Since 2016, Aaron Campbell has served as the recruitment coordinator and a sprint, hurdle and relay coach for Lewis & Clark’s track and field program. This year, he will be leading the program as the head coach.
“I have been working to get to this position since I first got into coaching,” Campbell said. “Being here now is definitely humbling. I have been very prepared (for this transition) and I have had a lot of support.”
Campbell entered the field of coaching after earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 2010. Following graduation, he coached for his alma mater the University of Vermont, Duke University and Emory College.
Campbell loves the collaborative aspect of coaching and working with people who share his passion for working in a competitive environment.
“Wins and losses are what brought me into the profession, seeing all the levels that you can take coaching to and helping athletes in the competitive sphere,” Campbell said. “The relationships that you build with students is what has evolved my passion.”
Campbell appreciates the versatility of his team both on and off the field.
“We have students who can do multiple events,” Campbell said. “We have really expanded on our dual sport connection with track and field, which means we have a lot of students who’ve been doing a lot of different types of things. I’ve gained an appreciation for students who are involved in multiple arenas.”
Campbell is admired by his team for his dedication and composure under pressure Lauren Keegan ’21, a member of the track and field team, commented on Campbell’s coaching style and the athletic environment under his leadership.
“He keeps us calm, he keeps us focused and he keeps us working hard,” Keegan said. “It really shows how he takes care of the team and how he wants to shape us.”
Keegan started on the track and field team as a sophomore, the year after Campbell joined the coaching staff. Coming in at the same time forged comradery between them.
“We have grown together in that way which is really cool to see in a coach,” Keegan said. “I trust him so much and it was good to see him take (the role of head coach) on.”
After the retirement of previous head coach Keith Woodard, Campbell served as interim head coach from March to June 2019, when he was promoted offically to his current position.
This year, he looks forward to further developing the competitive nature of the team.
“One thing that happens with coaches, they get locked into wins and losses,” Campbell said. “But it is much more about being the best version of whatever you are, and that entails the competitive piece.”
Campbell hopes to continue evolving the track & field team this coming year, watching the athletes grow and expand their skillset.