Many coaches, players and fans like to compare a football game to war. Every play is a battle, if you win more battles, then you win the war and in turn, the game. To some, this simile is extreme, especially at a time when our nation is still fighting overseas to protect our freedom and livelihood. There is one person who wore the Green and White, who had to fight his own battle, one that could have let him stay down and out permanently.
Amp Campbell, who suited up for the Spartans in the late 1990â€™s, is one of the most respected football players to ever represent Michigan State.Â Yes he was an extremely talented defensive back, but it was his determination and â€œrefuse to loseâ€ mentality that set him apart.
While playing against the Oregon Ducks in 1998, Campbell suffered a cervic-spinal injury that almost everyone thought would end his career, and most certainly hamper his life.Â With a relentless spirit and many long and painful days of physical therapy, Campbell found himself back out on the gridiron with his teammates, capping his career in the 2000 Citrus Bowl.
Today, Campbell still has his hand in the game of football, as an Assistant Coach with Western Michigan.Â Many in the game believe that Campbell will be a Head Coach one day and a successful one at that. Campbell has made the most of his opportunity with the Broncos.
â€œTo have my first Division one coaching job be with Western [Michigan] has been outstanding,â€ said Campbell.Â â€œI think Iâ€™ve learned a lot [from] coach
[Bill] Cubit. He has given me the guidance not only on the field but off the field to be successful. The tools he has installed into our players, you sit
back and you listen and you take all of that stuff in and your going to use these things that he gives us in life because as an individual itâ€™s not only
about the game of football, but about life.â€
Campbell has set his unitâ€™s goals extremely high for the upcoming season, to lead the nation in interceptions.Â He believes that unless you think it, then
the goal isnâ€™t possible.Â With his high demands and success rate, it is no secret that Campbell will be a hot commodity in coaching circles.Â Even with schools
ready to headhunt him, he has remained loyal to the Broncos program, always giving them his best effort, something he attributes to his upbringing.
â€œI cant thank my mom and dad enough for the guidance and the way they raised me,â€ explained Campbell.Â â€œI think for myself, Iâ€™m going into my third year, I havenâ€™t been out looking for jobs, I donâ€™t go to the convention and shaking everybodyâ€™s hands trying to get that big time job.Â I told coach Cubit when he hired me that I was going to be loyal to him and I have been loyal to him. I want to win a MAC Championship along with the other coaches and Iâ€™m as loyal as they come.â€
Western Michigan kicks off the 2012 season in Champaign against the Illini on September 1st, one of two Big Ten opponents on the Broncos slate this season.