The Campbell Camels, led by head coach Robbie Laing in his seventh season at the Buies Creek, NC school, are off to a 5-1 start—their best in 22 years.
Campbell (5-1) owes most, if not all of its recent success to Laing.
After taking over a program in 2003 that had won just 20 total games in its last three seasons, Laing set out to do work. And do work, he has.
However, Rome wasn't built in a day, and the Campbell Camels certainly wouldn't be either.
Amidst a head coaching change and graduation of what little depth the Camels did have, the first-time college head coach was in for a tough first chapter in his new home.
Suffering back-to-back losing records in 2003 and 2004, in which the Camels won three and two games respectively, it was no surprise that some Camels supporters were already beginning to call for the coach's head.
But as the critics started gathering, things began to slowly make a noticeable turnaround in Buies Creek.
In what looks like a stepladder pattern on a bar graph, Laing's Camels won 10 games in 2005 and 14 in the following year.
A short slump occurred in 2007, as Laing saw his Camels fall off rhythm en route to a 10-win season.
However, he proved again last season that he wasn't going down without a fight.
His Fighting Camels fought their way to a 14-16 record last season, and that team's momentum has carried over to the team this season.
Oh, did I mention earlier that the aforementioned Campbell team from 22 years ago posted a 23-10 record that season?
Perhaps it's just coincidence.
But with the only loss so far coming late at home to the ACC's Virginia Tech, watch for Laing to finally get the breakthrough he's been looking for in a season where the Camels keep on struttin'. They will likely challenge the favorites for this year's Atlantic Sun title and could very well secure a spot in the school's second NCAA Tournament.
So if you're in the Buies Creek, NC area this winter, throw on an orange T-shirt and head over to the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center to catch a game.
Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
The Camels are next in action on Thursday, Dec. 10 at Western Carolina. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM EST.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!