Making a Difference: Bourbon County basketball coach leaves corporate job to mentor students

Posted at 1:35 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 17:54:51-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Bourbon County basketball coach is working to help his players succeed on the court and and in life. Lamont Campbell left a corporate job to work at the high school, making sure the most vulnerable students stay out of trouble and graduate.

If you walk down the halls of Bourbon County High School with Campbell, you'd quickly realize that even though he isn't a student...he's the most popular guy in the school. Known to most as Coach Campbell, he took over as the head boys basketball coach in 2017. Last year, he quit his project manager job in Lexington and took a pay cut to work full time at the high school as the first ever student advocate.

"When I got into coaching, it was being around the young men, being able to help them grow when the opportunity came around to be in the school it was like okay here's the real challenge now. Here's a chance to really help somebody," Campbell explained.

His goal is to make sure the most vulnerable students stay on the right track.

"Sometimes just sitting and listening to them will teach you a lot about them. And just showing them you love them," said Campbell. "Sometimes love is greatest tool. And just showing them 'hey, I love you, I want you to be better than the circumstances you come from.'"

It's not an easy job, but he will tell you it's worth it to watch his students grow.

The care the Coach puts into every student and player is translation to success on the basketball court. Running a fast paced offense, they beat powerhouse Scott County and are 20-4 this season. In just 3 seasons, he has turned a team with a 10-20 record into a force to be reckoned with.

That's exactly what he hopes to do for every student.

"It started with the athlete but it turned into every kid that I can touch in the building. If we can fix, or show just one kid the way, then we're gonna be okay," says Campbell.