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.