On Monday afternoon, Campus football gained what athletic director Richard Elliott called instant credibility.
He’s not exaggerating.
Campus announced the hiring of coach Greg Slade as its coach. Slade won the 2011 Class 4A title and finished second in 2004 at Rose Hill.
“We’re a 6A school that has struggled at times,” said Elliott of the Colts, who have won eight games in the past six seasons, including two straight 1-8 records. “ Now we have a coach who comes in that has won a state championship and been in the state championship another time. It brings instant credibility.”
Slade, whose Rose Hill team was 4-6 in his 15th season, replaces Mike Schartz. Schartz, who was let go following the season, was 6-31 in four seasons.
At 45, Slade begins rebuilding a second program.
“I feel like it’s a good job and a place that can have some success,” Slade said. “They play some of the best teams week in and week out. They have the facilities.”
Slade was The Eagle’s 2011 coach of the year after turning around a Rose Hill program that won one game in his first two seasons.
“It excited me,” Slade said of the opportunity. “I have a whole different outlook than I had 15 years ago. I’m not as scared as I was then. It will be new, it will be different.”
Elliott, who noted that Campus has young talent, believes Slade can do the same for the Colts.
“We think we cam be competitive in our league,” he said of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division I. “As you know, our league is one of the tougher ones top to bottom.”
Slade was scheduled to tell his Rose Hill players of his departure after school Monday. He said he wrote down what he wanted to say to them, anticipating it would be emotional.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” he said.