The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

An athletic director with principles

Sac City College’s 18 different sport programs have coaches who teach as well as coach, all led by Athletic Director Mitch Campbell, who sets the tone: the student comes first in student athlete.

“There is nothing wrong with being a great athlete but it’s about achieving as a student first,” Campbell says from his office tucked in the southwest side of the horseshoe that makes up Hughes Stadium.

Campbell, 48, has been the acting athletic director for the Sac City Panthers since 2007. A fixture at most home sporting events, you probably have seen the tall former UC Davis quarterback and basketball guard strolling the sidelines.

“Our student athletes are the most tracked students,” says Campbell, referring to the 450 student-athlete Panthers who are monitored and have their grades regularly tracked by the school.

“Getting the educational plan mandatory and priority registration for athletes,” says assistant Athletic Director Paul Carmazzi, “to have resources in place to achieve success, Mitch has done a great job.”

Campbell came by this philosophy, having played under coach Bob Hamilton at UC Davis in the 1980s and working with Pam Gil Fisher in a non-coaching role at UC Davis in the late 1990s.

“Pam was very conscious and global in her thinking,” says Campbell, of working with the UCD Hall of Fame coach, “the student athlete model and what that means. She talked the talk and walked the walk.”

‘They’ is a word that Campbell uses several times during the interview. He wants it known that this is a group effort of coaches, faculty and staff.

“The variety of issues that come across this desk,” says Campbell as he points down toward his large corporate style desk, “managing all these things without the great help of the administrative staff would be impossible.”

According to an email from women’s softball head coach Tim Kiernan, Campbell works hard and supports his coaches. His idea of how the student should act is passed down to the student athletes, by the coaches.

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“My first year we were required to go eight hours a week,” former baseball player Patrick Armstrong says.

“From my perspective any healthy athletic program is student-athlete centered, emphasis on student,” says Campbell. According to Campbell student athlete’s goals must have a “policy and procedure” that enhance their chance of success.

Importance of character and working together are two ideas that Campbell stressed throughout the interview.

“All head coaches teach,” says Campbell, who stressed this was a requirement and a way to enforce the idea of student first, athlete second.

“I learned a whole lot about how to study and how to carry myself,” said Armstrong.

Campbell was born in Missoula, Mont., and moved to Danville, Calif., at age 10.

“I knew from an early age on that I wanted to be in the athletic realm,” says Campbell. “My first non-coaching position was at Davis.”

Campbell coached college basketball at several colleges in California and Washington before returning to Davis in 1997. He obtained a PhD A.B.D from Oregon State in 1997.

When asked what keeps him from being overwhelmed by the demands of his job, “My rock,” says Campbell of his wife, Shauna, of 22 years. 

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