Feb. 19, 2008
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — During his brief job search, Erik Campbell was looking for employment in the Big Ten Conference and he wanted to work under a great head coach.
Then came a call from University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz offering the position of wide receivers coach for the Hawkeyes. How long did it take Campbell to accept the Hawkeye offer?
“Reality?” Campbell asked. “About one minute. It didn’t take long.”
Campbell, who spent the past 13 seasons at the University of Michigan working with the receiving corps as well as the Wolverine punt returners, fills a void created by the retirement of Carl Jackson.
“The No. 1 requisite was somebody who really had great character and great quality,” Ferentz said. “That’s the first thing I’ll say about Erik. He’s demonstrated excellence at every step of his career. He’s worked hard at his trade and nothing was handed to him. Thirteen years (at Michigan) indicated stability, which spoke volumes.”
A native of Gary, Ind., where he was a football and track standout, Campbell was a four-year letterman (1984-87) with the Wolverines. He had starts on both offense and defense in college, but saw the majority of action at defensive back, where he started 30 times and recorded 113 tackles and five interceptions. He is the only player in Michigan history to start all four secondary positions in one season.
Campbell earned a bachelor of general studies degree from Michigan in 1988 and served as student coach during the 1988-89 academic year. He spent two seasons coaching running backs for Navy (1989-90) before accepting a position at Ball State as running backs coach (1991-93). Campbell coached one season at Syracuse (1994) before returning to his alma mater, where he was for the past 13 seasons.
While at Michigan, Campbell was responsible for coaching wide receivers and punt returners. He added the title of assistant head coach prior to the 2003 season.
Campbell coached 1,000-yard receivers for an NCAA-record eight consecutive seasons from 1998-2005. During his tenure at Michigan, Campbell coached three All-Americans — David Terrell, Marquise Walker and Braylon Edwards. Ten student-athletes that were coached by Campbell went on to play in the NFL.
During his career as a player and coach, Campbell has participated in 20 bowl games.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work for a great university like the University of Iowa,” Campbell said. “I know a lot about the tradition here and the history.”
Campbell inherits a solid group of Hawkeye receivers that combined to catch 164 passes for 15 touchdowns last season.
“It’s a group that will work hard,” Campbell said. “There’s talent here. They have to mature. They’re a young group.”
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