PERKINSTON---In the past, Steve Campbell has turned down numerous offers to coach at four-year colleges and instead stay at perennial MACJC football powerhouse Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
This time the opportunity was too tempting to refuse as the man who led Gulf Coast to an NJCAA National Championship and three MACJC titles is now the new head football coach At The University of Central Arkansas.
"It's a bittersweet day for me and my family," said Campbell, who went 87-22 in 10 seasons at Gulf Coast. "Being at Gulf Coast has been special for all of us, on and off the field. You always want to leave a place in better shape than when you arrived, and I hope I've been able to do that."
In addition to a National Championship and three State titles, Campbell led the Bulldogs to an MACJC record seven straight trips to the post-season, six straight trips to the MACJC title game, and six MACJC South Division titles. In the 2007 National Championship campaign, Gulf Coast went 12-0 and also won its first state title since 1986. Under his tenure, Gulf Coast has been ranked in the NJCAA football poll for 115 straight weeks and has finished the last eight seasons ranked in the NJCAA's top 10. Campbell has also coached 28 NJCAA All-Americans, 17 Academic All-Americans, and currently six former Bulldogs who played for Campbell are on NFL rosters.
"I believe there's no better coaching job at the community/junior college level than at Gulf Coast," Campbell added. "We've been blessed to be a part of this college and South Mississippi during these last 10 years."
"I am proud for Coach Campbell and I have not doubt his success as a head coach will continue," said Ladd Taylor, Gulf Coast Dean of Athletics. "The bar at Gulf Coast has been set high and we're looking for a dynamic leader for our football program."
"We have high standards for our athletic and academic programs here at Gulf Coast," Graham said. "It's important for our next head football coach to generate excellence both on and off the field. Our next head football coach will have a tremendous opportunity to continue the winning tradition and legacy at Gulf Coast."