Sunday, May 20, 2012

Name recognition: Campo widely respected, especially by Texans

Defensive coordinator Dave Campo takes a close look at linebacker Ryan Karlin during Kansas University football practice on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

Defensive coordinator Dave Campo takes a close look at linebacker Ryan Karlin during Kansas University football practice on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.


Kansas senior cornerback Greg Brown paid special attention to defensive back Terence Newman growing up as a Dallas Cowboys fan in Cedar Hill, Texas.

There was good reason for that.

“My dad used to always tell me that I remind him of Terence Newman when I played,” Brown said with a smile, “so he told me to look at him.”

In high school, Brown would observe Newman closely on TV, trying to copy his movements to improve his own game.

The crazy thing, Brown says, is that the coach who helped Newman with his technique — Dave Campo — is now the one working with him at Kansas.

“I already knew who Dave Campo was when they announced it,” Brown said. “It had me excited to know that I was going to have a coach like that come in and coach me.”

Before arriving in Lawrence this year, KU’s new defensive coordinator Campo had spent 18 of the last 23 years with the Dallas Cowboys.

He’d also had high-profile positions there, as defensive coordinator from 1995-99 and head coach from 2000-02.

With those positions comes a lot of media exposure, and that means Campo came to KU with a lot of credibility — especially for those players on the roster who grew up in Texas.

“His name is a legend. In Texas, growing up, it’s ‘Dave Campo,’” said KU junior cornerback Tyler Patmon, who grew up in Round Rock. “It’s just very known. Just knowing who he is, I just have a lot of respect for him.”

Whenever Patmon made calls home in the spring, he frequently received the same questions from father and grandfather: “What’s it like to play for Dave Campo? What’s he like?”

His response: “I say he’s a great coach,” Patmon said. “Everything you see, everything you hear about him is exactly right. He’s a great man.”

KU senior safety Bradley McDougald said that early on, Campo did a good job of taking the time to connect with his players.

Having said that, Campo won’t hesitate to get on his players when he needs to.

“He’s a laid-back coach, but at the same time, when (you mess) up, he’s going to call you out about it, and that’s what I love about it,” McDougald said. “He’s a down-to-earth person. He always says he likes to laugh at things. He’s not a robot. He’s not a stickler. If something’s funny, he’s going to laugh.

“But if you do step out of line, he’s going to get you right back on track.”

That happened with McDougald in the spring, when Campo called him out in front of his peers.

“He pulled me to the side (later), and he let me know it wasn’t a personal thing,” McDougald said. “It was something that the younger guys needed to see. If I’m an older guy and I’m going to be a leader, then I need to be accountable all the time.”

Patmon also was singled out by Campo a few times earlier this spring.

“It’s great, because like I said, it’s Dave Campo. You’re going to listen to every word he says,” Patmon said. “When you mess up in a practice or a rep, and he comes and talks to you, you listen, because it’s not really a butt-chewing, but more of a ‘learn a lesson.’”

Brown said Campo’s correcting players in front of their peers seemed to be working.

“If you’re doing something wrong or you’re loafing, he calls it out,” Brown said. “He lets it be known not only to you, but to your teammates. It makes yourself have responsibility to not let your teammates down and to keep fighting hard to not mess up on the same thing.”

For his part, Brown is trying to squeeze the most out of his one year with Campo.

He often asks the coach questions about cornerback play, trying to learn as much as he can from the man who helped mold his favorite player.

Brown said he knows, no matter what Campo says, it’s in his best interest to listen closely.

“He packs a punch just off his credentials, off of who he is,” Brown said. “You know (he knows) what he’s talking about. When he says something, you know it’s fact.”


Chris Bailey 10 years, 6 months ago

Rock Chalk Campo! Can't wait for football. Can't wait to se where we are in 3 years! Gonna be a fun ride. And so glad I beat aperse as the first poster!

yates33333 10 years, 6 months ago

If the quality of KU's coaching staff can't entice young players to become Jayhawks nothing can.

Kman_blue 10 years, 6 months ago

It's great we've got such well known, well respected, well proven coaches on the team that the players respect and honestly listen to! I love Campo's fire and drive for the game and for coaching the players! He's still got that fire burning bright!

JHawk06 10 years, 6 months ago

As a Cowboys fan I have got to say that Campo looks so much more refreshed than he did the last few years with the boys'. Here's hoping our D makes great strides in the next few years.

Rock Chalk!

kufan4284 10 years, 6 months ago

jhawk i am also a cowboys fan and i couldn't agree more from what everything i read (it sucks that i live in maine and can't follow the jayhawks as much as i want to). I hope the Jayhawks D does well

JayHok 10 years, 6 months ago

That look on Campo's face---That's what I want KU's D coordinator to look like!

Edward Daub 10 years, 6 months ago

Campo is thinking like Casey Stengel did. Can't anybody here play this game?

machinegun 10 years, 6 months ago

We gave up too many points last year: 70 to Okie St, 66 to Georgia Tech, 61 to Texas, 59 to K-State, etc. When we get the lead, which will be critical, our D has to stop the other team's offense.

K-State won 8 of 9 games decided by 7 or fewer points last year. Sure, they got lucky but they made it happen thru hard work and determination. We can do the same thing.

We will have a good season if we can keep the score close and execute some 4thQ TDs. Texas is the only Big 12 team we have not beaten and this is the year to do it. I can see us beating Texas but we have to stop the run at the line of scrimmage!

Mark it on the calendar: Saturday (October 27th)

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 6 months ago

The thing I noticed about K-state's defense last year was the lack of hesitation. They always seemed to fly to the spot. It is just like a guy being let through on a screen. How many times have you seen a screen blow up because the released players pursuit is so fast to the QB he has to throw it away. Closing speed and decisiveness seems to be what we lacked. I think our guys will know what to do this year. I don't see us getting out-coached, out-prepared. We might get out-played but that will come with time.

danmoore 10 years, 6 months ago

I think we will be a better team but losses by 8 td's or more cannot be completely attributed to bad coaching. IMO tcu and wvu are upgrades over atm and mu. Baylor loses RG3 and Iowa State is a home game which were both winnable last year. I'll be thrilled with 4 wins but if we can catch a couple of breaks and this team is able to build some confidence, 5 or 6 wins is within the realm of possibilities.

jayhawkintexas 10 years, 6 months ago

Campo looks soooooo good with "KU" on his blue shirt. I hope he is still the DC for a long time.

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