The college football coaching carousel is in full swing and coaches are on the move far and wide as jobs come open and get filled. Outside of USC deciding to retain Clay Helton however, one of the more under the radar moves to keep a coach this year comes at South Alabama, where a few fans were clamoring for Steve Campbell to be fired after a 2-10 season and 5-19 overall record at the school.
That is not happening however, as the Jaguars will stick with the coach for at least another year. In fact, his athletic director confirmed there was never any question that he would be back in Mobile for Year 3.
“It never crossed my mind,” USA athletic director Joel Erdmann told AL.com. “I will not judge others that have made moves in a short period of time because I don’t know the dynamics. But other than wins and losses, what I’ve observed in the football program is very positive and I do believe that coaches need to be given appropriate amounts of time to build something the right way and not take shortcuts. And so absent anything abnormal — which I have not, and do not observe — the thought of not having coach Campbell back (in 2020) never came to mind.”
This is Campbell’s first FBS gig but he’s proven capable of some impressive surges before in previous stops, including a Division II national title at Delta State and a 20-5 record at Central Arkansas before being hired by South Alabama. The program has never won more than six games in a season since joining Division I and jettisoned their first coach in program history to hire Campbell two years ago.
One thing to keep in mind is that South Alabama is opening a brand new 25,000 seat on-campus stadium next season so the hope is likely that Campbell can keep growing the program as they transition from Ladd-Peebles Stadium and become more competitive in the Sun Belt.