Dave Campbell, who created Texas Football Magazine, considered by Texans to be the ‘bible’ of Texas football, died on Friday at 96 at his home in Waco, Texas.
Campbell was one of football’s most beloved figures in the state, known for giving football in Texas — specifically high school football — a one-of-a-kind platform to satisfy the state’s desire for coverage of the sport.
News of Campbell’s passing quickly triggered memories on social media, which included new Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire, who was once the head coach at Cedar Hill High School.
Former Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, now at LSU, talked about Campbell a couple of days ago.
Former Texas Football writer Shehan Jeyarajah, who is now at CBS, had his own memory of Campbell.
Campbell began his journalism career with the Waco Herald-Tribune as a copy boy and returned to the Herald-Tribune — and to his education at Baylor — after serving in World War II. Campbell became the Herald-Tribune sports editor in 1953 and held that position for 40 years.
Campbell started Texas Football in 1960 and since then it’s been a fixture that signals the ‘start’ of football season each summer. Earning a spot on the cover of the magazine showed you had made it as a football player in the state.
While the magazine covered college football and the NFL, it was best-known for its voluminous high school coverage. Campbell leaned on a network of contributors around the state, many of them sports editors like him, to write conference previews and capsules on every single team. Today, there are more than 1,400 high school football teams in Texas, and the magazine continues to cover every team.
Campbell sold the magazine in 1985 but remained the magazine’s editor-in-chief (along the way it became ‘Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’). He retired from the Herald-Tribune in 1993.
In his later years, Campbell championed the return of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame to his native Waco, covered the Baylor Bears for the university and contributed to several books. The press box at McLane Stadium is named for Campbell, who was a fixture at Baylor home games.
In fact, there is a full-sized replica of Campbell’s office in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.