Campo: In college football, you need more than the coordinator calling the shots
- by Doug Samuels 11 months ago
Take a look at Kansas defensive coordinator Dave Campo's resume and you see a coach with a ton of experience on the defensive side of the ball (especially in the secondary), and someone that has reached the pinnacle of the coaching profession as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
But in his first season back on the college sidelines since 1989 (with the Miami Hurricanes), Campo came to the realization that today's college game requires more than just one guy calling the shots on defense. The Jayhawks finished 90th or worse nationally in every major defensive category (rushing defense - 91st, pass efficiency defense - 116th, total defense - 113th, scoring defense - 109th, pass defense - 114th, sacks - 116th). In order to improve as a team, the staff decided that some changes needed to be made for the fall.
This season, instead of calling the shots from the booth, Campo will move down on the field and work with the secondary from there. Linebackers coach Clint Bowen, who served as the co-defensive coordinator at Kansas back in 2009, will be more involved in the game plan process and will help Campo in calling the defense, while also allowing them both to spend more time coaching up their new faces on the defensive side of the ball.
“We’ve made it into more of a community situation, and I think the game dictates that on this level." Campo told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "We felt like we needed to get better in every unit: DBs, linebackers, D-line. And because we’re lining up with new guys, we felt like we needed to have more hands-on coaching individually with those guys."
"As a pure defensive coordinator, you can’t do that. If the only guy making the decisions is the defensive coordinator, he can’t go hands-on with a particular unit.”
With a guy like Bowen in his corner, Campo and the Jayhawks have a coach with plenty of experience coaching against no huddle teams.
“It’s all I’ve ever known. That’s football to me. I’ve never seen a team huddle in my entire time as a coordinator.” Bowen, whose first year as a coordinator was 2008 when conference foe Oklahoma used an up tempo approach to average over 51 points per game, explained.
Campo clearly sees the advantages that the changes can give them as a staff.
“You’ve got to throw your ego out the window. The ego part is winning games. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been. If you don’t win, you don’t win.”
“There were games we could have won had we not made a couple of mistakes in the secondary. I’m in a better position now to make suggestions rather than, ‘This is the way we’re doing it, this is what I’m used to, this is how we’re going to do it.’ Now it’s everybody making those kinds of decisions, which I think is an advantage for us.”