Hugh Campbell - Wide Receiver - Washington State - 1963-67, 1969
Hugh Campbell nearly 30 seasons as a Player, Coach, General Manager and President & CEO. Every year in the league he has been in the playoffs, 23 years in the Western Final, 14 years in the Grey Cup and 8 Grey Cup victories. Hugh became the Eskimos' head coach in 1977. He coached the Eskimos to a Canadian Football League record six straight first-place finishes in the western Division, six Grey Cup appearances in a row and five Grey Cup wins in a row, all CFL records. His regular season coaching record of 70 wins, 21 losses and five ties is the best percentage in League history.
In 1983 Campbell coached Los Angeles in the USFL. He moved onto coach his former Eskimo quarterback Warren Moon with the Houston Oilers of the NFL in 1984 and ‘85. He rejoined the Eskimos as General Manager in 1986.
Hugh graduated from Washington State University with degrees in a Bachelor of Science in Education and Physical Education. He also holds a masters degree. He and his wife, Louise, have four children and two grandchildren. Hugh has been very active over the years
continually supporting the CFL rules which make for a wide open faster game. He has also been a leader in improving areas such as coaches' pensions, players' pensions, safety, per diems and health.
Campbell joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1963 the same year as a young quarterback from Pennsylvania Ron Lancaster.
It turned out to be a bargain, but it was a struggle for Lancaster at first to secure the No.1 pivot position on his new club. Lancaster played with torn rib cartilage the first part of the 1963 season and he missed three games. But during one September meeting with Edmonton, Lancaster was summoned off the bench and led the Roughriders on a 109-yard scoring drive to secure an 8-7 victory and establish himself as Saskatchewan’s starting quarterback.
Campbell caught 30 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns his rookie season. There was no sophomore jinx for Campbell the following season, as 1964 marked the first of three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. ‘Gluey Huey’ set a career high with 1,329 receiving yards in 1965, reaching the end zone 10 times.
In each of their first three seasons together, Lancaster and Campbell’s Roughriders fell short in achieving the club’s first Grey Cup championship, but all that changed in 1966. It was arguably their finest season together, as Campbell accumulated 1,109 receiving yards and caught a career-high 17 touchdown receptions, a club record which still stands. His 102 points gave Campbell the league’s scoring title.
With the province of Saskatchewan starving for a title, both Lancaster and Campbell delivered against the heavily-favoured Ottawa Rough Riders. Lancaster connected with Campbell from five yards out in the fourth quarter to give the Roughriders the lead. Saskatchewan won the game 29-14, as Lancaster and Campbell became part of Saskatchewan folklore forever. Lancaster and Campbell would go on to play in two more Grey Cup finals together, but would never sip from the silver mug again as players.
Campbell’s production slipped a little in 1967, making 42 receptions for 710 yards and eight touchdowns. Lancaster completed 169 passes for 2,809 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Roughriders once again made the Grey Cup final but lost to Hamilton 24-1.
Campbell left the Roughriders in 1968 to accept a college coaching position in the United States but returned for one more season the following year. Campbell caught 45 passes for 851 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Campbell played their final game together in the 1969 Grey Cup, losing to Ottawa 29-11.