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Campbell relishes coaching job

Joe Campbell may be a long ways from his alma mater, but he's right at home with his coaching duties.

The 1996 Eagle Point graduate and former Eagles' point guard is an assistant coach for the NAIA Division II Indiana University Southeast men's basketball team located in New Albany, Ind.

Campbell graduated from IUS two years ago with a degree in general studies and is now in his second season with the Grenadiers.

Unseeded Indiana Southeast (27-7) begins play in the 32-team NAIA National Championships this morning at 8:15 Pacific Standard Time in Point Lookout, Mo.

Overall, we've had a pretty good season, says Campbell, who works primarily with the perimeter players. We have good guard play and we've shot the ball well. ... That's something I'd like to think I've had something to do with.

— Campbell spent three years prior to his current position coaching the freshmen and junior varsity squads at Silver Creek High School in Sellersburg, Ind. The head varsity coach at Silver Creek resigned two years ago and Campbell decided it was time to move on and try his hand at the collegiate level.

He interviewed with head IUS coach Walt Corbean and was offered the assistant job.

It's been a good transition, Campbell says of the move from high school to college. I really enjoy the recruiting part of it. It's nice to have control over who you get to coach.

Campbell, who is also the intramural sports director at the school, is in charge of recruiting in the local areas, monitoring the academics of the players and some hands-on coaching during the games.

I'd say I like monitoring academics the least, laughs Campbell. I don't like being the bad guy. But it's part of the gig and I'm fine with that.

The 27-year-old had an inkling coaching might be in his future early on in his high school career.

As a 5-foot-6 starting point guard for two years at Eagle Point, Campbell didn't score much but he was a driving force in leading the Eagles to their first state-playoff berth in five years his senior season.

We got our teeth kicked in on a regular basis my first couple of years, says Campbell, whose older brother Jay is the freshman boys coach at Crater and dad, John, officiated different sporting events for over 20 years. We really turned things around my senior year. That was a lot of fun.

Campbell points to Eagles' coach Keith Williams as a major coaching influence.

He used to take me to camps in the summer and talk a lot of basketball with me, says Campbell. He was pretty instrumental in continuing my basketball career in coaching.

I still talk to him every couple of months.

It was the cross-country trips Campbell and his family used to take that sparked an interest in leaving the Rogue Valley.

We went to all these different hoop camps and we'd take vacations, says Campbell. I just knew from visiting all these other places that I wanted to get out.

He spent two years playing basketball at Saint Meinrad University, then transferred from the small southern Indiana Bible college to IUS to finish his education.

That's where he met Amy, an elementary school teacher and now his wife of 4&

189; years. The two live in Sellersburg and are expecting their first child in September.

I really enjoy what I do, Campbell says of his progressing coaching career. This (coaching) is something I'd like to do for a while.

Hopefully, if all goes as planned I'll get a chance to keep doing what I love.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483 or e-mail .