It’s not as if Scott Campbell wanted to leave Puyallup High School boys basketball while on top of the 4A SPSL. The COVID-19 pandemic forced him to re-evaluate his future.
Campbell announced Monday he was resigning after 13 seasons, months following the Vikings’ lone 4A SPSL championship during his tenure.
“I think it kind of materialized. If you asked me nine months ago … I’d tell you I cannot wait for next season, and was looking forward to everything it is going to bring and the opportunities that were going to be there,” Campbell said.
“Obviously … this COVID pandemic has flipped everything upside down – from jobs to careers, to schooling to high school sports. There are a lot of families, us included, that re-evaluated … the best opportunities to provide for your kids and your family. That was the root of our decision.”
Campbell, 49, won 189 games in his 13 seasons, with two 4A state tournament berths to his name.
And with his son, Cobi, returning as a senior, the Vikings were the prohibitive favorites to win the 4A SPSL again – especially with Campbell’s youngest son, Cooper, added to the mix as well.
That all changes now: Cobi, who is in Running Start through Pierce College, will start playing games with Issaquah-based Elite Prep in January, as will Cooper, who is currently being home-schooled as a ninth grader.
Campbell will remain a physical education teacher at Puyallup High School, but will join Tayon Ary-Turner’s coaching staff at Elite Prep for the current season, then take over as the coach in 2021-22.
Elite Prep is not governed under WIAA rules, and is not a member of a league in Washington.
“That is what I love – being in the gym and working with players … who are driven and have a goal to play at the college level,” Campbell said.
Kelly Susee, the Puyallup athletic director, said a search is underway for for an interim coach for the remainder of the school year. He expects to have the position filled sometime early in 2021.