would behis wife of more than 50 years, a sophomore named Mary Hearn.

    After college he became a Mississippi high school coach, with stops at Gulf Coast Military Academy, Canton and Vicksburg before he was noticed by a young assistant coach at Mississippi State named Darrell Royal, who hired him when he became head coach at Washington in 1956.

    A year later Campbell followed Royal to Texas, becoming the Longhorns' chief scout and ends coach, specializing as a linebacker coach as colleges went to two-platoon football in the early 1960s.

    Royal last talked with Campbell three days ago, whispering an inside joke that brought a smile to his weakened friend's face. Among Campbell'slast words were a recollection of a long-ago disciplinary actionand a plea to his boss.

    ``Mary told me that when he was fading in and out he said, `Darrell, why don't you play those two boys. They're not the culprits,''' Royal said. ``He was still thinking football. He was the consummate coach.''

    As a recruiter, his genial yet straightforward way swayed prospectsand their families.

    ``My dad loved him,'' recalled former Texas head coach David McWilliams, the captain of the 1963 national championship team who was recruited by Campbell. ``I always felt my dad was a great judge of character. He'd say, `Coach Campbell called today. We visited and didn't even talk about you. We talked about fishing.' For a while I wondered if he was recruiting me or my dad.''

    In 1967 Campbell became defensive coordinator, and he added assistant head coach to his title in 1976, and appeared to be the heir apparent to Royal. But Texas bypassed Royal's handpicked successor, opting instead to hire Fred Akers, another former assistant.

    Campbell retired from coaching, going to work for the Texas Teacher Retirement System. In 1980 he took over the Texas Longhorn Education Fund, which raised money to supplement athletic scholarships, first as an outside group and later, after NCAA regulations tightened, under the auspices of the athletic department as the ``200 Horns'' club.

    McWilliams, who heads the Longhorn Foundation, said he and his staff would always look forward to the Monday after Texas games

    ``He'd video every game and come in Monday and give us a rundown ofthe first half,'' McWilliams recalled. ``Then he'd say, `Now I won't tell you the second half until tomorrow.'''

    Simple strategy

    Campbell's coaching acumen was legendary, as much for its simplicity as its effectiveness.

    ``He'd say, `Let's take away what they do best and make them beat us left-handed. I know one darn thing -- if they hit me on one side of the head, I'm going to at least turn and make them hit me on the other side,''' McWilliams said.

    Treadwell said he was so well prepared by Campbell and his staff that he frequently knew what defense would be called before it was signaled in from the sideline.

    ``I think he could actually tell you what each of the 22 players was doing on every play,'' said Treadwell, now a local veterinarian. ``We knew what the offense was going to do before they knew it.''

    Campbell was preparing to share that knowledge with new Texas coach Mack Brown and his staff before his condition worsened. On the December day Brown was named Texas coach, even as he was preparing to head to the Erwin Center for his introductory press conference, he stopped at the Longhorn Foundation offices and spent 15 minutes telling Campbell and his pupil, McWilliams, how much he would value their input.

    ``The true test of a great coach is what your players think and say about you,'' Brown said. ``I've been overwhelmed since I arrived in Austin with how much the lettermen have always cared about Mike Campbell. They all would stay in touch with him, and that is the best honor a coach can have.''

    When the Horns held their first spring golf tournament for football alumni in April, the dinner became a tribute to Campbell, and the decision was made to name the foyer of the refurbished Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Complex after Campbell and donor/former player Bob Moses. Fittingly, the area will hold the school's Heisman, Outland and Lombardi awards and the national championship trophies, won in no small part through the work of Mike Campbell.

    ``Every young football player that walks through that building will understand what Coach Campbell meant to Longhorn football,'' Brown said.

    Staff writer Olin Buchanon contributed to this story.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Thanks much, Medial. That was exactly what I was looking for.
  6. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    Bobby Ewing was a Longhorn.
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