Aug 19, 2013
Buies Creek, N.C. — Keeping emotions in check was never one of new Campbell head football coach Mike Minter's strong-suits.
"I'm excited, I'm so amped up, I'm probably worse than the players," laughed Minter.
After three seasons with 33 wins and two state titles at the prep level, and two years holding down collegiate assistant gigs, Minter accepted the head coaching position at Campbell in November. The former Carolina Panthers defensive back landed in Buies Creek with heightened preseason expectations.
He inherits 16 returning starters, and despite a 1-10 finish last season, the Camels are pegged to finish near the middle of the pack in the 12-team Pioneer League.
"I'm excited because we're 8th, we were dead last, last year," smiled Minter. "So, for them to pick us 8th, that's pretty good!"
Projections aside, the Camels' creed this season is last-to-first, not last-to-eighth.
"He knows what it's like to be one of the worst teams in the division and go to being one of the first place teams in the division," said senior quarterback Dakota Wolf, referring to one of the Panthers' year-to-year turnarounds. "So, him bringing that knowledge, and being able to elevate us to that next level, it's really good for this program."
"Sometimes, as players, we don't quite get what's going on, he can definitely help us because he has that experience," said senior defensive lineman Taurean Lynch. "Ten-plus years in the NFL!"
Excitement fills the Campbell program before the 2013 season, but Minter said he hopes to be tempered as camp comes to a close - perhaps a promise the Panthers' great might not be able to keep come game day.
"As soon as somebody knocks somebody out, I'm going to be out on the field, jumping on his head, and acting like I was part of that," smiled Minter.
That chance could come in a place Minter knows well. Campbell opens against Charlotte, less than a dozen miles away from Bank of America Stadium.