Arkansas high school coaching icon Don Campbell dies
Regarding the ability to coach high school football, Don Campbell once said you either learn or go into administration. Clearly, he learned. Campbell, an Arkansas high school coaching icon best known for his run-first state championship teams at Wynne, died late Monday afternoon at Comfort Care Center in Little Rock, his son, Chris, said. He was 80.
Chris Campbell said in a text message early Friday afternoon that his father was entering hospice care and only had a few days to live because of a re-emergence of organ cancer, initially diagnosed in 2008. Campbell's condition had quickly deteriorated after contracting covid-19 in late October, his son said. "It's hard to even process right now," Chris Campbell said Monday night. "He touched so many lives."
A Forrest City native, Don Campbell ranks among the winningest coaches in Arkansas high school football history. He compiled a 257-98-6 career record at three stops – Corning (1976-85), Sheridan (1986-90) and Wynne (1991-2006) – won or shared 15 conference championships and captured two state championships. Both Class AAAA state titles (2001 and 2004) were at Wynne.
Campbell, literally, ran his way into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, normally mashing opponents with a devastating rushing attack out of the Diamond-T formation.
"I felt like I could take average kids and win with it because we didn't have to hold blocks," Campbell said in an Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette interview on the eve of his 2014 induction into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. "Everything was quick. The worst thing we do in football nowadays is try to outfox somebody. It's simple things in football that get you."
During an 11-year span (1994-2004), Wynne ran for more than 38,000 yards, with much of the damage coming on Campbell's signature trap play. Campbell became so synonymous with the play that his personalized license plate was "27 Trap."
An offensive lineman in 1986-88 at Sheridan, Chris Campbell said his father "threw a little bit" there and at Corning before moving to tradition-rich Wynne, where his Diamond-T scheme flourished. In 16 seasons, Campbell was 147-46-3, won or shared eight conference championships and never missed the playoffs.
"Really, when he got to Wynne, the running backs were a lot more advanced than he coached before," Chris Campbell said. "They had a different gear than anybody he coached before."
Campbell's 2001 team was led by dynamic halfback DeAngelo Williams, who was the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Offensive Player of the Year and later became the all-time leading rusher at the University of Memphis and for the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Campbell later coached standout halfback Antonio Warren.
Campbell's stint at Wynne coincided with conference battles against fellow Arkansas high school coaching giants Bill Keedy of Newport, childhood friend Clinton Gore of Osceola and later Dave King of Batesville, who has led the Pioneers since 1996 and won the Class AAAA state championship in 2003.
"Great coach, but an even better person," King said Monday night. "Just a fine gentleman. I remember when I first came in here, Wynne and Coach Campbell, were beating up everybody. Somebody's doing it, you want to dislike them. But once you got to know Don, he was a real gentleman and just a good person and did things the right way. I always admired him."
After retiring from coaching following the 2006 season, Campbell moved to Vilonia to be closer to his grandchildren. Campbell was also 80-28-2 at Corning and 30-24-1 at Sheridan, highlighted by an 11-1 season and Class AAA quarterfinal playoff berth in 1987.
"If you did a good job, he was going to praise you," Chris Campbell said of playing for his father. "If you didn't, he was going to exploit you. He said, 'The film doesn't lie.' You didn't want to disappoint him. If you didn't make your block or didn't make your tackle, when it came film time, you were going to be embarrassed if you didn't do your job. If you did do your job, you were going to get praised. You did not want to disappoint."
Campbell graduated from Forrest City in 1958 and Henderson State in 1968. He was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008 and Henderson's athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
Funeral arrangements were pending Monday night, Chris Campbell said.
Floyd E. Sagely
Born March 26, 1932, in Van Buren, Ark., Floyd E. Sagely was one of aix children born to Garland and Virgie (Berry) Sagely. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Edith Opal, JC, Kenneth, Jewell Ridenour, and Maurice. He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Cynthia Anne. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jimmie Lou, of the home; his son, Floyd E. Sagely, Jr.; and two grandsons: Weston and Colton Sagely of Fort Smith; and several nieces and nephews.
After his father lost his job with the railroad in 1933, the family was forced to leave their home in Van Buren and move back to a one-room log cabin in Rudy, Ark., which was built by hand by his father. There were nine people living in that one-room log cabin. The Sagely family as well as both his grandmothers lived there. In 1936, Sagely's father's job was reinstated with the railroad and they all moved back to Van Buren.
Sagely was All-State in both football and basketball during his time at Van Buren High School. While attending high school, he lettered in four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track. Van Buren won the Overall State Basketball Championship during his senior year in 1950. In addition, he was voted Most Valuable Player in the State basketball tournament and was also voted All-Southern in football during high school. After graduation, he was chosen to play in the high school All-American basketball game held in Murray, Ken. One of his teammates in the game in Murray was Bob Petit, who went on to be in the NBA Hall of Fame and was the first player to receive the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.
His interest in the oil and gas industry began in high school when the Phillips 66 Basketball Team invited him to Spring practice during his junior and senior years of high school.
During the 1950-51 school year, Sagely was a starter on both the freshmen football and basketball teams at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He then moved up to the varsity team and became the last Razorback to be a starter in both football and basketball for all three varsity seasons. As a senior, he led the SWC in football in pass receptions and led the Razorbacks in pass interceptions. He had 30 catches for 542 yards that year. This was the last time this feat was accomplished by any Razorback, and he was ranked sixth in the nation. For the 1953 season, he was named first-team All-SWC and second-team All-America. Along with Pat Summerall, Sagely was on the All-Decade Football Team for the Razorbacks in the 1950's. Those two were the only Ends on that team. During the spring of 1954, the student body honored Sagely with a trophy for his outstanding career at the University in both football and basketball. This trophy now stands on exhibit at the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in Little Rock. After his final University of Arkansas appearance in 1954, Oklahoma State head basketball coach Hank Iba said, "There goes the last of the Iron Men."
Upon graduation from the University, Sagely was invited by the Committees in charge of the Blue/Gray All-Star Football Game and the East/West Shrine All-Star Football Game to participate in both games. He did, however, have to decline playing in both games as he had to concentrate on his basketball obligations.
Also, immediately after graduating from college, Phillips 66 offered him a job at the Company and wanted him to play basketball for them. Prior to the NBA being formed, amateur teams representing different corporations from all over the country were formed. He turned down this opportunity, as he decided to play football in the National Football League.
After college, at 6'1" and 185 pounds, he was a second-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers and played offensive end and defensive back as a rookie in 1954.
His professional football career was interrupted by the U.S. Army in 1955, where he served twenty-two months during the Korean War. He served in the Artillery Division at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., during his time in the Service and was chosen to play on the All Army football team while there.
He returned to the San Francisco 49ers in November of 1956. He spent the 1957 season as a defensive halfback for the Chicago Cardinals and then retired to go into the oil and gas business.
In 1953, while attending the University of Arkansas, Sagely met the love of his life, Jimmie Lou Anderson. They married in the Spring of 1954. Soon after, he was drafted into the NFL. Jimmie Lou was then and still is his greatest inspiration and supporter. She has stood by his side for more than 67 years. Together, they had two children: Floyd E. Sagely, Jr. and Cindy Sagely. They also have two grandsons: Weston and Colton Sagely.
In 1958, he retired from the NFL and started as a Landman, doing day work for various oil and gas companies. After a few years of doing different jobs for different oil and gas companies, he formed his own oil and gas exploration company in 1962. That company still operates today as Floyd E. Sagely Properties, Ltd.
In the mid-1960's, Sagely was one of the three founders of the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes organizations in Arkansas.
He was also one of the first sponsors of the First Tee in Fort Smith, Ark. By the special request of Jack Stephens, Sagely went before the Fort Smith Board of Directors and First Tee began. Pat Summerall and a group of professional golfers came to town for that opportunity.
In the 1980's, Sagely served on the Board of the Arkansas State Golf Association for nine years. He was President of the Association for three of those years.
Additionally, Sagely, along with Pat Summerall and Ray Tucker, started the annual Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament in 1999, now known as the Pat Summerall Celebrity Golf Classic, which continues to grow each year and is a major fundraiser for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
As a young man, he coached baseball and basketball with the church leagues in Fort Smith. He served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons at First Baptist Church and was a Sunday School teacher there, too. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church. In addition, he filled a vacancy on the Fort Smith School Board.
Sagely was the contact person with the PGA to bring the fundraising Fort Smith Golf Classic to Hardscrabble Country Club. This tournament was sponsored by Stephens, Inc. and raised a lot of money each year for local charities.
In 1985, Sagely was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1997, Sagely was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in Football.
A private service for his family will be held and officiated by Ed Saucier, with burial to follow at Oak Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home. To place online condolences, visit: www.edwardsfuneralhome.com.
Donations may be made to Arkansas Children's Hospital, 1 Children's Way, Little Rock, Ark., 72202, or Fort Smith Boys and Girls Club, 8800 Dallas, Fort Smith, Ark., 72903.
Coach John McDonnell
Fayetteville, AR 1938 - 2021
John McDonnell, the University of Arkansas legendary men's cross-country and track and field coach, passed away Monday, June 7, 2021, at the age of 82. He was born July 2, 1938, in Crossmolina, Ireland, to Michael McDonnell and Bridget (Hopkins) McDonnell. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Tontitown, Ark.
Coach McDonnell established a legacy of success unrivaled in the history of NCAA athletics producing 42 NCAA championships, including five national triple crowns and 12 consecutive NCAA Indoor titles from 1984-95.
McDonnell's 42 national titles are more than any coach in any single-gender program in the history of collegiate athletics. He won 20 conference triple crowns, 34 consecutive cross-country conference championships, including 17 straight in the Southeastern Conference, and earned 80 national and conference Coach of the Year awards in his 36-year Hall of Fame career with the Razorbacks. The United States Track and Field and cross-country Coaches Association annually awards the John McDonnell Division I men's program of the year in his honor.
From County Mayo, Ireland, McDonnell became head cross-country coach of the Razorbacks in 1972, and head track and field coach in 1977-78. His teams won 20 national championships in indoor track, 11 in outdoor track and 11 in cross-country. Among McDonnell's total of 83 conference titles, 45 were claimed in the SEC with 38 from the SWC. Razorback athletes earned 652 All-America honors during his coaching tenure.
In addition to being inducted into numerous halls of fame, Arkansas's outdoor facility is named John McDonnell Field and features a statue of him.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Patrick McDonnell and Leo McDonnell; and two sisters, Catherine McDonnell and Annie Griffin.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years Ellen (Elias) McDonnell; one son, Sean McDonnell of Fayetteville, Ark.; one daughter, Heather McDonnell Hastings and husband, Jeffery, of Fayetteville, Ark.; three sisters, Philomena Pena of Barcelona, Spain, Mary McDonnell and Margaret Carr, both of Ballina, Ireland; one brother, Michael McDonnell and wife, Jane, of Edmond, Okla.; a sister-in-law, Una McDonnell of Crossmolina, Ireland; and two grandchildren, Noah and Christopher Hastings.
A rosary will be recited at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 10th, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville, with a visitation to follow starting at 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. on Friday, June 11th, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville. If you are unable to attend you may view the service on the St Joseph Catholic Church Facebook page. Burial will follow at Fairview Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer's Association, c/o National Processing Center, Alzheimer's Association PO Box 96011 Washington DC 20090-6011. To sign the online guest book please visit www.bernafuneralhomes.com
Hall of Fame coach for Henderson State, UCA, dies at 87
Hall of Fame basketball coach Don Dyer died Wednesday, May 12, 2021. He was 87.
Dyer was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1992. He was an inaugural inductee into the Henderson State Hall of Honor in 1997 and the University of Central Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Dyer was the only coach to take two different schools (Henderson State and UCA) to the NAIA National Championship games. He was also the winningest collegiate men's basketball coach on any level in Arkansas. At the time of his retirement in 1993, his career collegiate record was 606-277.
Dyer coached Scottie Pippen at UCA from 1983-87. Pippen would later become a six-time NBA World Champion with the Chicago Bulls, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer.
Razorback Great & Outland Trophy winner Loyd Phillips Passes Away
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas All-American, Outland Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Loyd Phillips has died at the age of 75. Phillips died on Sunday after complications from a stroke.
Phillips, who grew up in Longview Texas, was one of the greatest football players in Razorback history, a consensus two-time All-American for Arkansas from 1964-66. He is one of only two Outland Trophy winners in school history (Bud Brooks), an award annually given to the best interior lineman in college football.
“The Razorback Family and college football has lost one of its true legends,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “Loyd Phillips was a ferocious competitor for Coach Frank Broyles in what was a truly golden era of Razorback Football. As his accomplishments attest, he established himself among the best to ever play college football. However, away from the field, Loyd was a humble gentle giant who made a meaningful difference in the lives of generations of young people in our state through his dedicated service in secondary education. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Betsy, their son Mackenzie, their daughter JoAnn, the entire Phillips family and all those impacted by the extraordinary life of Loyd Phillips.”
Phillips played defensive tackle for the Arkansas Razorbacks in the mid 1960’s and helped the Hogs win the National Championship in 1964. He was a two-time All American (1965 & 1966) and winner of the 1966 Outland Trophy, recognized as the country's most outstanding interior lineman. Philips was a three-time All-Southwest Conference selection (1964-66). Phillips earned 304 career tackles (100 in 1965, 97 in 1966). He played on Razorback teams that compiled a 29-3 record from 1964-66 including a 11-0 1964 national championship season. As a sophomore, Phillips helped lead a stifling Razorback defense that blanked opponents in the final five games of the 1964 regular season.
He was a first-round draft choice, the No. 10 draft pick overall, by the Chicago Bears and also played for the New Orleans Saints during his NFL career. After pro football, Phillips returned to Arkansas to finish his degree in health education and obtained his master’s degree in administration. Phillips had a distinguished 37-year career in secondary education, working as an assistant principal and administrator in both the Springdale (Ark.) and Rogers (Ark.) school districts. After retiring, Phillips volunteered his time working with Horses for Healing, a program designed to provide therapy for special needs children.
Phillips was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He is also a member of the University of Arkansas All-Century team, the 1960s All-Decade Team, the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Phillips is survived by his wife Betsy, and their son Mackenzie, who also played football for the Razorbacks from 1988-91. He is also survived by his younger brother Terry Don Phillips, who played for the Razorback from 1966-69 and is a former administrator with Razorback Athletics and the Razorback Foundation.
2016 ASHOF Inductee William Richard Phillips
February 5, 1949 - November 27, 2020
William Richard "Bill" Phillips was born February 5th, 1949 to Earl and Hazel Phillips of Harrison, Arkansas. His childhood was spent on the hill of Woodland Heights playing kick the can, swimming in Crooked Creek and eating steaks at Spike Cavender's house.
Early in life Bill would develop athletic talent and received a football scholarship to Arkansas State University would meet his wife Peggy Ann Brinkley of Turrel, Arkansas. After leading the 1970 Arkansas State Indian Football team to a national championship, Bill was drafted by the Denver Broncos. Phillips' athletic career would later make him a dual inductee to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, both as an individual and as a member of the 1970 Arkansas State Football Team.
After Bill returned from Denver it soon proved that his natural charisma, likability and well known, "larger than life" personality soon proved him a natural match for sales and he soon accelerated the ranks of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where he once again proved to be exceptional in another profession.
Fifteen years later Bill entered the 3rd phase of his professional career when Blue Cross would tap him to lead their newly formed Governmental Relations division and Phillips quickly made a smooth transition from sales to lobbying. Bill was known at the Capitol for his honesty and integrity as lawmakers throughout the years consistently named him as "one of the ones you knew was always telling the truth". Bill served the people of the State of Arkansas by quickly rushing to solve policy dilemmas without receiving credit, where he was always quick to defend his modesty by stating that it was a lobbyist's job to serve the State and that his thank you card was a paycheck and the honor to continue working at the Capitol.
Bill went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on the morning of November 27th with his wife of 52 years by his side. He is survived by his son, Bradley Jordan and his grandson, William "Little Bill" Richard Phillips of Conway, Arkansas; his sister and brother in law Kay and Rusty Hayes of Harrison; Pam Hunter of Ozark, MO and numerous beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Jim Phillips of Harrison, AR.
Bill was a proud member of 2nd Baptist Church and asks that donations be made to the church in lieu of flowers.
Service Induction Ceremony
Second Baptist Church
2600 Dave Ward Drive
Conway, AR 72034
11/29/2020 at 2:00PM
Oak Grove Cemetery
329 Bruce Street
Conway, AR 72032
12/2/2020 at 3:00PM
2006 ASHOF Inductee Charles Ripley
1946 – June 28, 2020
1997 ASHOF Inductee Bobby Mitchell
June 6, 1935 – April 5, 2020
2004 ASHOF Inductee JP Moore
Jan. 16, 1922 – Mar. 3, 2019
1967 ASHOF Inductee John Franklin Broyles
Dec. 26, 1924 – Aug. 14, 2017
2017 ASHOF Inductee Charles F. "Charlie Fred" Dearman, Sr.
April 2, 1936 - July 30, 2017
2003 ASHOF Inductee Sonny Ingram
November 12, 1938 – January 3, 2017
2012 ASHOF Inductee Elmer "B" Lindsey
1940 – August 26, 2020