jeff conaway

New GCT assistant ‘born to coach’

One might say that Shep Campbell was born to be a football coach.

His father, former Razorback player Louis Campbell, has coached at several division one colleges, including Southern Missouri, Oklahoma State and the University of Arkansas and was even on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff in 1989. After following in his father’s footsteps and also coaching at several universities, Campbell is the newest addition to Jeff Conaway’s staff at Greene County Tech.

“My dad has coached (football) since I was born,” Campbell said. “So, (coaching football) is kind of in the blood.”

Campbell said his father coached at SMU in 1977 and was at the University of Alabama from 1979 to 1984 and at OSU from 1985 to 1988 before coaching in the NFL at Tampa Bay in 1989. He said his father recruited and signed current OSU head coach Mike Gundy.

“Gundy was the quarterback (when my father was at OSU) and Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas were tailbacks,” Campbell said.

Campbell said his father coached at U of A for 18 years and he considers
Fayetteville home.
Campbell said he started coaching football while he was in college. He said he played football for the University of Central Arkansas, but when a knee injury ended his football career, he transferred to U of A and began student coaching at Fayetteville High School in 1998.

Campbell said, after graduating in 2001, he “bounced around all over the place.” He said he was a graduate assistant at Baylor University in 2002.

Campbell said he also coached at several universities and high schools including University of Arkansas Monticello, East Carolina and Tennessee. He said his luck was not very good coaching with the Volunteers.

“The only losing season they had in 27 years, I was there for in 2005,” Campbell said with a laugh. “We went 5-6 that year.”

It was while coaching at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. that Campbell found his way to GCT. He said Conaway had gotten his name through another coach at Lambuth. Campbell said Conaway was looking to fill the vacancy on his coaching staff left by Bart Hyde. He said being from northwest Arkansas, he was familiar with what Conaway had done a Shiloh Christian.

“There’s been a lot of progress made here (at GCT),” Campbell said. “He (Conaway) is getting it done.”

Conaway said Campbell made an immediate impact on his team during a 7-on-7 contest earlier this year in Fayetteville. He said Campbell’s first contact with the GCT players had an immediate positive effect on the team.

“(The players) didn’t know who he was, but he started coaching those (defensive backs) up,” Conaway said. “You should’ve seen our defensive players perk up. In a matter of seconds, he brought instant intensity and excitement. He changed our defense in the first minute on the job.”

Campbell said he has been fortunate to have learned coaching philosophies not only from his father, but some other fine coaches.

“Nothing I say is original. I’m the best copycat in the world,” he said. “I copy from my dad (and other coaches). It’s a game of inches, feet and details. You’ve got to take care of details.”

Campbell coaches the GCT secondary and special teams. He said he is excited to be in the Eagles’ Nest and looks forward to the future.

“Paragould is a beautiful city,” Campbell said. “It’s an unbelievable group of coaches here. They’re knowledgeable and they relate good to the kids.”

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