Written by Elle Gunter
Roanoke College announced on May 23rd, 2023, that Curtis Campbell would be taking over as Head Athletic Director of the Maroons’ Athletic Department. Campbell is a Southwest Virginia native who is looking to return home to the mountains, “I moved away 20 years ago from Virginia, and lived all over the country until coming back here. My wife is also a Pulaski County graduate, so this is returning home for us. We have family roots and life-long friends in Pulaski, so it is nice being able to be back with them”, he noted. “They say you can never come home again, but I’m testing it out to be true”. After serving a stint for the Army, Campbell graduated from Longwood University with his Bachelor of Science in social work, followed by his master’s degree from Radford University in counseling and human development. He served as the athletic director at Western Oregon University, Tuskegee University, and Stillman College before taking over at Morehouse College for 3 years prior to arriving at Roanoke. “I believe in what we do in athletics, we do an excellent job of supporting life skills that students learn in the classrooms, Campbell added “Things such as valuable life lessons, teamwork, and how to accept constructive criticism. There are many things that athletes learn that make them better employees in their career fields.”
Campbell did not always plan to work in collegiate athletics, it was not until graduate school that he found his love for working on a college campus. He knew he enjoyed being around campus, and then began to think what department he would like to form a career in. That is what led him to a very successful 23 years of working with student athletes and coaches at both the NCAA Division II and Division III levels.
With Roanoke College’s deep rooted athletic history, Campbell plans to provide new opportunities while upholding the legacy of RC Athletics, “I want to build on tradition, like adding the opportunity to win ODAC conference championship rings. I want athletes and coaches to want to win and grow the list of sports here at Roanoke”, says Campbell.
Curtis will be responsible for preparing a new Roanoke College football program, “I hope football lasts another 100 years, even after I’m gone. I think that’s leaving a legacy of starting something that does not exist.” Football has not been a varsity sport on campus since 1942 but will be reinstated as a club sport in 2024 before becoming a varsity sport in 2025. The college is also bringing in a band and a competitive cheerleading squad.
“I want the addition of a football program to bring excitement to Roanoke and build student involvement, to encourage our non-student athletes to want to support their team on Saturday. If you have an exciting football game day environment with the band playing and cheerleaders bringing spirit, it can spread to other athletic events and build excitement for the entire year.”
Campbell is excited to get to work for his first year at the school, “Getting to know my coaching staff and students, along with being able to watch us compete for a full year is exciting. There are also sports that I have never had at any other school that I have been at before, so I am looking forward to learning about them”. Curtis Campbell takes over from Scott Allison ’79 after 36 years of serving as Athletic Director.