Chris Campbell took over a struggling, four-win Sherwood High School girls’ basketball team a year ago, and turned it into a competitive 10-13 squad.
After a one-season stint at the Sandy Spring school, the veteran coach is hoping to lead a similar turnaround at Quince Orchard.
Campbell was hired June 21 to coach the Cougars, a team that went 3-20 last season and graduated 86 percent of its scoring.
“With a young team, I think it’s going to be a couple year process,” Campbell said. “... I expect to have a better record this year. I expect these young kids to learn, to develop and to grow.”
Campbell replaces second-year coach Ken Buffum, who is taking on another leadership position at the school after stepping down from coaching in April, according to Quince Orchard Athletic Director George Awkard.
“We were looking for some stability,” Awkard said. “Someone who could come in and provide a real stable program and situation for our female athletes. We wanted to create the best environment for them to be as successful as possible.”
Campbell said he took the position in part because of Quince Orchard’s proximity to his Gaithersburg residence. At Sherwood, he would take two trips back and forth, adding up to about two hours of driving.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Campbell said. “The Sherwood kids, and the families and the administration were terrific. That made it very difficult. I don’t like leaving after one year.”
Campbell has coached high school and college basketball for 16 years. Before Sherwood, he was the director of operations for the University of Maryland’s women’s basketball program. From 2008-10, he was an assistant at Delaware. Campbell, a Winston Churchill graduate (Class of 1992), has also coached in Montgomery County, working as an assistant for the Bulldogs girls’ team. Campbell helped his alma mater win back-to-back state championships from 2002-03.
“What I’m really focused on right now, and for the fall, and even the start of tryouts, is taking kids that are used to running a lot of play calls, and getting them to play basketball,” Campbell said. “Getting them to go up and down the floor without needing a coach. It’s going to be a process.”
— Eric Goldwein