The Coach The Ducks Cannot Afford To Lose

Campbell and his players are nearly inseparable.

This is not another Chip Kelly post.  We all know his value to the Ducks.  We also know of the man groomed (we assume) to replace him, Mark Helfrich.  This is also not a Nick Aliotti post, though I could argue that losing him would hurt the Ducks more than the loss of The Chipper.  This is about a position coach whose impact has been overshadowed by nearly all the other, flashier coaches.  The loss of Gary Campbell could be devastating.

Scott Frost and his player resume (along with biceps that can crush walnuts) gets a lot of attention.  Jerry Azzinaro made a big splash when he arrived.  But it’s Gary Campbell and his 30 years at the U of O whose departure would hurt worse than a Beaver Civil War victory.  What Campbell has done for the running backs is threefold.  Campbell has coached up twelve of the University of Oregon’s fourteen 1,000 yard rushers.  He knows how to coach the position.  That stat is incredible on its own, but beyond that he is considered one of the university’s best recruiters.  That makes him invaluable.  The finest skill cannot be measured, however.  The bond he forms with his players is second to none on the staff.

Coach Campbell seems to be only coach always be surrounded by his athletes.  I look for him to find DAT or Barner or Marshall at any point during any game.  I’m not sure what he says to them, but I can tell he is a calming source for our runners; and looking at the numbers, they must be learning something.  Running backs are a sensitive lot — very nearly receivers in their egos and tempers and possessiveness, but in the Duck offense they are much more important.  As the rumors swirl I find myself relieved that coach Campbell’s name hasn’t surfaced, though he deserves the recognition.

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Gabe Judah

Gabe Judah

Gabe Judah (Editor and Writer) is a high school educator, two time UofO graduate, a frenzied father of two, a fortunate husband of one, and a thoughtful fan of Duck athletics. While at the UofO, Gave pitched for the club baseball team, but perhaps his greatest contribution to Oregon sports was when he helped a Sporting News All-American safety pass a 200 level Spanish class.

  • 14 thousand yard rushers in 30+ years. I think it has more to do with the talent Kelly and company brought in the last few years. Frost is the man. Kelly please STAY!

    • they were not talkin about frost… and chip is a great coach but gary campbell was a great coach long before chip ever got there. do the research a bit

  • GratefulD_420

    Coach Campbell is the man. He is definitely a great recruiter, coach and mentor. He is very valuable to the program and I agree if he left it would hurt more than any other coach.

    To speculate on your question of why his name doesn’t come up….. I suppose it’s because his been in Eugene for so many years and been so successful watching the program grow.. who would ever fathom that he would leave now?

    So in essence it’s his stability and long term commitment to the program that keeps offers away.

    Thanks coach ‘Bell!