Interim coach Shawn Campbell working to help the Marlins overcome another setback

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 8:37 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -Call it another twist in a year full of them, the Arnold football team is working through the latest such twist. Marlins head coach Norris Vaughan stepping down for health reasons, that after a recent minor surgery the coach had to go through.

Arnold’s principal Brit Smith quickly named the team’s defensive coordinator Shawn Campbell as interim head coach.

Coach Campbell joined the staff before this season, at coach Vaughan’s behest. He’s been coaching for 26 years, and has been a head coach twice, once in Palm Beach, once in Smyrna, Georgia. So he’s experienced.

As for coach Vaughan’s departure, coach Campbell says that was news that hit him hard.

“I’ll be honest with you it was tough.” coach Campbell told me before practice Monday. “When he first came to me and told me he was having some complications from the surgery and his doctors suggested that he kind of take a step back for awhile to get his body healthy. It was a surprise, I’m not going to lie to you. Now I know he had not been feeling well for a little while, but the fact of him actually coming in and telling me, coach look I’m going to have to step down or take a leave of absence, that was pretty tough at first. When he actually did it, it was a shock because I didn’t expect it.”

So the players having to deal with another setback of sorts, coach Campbell though says they certainly aren’t moping, or making any excuses. And he says he’s impressed with how resilient the Marlins are!

“I’m very surprised and I’m very pleased with how well they’ve handled it.” coach Campbell told me. “It’s a tough thing for them. They’ve been through a lot this year, with the pandemic and the summer quarantines. And the lack of time we got to get to know each other and spend together. And then we come in, Coach Vaughan obviously the last few weeks hasn’t been feeling well. And he missed a game against Bay. Then he was back. Then he resigns. You know today’s attitude was as good if not better. And I’m proud of them for that. And I respect him for that. And I hope it just continues on. That they keep proving to me that they are strong people, and I really appreciate that.”

As for whether or not he would like the head coaching job on a more permanent basis, well coach says he’s not auditioning the rest of this season, but it’s an idea he’s given some thought to.

“I am not applying for anything.” coach Campbell said. “They asked me to be the interim, to get them through the season. You know I want it to be here long term. But I am going to worry about trying to get ourselves ready to play Bozeman Friday night. And that’s my main focus. The rest of that will, it will fall where it falls. And then they’ll make a decision which they think is best for the program. And if it’s me I’ll gladly except it. If it’s not I understand. They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. But I want to be a part of Arnold Football for a long time. I’ve got 10 or 12 more years in me, at least maybe more. But I want to be in Arnold Marlin.”

This week’s game with Bozeman at Gavlak is set for 7 and is one of several we’ll feature on Friday Night Overtime.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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