Bo Campbell, the second-longest tenured head football coach in Region 6-AAA as the calendar changed to 2022, stepped down after seven seasons of leading the LFO Warriors on Wednesday morning.
Citing a desire to spend more time with family, Campbell issued a heart-felt statement on the LFO High School Football Facebook page, explaining his decision and thanking the LFO community for all their support over the years.
"It is with a heavy heart that I step down today as the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School head football coach," he wrote. "Although I felt very blessed to have been part of this great chapter in LFO Warrior Football, I have always put all the LFO Football family first while trying to balance being there for my own family. I have now come to a point in my life where I need to put my own family first and catch up on some lost time.
"I hope everyone understands that this is a hard decision, especially when you put 100 percent into something you love and care about so much. LFO is a very special place filled with great students, teachers, staff and administration and I have loved being the head coach. I have been here for 15 years now teaching, while serving seven years as the head football coach, and my pride and love for this school and community makes me feel like I graduated from LFO."
Campbell had a 19-51 record with the Warriors and enjoyed his biggest success in the 2018 season. A powerful running game and a stingy, blue-collar defense combined to go 7-4 and finish as region runner-up to powerhouse Calhoun on their way to first state playoff appearance since 2009 and their first home playoff game since 2004.
Driven by sports and a desire to be an influence on kids the way his former coaches were an influence on him, Campbell said he wanted to help his players learn the skills they would need in life, not just on the football field.
"My passion and pact to myself was always to treat every student-athlete like my own child and give him/her the best experiences and memories possible, no matter how hard I had to work," he continued. "I did this while trying to balance my time with my own two children and my wife. Unfortunately, I am at a time in my life where my family needs me."
"Any coach that you've ever had, I don't care what sport it is, they always have a tremendous impact on you, especially high school coaches, and Bo is no different," said LFO athletic director Chris Eaves. "In fact, he's had a tremendous impact on a lot of football players and other students throughout the school. He's somebody that's been a part of the LFO family for a number of years and he'll always be a part of the LFO family."
Campbell added that he planned to stay on at the school and continue in his role as LFO's work-based learning coordinator, adding that he was "very proud" of the football program and the things they were able to accomplish during his run as head coach.
He went on to thank numerous people, including past and present county personnel, school administrators, faculty and staff, personal friends, alumni, the school's Quarterback Club, many churches, business sponsors, and others in the community for their support.
"All of you helped offer our student-athletes great and memorable experiences," he said. "Thanks also to the parents for trusting me to be a positive role model, father figure, counselor, and coach for your children.
"I especially want to thank all of the current and former LFO players and coaches for your faith, strong work-ethic, dedication, loyal friendship and trust in me and the process. I was very blessed at LFO with teams full of not only great players and coaches but, most importantly, great people that will always be life-long friends. I am proud of you all and will always remember the times we spent together on the field, off the field, during the summer activities and at FCA Camp."
Eaves said the school hoped to have a new head coach in place quickly, but not at the expense of not finding the right person to take over the program.
"We understand that we have to move and we have to move quickly as August is right around the corner," he said. "There's a lot of pieces that have to really start spinning and turning before August with a new head coach, so it needs to happen quickly.
"But at the same time, we can't miss with this. We need somebody that knows LFO or can learn LFO if they're not from here. It's going to take some time to make sure we get the right person, but we're going to make sure we move slowly in the right direction."