- Former Raider defensive end Joe Campbell, a member of the 1980 Super Bowl XV winning team, was found dead at 68 on a hike in Florida.
- Campbell had an illustrious football career, with a memorable stint at the Raiders, becoming part of the first wild card team to win a Super Bowl.
- Tributes have been pouring in for Campbell, with former teammates and the Raiders organization extending their thoughts and prayers to the Campbell family.
Joe Campbell, a former defensive end for the Raiders and a crucial member of the 1980 team that clinched Super Bowl XV, was tragically found dead at 68 during a hike in Florida last Sunday.
His brother, Patrick, has informed Delaware Online that a cardiac incident was likely the cause.
Raised in Delaware, Campbell was a standout at Salesianum School, playing a key role in the 1972 team’s state title victory.
“Everybody loves a winner, and Joe crossed that threshold into being a pro athlete,” said Dennis Kelly, a longtime friend and former Sallies teammate.
His prowess on the football field extended to his college years at Maryland where he was named an All-American.
Speaking on Campbell’s passing, Cowboys legend and Maryland teammate Randy White said, “You get news like this, it sets you back… I’ll remember him as a long, lean guy from Delaware who came in there and dominated at that defensive end position.”
Campbell, picked seventh overall in the 1977 NFL Draft by the Saints, also played for the Raiders and Buccaneers during his five-year career. However, his most memorable stint was with the Raiders.
The 1980 Raiders team, which Campbell was a part of, became the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl, securing a 27-10 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl XV.
Upon learning of his passing, the Raiders released a statement expressing their condolences, “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with the Campbell family at this time.”
Rep. Burgess Owens, a former Raider and teammate of Campbell’s, tweeted “A teammate I was blessed to play and win with. Joe, RIP brother.”
Despite surviving a traumatic 2007 collision with a pick-up truck while bicycling, which resulted in a fractured skull and a six-month coma, Campbell always cherished his football memories.
Speaking in 2016, he fondly remembered the championship season, saying “I guess it was meant to be… I’m happy to have just been in the Super Bowl, to be part of that history.”
Joe Campbell is survived by two daughters, a brother, and three grandchildren.