There was quite a bit of buzz surrounding the news that Campbell University hired a new head football coach in November.
It didn’t hurt that the man they hired was somewhat of a North Carolina football legend.
Former Carolina Panthers standout Mike Minter - the safety who played two quarters in Super Bowl XXXVIII on a broken foot and ended his 10-year career with several team records - was hired to turn around a Campbell program that in 2012 suffered its worst season since returning to football in 2008.
The Nov. 27 press conference announcing Minter’s arrival drew a large crowd of media, athletes and students eager to hear and meet the Oklahoma native and member of the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
“I was on the 1-15 Panthers team when we lost 15 in a row,” Minter said on Day 1. “Two years later, we were in the Super Bowl. I understand what you feel. ... We will get it done. Yes, sir."
During his 10-year NFL career, Minter earned a starting safety role six games into his rookie year in 1997, and held that position until he retired after the 2006 season. A second-round draft choice, he helped lead the Panthers to three playoff trips, including the Super Bowl in 2003. At the time of his retirement, he held Panthers franchise records for starts (141), consecutive starts (94), fumble recoveries (11) and interceptions returned for touchdowns (4).
News of his hiring spread like wildfire in Campbell and North Carolina football circles. It was by far the most “shared” story of the year on the university’s main Facebook and Twitter pages.
Photo by Bennett Scarborough