Originally Published: Feb 7, 2010 5:24 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
BEGGS, Oklahoma – You could say coaching is in Bob Campo's blood.
“My heritage is coaching family. There are ten active coaches in my immediate family and I think 14 on my wife and my side combined,” Campo said.
So when Beggs was without a boys varsity basketball coach five days before the season, the school administration turned to him.
“My first thought was ‘No, let’s find someone local.’ Then they came back to me on Sunday night and said ‘Look, it has to be you.’ I said ‘Alright, whatever you need me to do,’” Campo said. “The thing in my heart was to give the kids a chance.”
Campo gave the players more than a chance, he helped them through adversity.
“He's a stud,” senior Chad Creason said. “I love him to death. He teaches kids how to be mentally respectful.”
“Knowing that Coach Campo is dedicated helps us be dedicated as well,” senior Blair Williams said. “He's helped us not only on the basketball court, he's helped us spiritually and helped us grow as young men.”
With a record of 13-7, the Demons have had their ups and downs this season.
“Trying to adjust to his coaching style and getting together as a team was tough,” Creason said. “We had to connect on passes and know what we were going to do on the court.”
The position has also been a challenge for Campo, who happens to coach “a few other teams.”
“I have a daughter in eighth grade, and I promised all of my kids that I would coach them through junior high,” Campo said. “So, I coach 7th grade boys, 8th grade girls, freshman boys and boys varsity basketball four or five nights a week. That's been a challenge.”
Despite having bumps in the road, the Demons have confidence in their tournament chances.
“They’re used to competing on that type of stage. It's not a shock to them to think ‘Let’s go to the state tournament,’” Campo said. “To have the banners and the gold basketballs in the gym, that kind of reinforces it.”
“We're going to take it one game at a time and we're making it to the state tournament,” Creason said.
As for the future, Campo said he is unsure if he will be coaching boys varsity basketball next year, but added that he will coach if necessary.
“If money is so tight that we can't go out and hire what I’ve been calling ‘A real basketball coach,’ then I’ll stay with them,” Campo said. “But if it fits better for our system to hire another coach, then so be it.”
Until then, Campo will continue to carry on the family tradition.
“Right after I took the job, we were going to Kellyville for our first game. About halfway up the road, and this was after four or five days of cramming everything I know into them, it hits me ‘Man, you’re the basketball coach. You’re going to have to get after this thing,” Campo said.
A Bit Overwhelming
Campo said coaching at a school rich in basketball heritage is overwhelming at times.
“I catch myself in a daze every once in a while. I wake up and think ‘Wow I’m coaching at one of the finest basketball schools in the state,’” Campo said.
“I don't think there is anywhere else that a person could have the student-athletes be as classy as they have been here,” Campo said. “We have worked their tail off trying to present a run-and-gun type of basketball philosophy. Everything we have presented them with they have responded with ‘Coach, whatever you want us to do.’”
Crunching the Numbers
Campo crunched the numbers early in the season and found that he was responsible for 94 practices and 36 games just prior to Christmas.