Friday, February 4, 2011

Will Campagna passes away

Will Campagna, former football coach at North Mecklenburg and Charlotte Catholic, died earlier today from complications from pneumonia at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center.

Will Campagna was 78.

Campagna's teams won 218 games in 34 seasons. He began his coaching career at Rockingham High in 1958, then moved to Charlotte Catholic in 1959 He remained there until 1969, then made stops at Albemarle, Davidson College and Kannapolis Brown before arriving at North Meck in 1974.

His Vikings teams won two conference championships. His best team was his last North Meck team, which was 12-2 and advanced to the state semifinals in 1992. Campagna said the year after he retired that he sent about 220 players to college on scholarship.

"He rebuilt that program," said Leroy Holden, a former assistant under Campagna who was also North Meck’s boys basketball coach and athletics director. "At every stop he made, he instilled in his kids all of his enthusiasm and confidence. They would just feed off that."

Said CMS athletics director Vicki Hamilton: "He was a giant. He had high ethics and standards. When you describe him, that's just how a coach should be. He could be demanding. He loved and supported his kids. He could be up in their face one minute, then hugging them as hard as he could the next."

A wake for Mr. Campagna will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at Raymers Funeral Home in Huntersville.

The funeral will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Therese Catholic Church in Mooresville. -- David Scott

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