(INDIO) – The ‘Darkside Defense’ of the four-time champion SoCal Coyotes added a name and face very familiar to many of its veterans when respected College of the Desert assistant coach Craige Campbell was appointed Friday as new defensive coordinator of the professional non-profit sports leadership organization.
Campbell-Staff-Announced-300(From left, Athletic Director Sean Tully, Director of Operations Cinthia Paiz, captain Jake Sheffield, head coach J David Miller, captain Gary Young, Coach Campbell, SVP Ron DiGrandi, captain Rashad Roberts, assistant Kelsey Stephenson, and captain Cedric Cox.)
Campbell, who brings over a decade of coaching experience to the Coyotes, is well-known throughout the desert. He was a key member of Dean Dowty’s former staff that led College of the Desert to a bowl appearance, on teams that annually produced All-Conference players and placed more athletes to D-1 than any team in COD’s recent history.
The Coyotes report to camp July 28, Campbell joins a staff that will lead an incoming rookie class expected to rival any in franchise history. The Coyotes, who went 11-1 last fall, are the defending LCFL champions. This will be their first season in the vaunted Southern California Football League, home to four of the nation top 10 teams.
Campbell coached linebackers, running backs and was a prolific recruiter at College of the Desert, where he nurtured Coyote superstars Cade Cowdin, Robert Caldwell, Jake Sheffield and Shaine Boyle during their junior college years. All now reunite on America’s #1 Developmental Pro Football Program.
Cowdin (Utah State), Caldwell (North Carolina State), Sheffield (Arizona State) went on to prolific D-1 careers, while Boyle (Faulkner) became an NAIA record-setter who now stars in the Arena Football League. Boyle is the Coyotes all-time interception leader (16), Sheffield is the team’s all-time sack leader (49). Caldwell was briefly with the Cleveland Browns.
Campbell replaces Shane Helms, who has directed the ‘Darkside’ since 2014, and was an architect of three Coyote championship runs, winning two. Helms, a long-time confidant to head coach J David Miller, informed the team three weeks ago that personal reasons would force his sabbatical. The Coyotes, who are 67-13 lifetime, were 36-7 during Helms era.
Early last week, Campbell became the top candidate to replace Helms, who remains an active Coyote consultant. By Thursday, after lengthy interviews, the Coyotes officially offered Campbell the role of defensive coordinator. Campbell accepted Friday, where he was announced during a private meeting of team captains and Coyote staff.
Campbell served as Riverside County’s Chairman of the Board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Each year he is invited – along with other elite NFL and collegiate coaches – to coach at FCA’s largest national sports camp in California.
Off the field, Campbell’s credentials are equally impressive. A proven chief executive officer and board member with international experience, Campbell earned Entrepreneur of the Year in eCommerce, and is a lifetime member of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame.
Currently Campbell is the founder and publisher of CoachellaValley.com, and serves as President of Coachella Valley, Inc., one of the fastest-growing destination and news sites in California.
Campbell graduated summa cum laude from San Diego State in business administration, and holds a Master’s in international marketing and management. He is married to Meachele Campbell, and has two adult sons.
DARKSIDE DEFENSE – The stacked ‘Darkside Defense’ returns eight starters from the 2015 LCFL championship team that beat the Inglewood Blackhawks an unprecedented three times (each by 18 points) in one season. The Coyotes defense has added three All-American rookies and return depth at every position.
THE COYOTES OPEN at home at Shadow Hills August 13, against the Central Coast Seminoles of Oxnard.
SEVENTY PLAYERS EACH YEAR earn the distinction of ‘Defending the Shield’ in the uniform of the SoCal Coyotes. Many will earn a shot with NFL, CFL or AFL opportunities, or graduate into business careers. Off the field, more than 30,000 Coachella Valley youth annually participate in Coyote Leadership Training and receive published Coyote Leadership Curriculum.
THE SOCAL COYOTES affect every community they touch. Coyote programs reach thousands of youth through coordinated efforts with numerous local charitable and civic organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA, the Desert Strength Academy, the Boys & Girl Scouts of America, and Rotary International.
DISCOVER how The Pro Football Educator, operated by former Denver Broncos GM and two-time Super Bowl winner Ted Sundquist, selected the SoCal Coyotes as America’s #1 Developmental Pro Football Program. Visitwww.thesocalcoyotes.com.
-Michele Tully, Director of Marketing ([email protected])
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