Alumni Focus – Marion Campbell

Another week goes by and another former coach of the Philadelphia Eagles has passed away.  Francis Marion Campbell passed away at the age of 87.  Campbell was selected in the 4th round (pick 46) of the 1952 NFL Draft.  After spending the 54-55 seasons with the 49ers he joined the Eagles for 1956 season.  He stayed with the Eagles until 1961 which included playing a pivotal role on the defensive line for the 1960 NFL Championship team. Campbell was a fantastic NFL player.  He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1959 and 1960 and was 1st team all pro in 1960.

When Marion Campbell left the Eagles in 1961 that wasn’t the last we would see or hear from him.  Some of his stops include:

  • Atlanta Falcons – Defensive Coordinator 69-74
  • Atlanta Falcons – Head Coach 74-76
  • Philadelphia Eagles – Defensive Coordinator 77-82
  • Philadelphia Eagles – Head Coach 83-85
  • Atlanta Falcons Head – Coach 87 – 89
  • University of Georgia – Defensive Coordinator 93

It’s odd that a coach would have two stints as a head coach with one team.  Off the top of my head the only coach I can think of with multiple stops at one team would be Art Shell of the Oakland raiders.  Campbell’s highlight of his coaching career was as defensive coordinator for the Eagles 1980 Super Bowl team.  They would eventually lose that game to the Oakland Raiders.  His Eagles defenses were coached very well.  They finished 1st and 2nd in points allowed in both 80 and 81 and finished second and first in yards allowed in those same years.

Marion Campbell was not a good Head Coach.  He finished his career with a 34-80-1 record.  That is the 3rd lowest lowest winning percentage in NFL History behind Bert Bell (former Eagles coach and NFL commissioner) and David Shula.  He is most known as a head coach who preceded Buddy Ryan.

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