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Dexter athletic director believes in mentors

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Dexter Consolidated Schools athletic director David Campbell has performed a variety of functions in the district. He became AD in 2005. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

DEXTER — John Reid and Johnny Joe Marrujo are two big names that people recognize in athletic and educational circles in New Mexico, and for David Campbell, athletic director for the Dexter Consolidated Schools, both men are his mentors.

Reid, who passed away in 2008, played a prominent role in Campbell’s life.

“My biggest mentor of all time is John Reid,” said Campbell. “I was the last coach he hired here at Dexter before he retired. He was the AD here and was the mayor of the town for a while and he was a coach here for years and a teacher. We named the basketball tournament after him.”

The John Reid Dexter Invitational took place this past January. Last year marked the 50th year for the tournament.

Over the years, Campbell has looked up to Marrujo in many ways. In addition to being a mentor, the principal and athletic director at Tularosa High School, he is also Campbell’s father-in-law.

“I knew him before I met his daughter,” said Campbell.

David and Jennifer have been married for six years and he feels that she understands the job having been around athletics for most of her life.

“She understands that (is) time that I spend away from home,” Campbell said.

David Campbell and his father-in-law have several things in common, including winning state titles. Marrujo was the head basketball coach at Silver High School in Silver City from 1991-1997. He had a record of 115-51-0.

“In fact, the year before we won the state football title at Dexter, his team won the state championship in Silver City in basketball,” Campbell said.

The Demons took state on the gridiron in 1997.

“The kids, they bought into the program and they worked hard,” Campbell said.

While Campbell has had people that he has looked up to, it could be said that he has passed his knowledge down to others. A member of that state championship team is now Dexter’s head baseball coach.

Arturo Duran became head coach in 2013 and he quarterbacked the Demons more than 20 years ago.

Campbell laughed when he was asked if he thought his former signal caller would be coaching for him several years later.

“I knew he was a good kid,” said Campbell. “I didn’t know at the time he wanted to go into coaching. I knew he was a heck of a good athlete. One of the better athletes we’ve had around here. I had no idea he wanted to get into coaching.”

Campbell coached football for six years and then took a couple of years off to get a master’s degree in educational administration and got the AD job in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University in health and physical education with a minor in biology.

Campbell is also mentoring a current Demon player as well. Allyssa Madden is a senior on the softball team and she is Campbell’s stepdaughter.

Campbell said she transferred from Alamogordo High School and she has adjusted well coming from a larger school.

“She loves the small school and I call it the small school attitude or hometown attitude,” said Campbell. “When I was first interviewed 26 years ago by Mr. Reid, that was one thing he talked about was small town attitude and you know in a small town everybody knows everybody. Everybody (is) out there on Friday night or Thursday night for a basketball game, especially against your rival and you know you’re not going to lose to them. She loves that, a lot more of the small town.”

Campbell has worn many hats during his time in Dexter. Besides coaching multiple sports and being the athletic director, he’s also a teacher and before he heads to Dexter High School in the afternoon to take care of the athletic side of the job, he spends the morning at Dexter Elementary School teaching physical education to kindergarten and first grade students.

Campbell looks at teaching the future Demons as a stress relief from the duties as athletic director.

“When I was coaching and teaching kindergarten PE, they didn’t care that I was preparing for Hagerman in football,” said Campbell. “They don’t care that I’ve got to worry about umpires being at different places for softball. They don’t care and they bring you back down to reality. Then you realize why you got into education in the first place. Because of those kids. You see it in their eyes and especially at the kindergarten level.”

Campbell came to Chaves County in 1987 from Ohio. Before working in Dexter, he worked for Transportation Manufacturing Corporation and Job Corps in Roswell.

Campbell admits he was getting tired of the weather in the Buckeye State and a relative invited him to check out a warmer climate.

“I just graduated from college and came out here (for a) change of scenery,” said Campbell. “Love the weather.”