Bobcats Coach Campbell

Nick Campbell addresses his Columbia Central players during a timeout in a ballgame last season. Last week, Campbell was announced as the new Giles County boys’ basketball head coach.   Photo by Ric Beu / Main Street Maury

Giles County announced late last week that former Columbia Central boys’ basketball head coach Nick Campbell would take on the same role at GCHS for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

After a nearly month-long search, GCHS announced that the 31-year-old Campbell would take the reins of its program, becoming just the second head coach in the last 34 seasons.

Campbell replaces Billy Holt, whose tenure as Bobcats head coach came to an end last month.

“We are excited to start a new era for men’s basketball here at Giles County High School,” GCHS Principal Don Thomas said.

“I am just extremely thankful and very excited to be involved with a community that loves athletics like Giles County,” Campbell said. “I might be a basketball coach, but I am a huge fan of all of the programs at GCHS and know the track record they have had. Coach Holt ran a tremendous program for a very long time and I hope to build on the solid foundation that he has laid. I look forward to meeting the team very soon and physically getting the process started.”

Campbell coached the Lions for the last four seasons, guiding the Lions to 72 victories, highlighted by a 25-4 season in 2022 that culminated in District 12-AAAA regular-season and tournament championships.

“Coach Campbell has put together a tremendous body of work during his time at Columbia Central,” Thomas said. “They won a lot of ballgames and championships in an extremely challenging district.”

During his tenure at Columbia Central, Campbell also helped send 12 student-athletes to the next level.

“I will always do my very best to try and help a kid get to that next level,” Campbell said. “Regardless of sport. If they are ready to take that next step, I am more than happy to help them undertake that process.”

In addition to Campbell, Giles Countians will see a familiar face on the sidelines this upcoming season as former GCHS and University of Tennessee standout Tyler Smith is set to join Campbell’s staff.

Smith was one of the key players on the Bobcats legendary 2003 Class AA state championship squad before graduating GCHS in 2005 and eventually going on to star for the Vols.

After the conclusion of his professional playing career, Smith quickly entered the coaching ranks and has served as Campbell’s chief assistant during the last four seasons.

“Tyler is a fantastic coach and I am thrilled to be bringing him on here at GCHS,” Campbell said. “To say he brings a buzz to our program is an extreme understatement. We started out as coaching together, but we have really become friends in these last four years. I love his intensity and his commitment to giving back to the community.”

In addition to Campbell’s coaching acumen, Thomas also cited the new head coach’s commitment to developing young talent even prior to their arrival at the high school level as one of Campbell’s top qualities.

“We were also very impressed with Coach Campbell’s commitment to the youth programs in the area and developing talent from the ground up,” Thomas said. “He has been very involved with AAU in Columbia with (former Columbia Central standout and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard) Shaq Mason. That commitment to developing talent at the youngest level was something that helped separate him from the pack for us. We are excited to welcome Coach Campbell to our staff and begin this new era.”

Campbell graduated from Lawrence County High School in 2008 before playing college football at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.

Prior to taking over at Columbia Central, Campbell served as an assistant for five years at Lawrence County under former head coach Shaen Clark.

In addition to his familiarity with GCHS as a former LCHS Wildcat, Campbell currently lives in Pulaski and is set to marry Giles County native Courtney Kimbrough, a nurse practitioner and GCHS graduate on May 28.

“I am just thrilled to be able to live and now coach in Pulaski and here in Giles County,” Campbell said. “There is a lot to be excited about in this community and I look forward to being very involved even outside of basketball.”

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