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Riverbend coach stepping down



Two years after leading Riverbend to the only regional football playoff berth in school history, Todd Campbell has resigned as the Bears’ head coach.

Campbell informed his players of his decision yesterday, citing a desire to spend more time with his family and to focus on his health. He is recovering from recent neck surgery.

“This was my decision and nobody else’s,” said Campbell, who teaches in the school’s career and technical education department. “It’s the best decision for me and my family. I’m staying at Riverbend, and I’ll be one of their biggest fans.”

Campbell’s older son, Cody, is a freshman at Riverbend and plans to try out for the Bears’ baseball team this spring. Campbell and his wife, Denise, also have a 10-year-old son, Jonathan.

A former standout receiver at Stafford High School, Campbell served as an assistant to Lou Sorrentino on state championship teams at Culpeper and Hylton before taking his first head coaching job at Riverbend in 2009.

He was instantly successful, leading the Bears to their first winning season (8–3) and their first berth in the Northwest Region, Division 6 playoffs. He was named coach of the year by The Free Lance–Star that fall.

That veteran team featured a slew of college signees, including seniors Kirkland Nelms (Massachusetts), Matt Krout (James Madison) and Jesse McNeal (William & Mary), plus junior quarterback Zac Naccarato (now at Randolph–Macon).

Graduation losses and a 2010 injury to Naccarato helped prevent a repeat of that success, as the Bears finished 2–8 in both 2010 and 2011. Campbell’s three-year record was 12–19. One of his current offensive linemen, Adam Taraschke, has committed to Virginia Tech.

Campbell met with Riverbend activities director Tim Stimmell and Principal Troy Wright on Wednesday and informed them of his decision.

“Todd is one of the best men I know,” said Stimmell, who admitted to some surprise over Campbell’s resignation. “He has done a great job with this program over the past three years. He was truly a player’s coach and, I believe, admired by all who have played for him.

“I hate to see him go but respect his decision to spend more time with his family and take care of his health.”

Stimmell said the school will post the coaching vacancy within the next few weeks and hopes to begin interviewing candidates before the spring.

Steve DeShazo: 540/374-5443