Joe Campbell, a former defensive end for the Raiders and a key member of the Super Bowl XV-winning team in 1980, was discovered deceased at the age of 68 in Florida on Sunday, following a hiking trip. According to his brother Patrick, it is believed that Campbell experienced a cardiac event.
Prior to his professional football career, Campbell excelled at Salesianum School in Delaware, where he played a crucial role in the team’s state championship victory in 1972. He was highly respected by his peers, with his friend and former teammate Dennis Kelly describing him as an inspiration. Campbell continued his football journey at the University of Maryland, where he achieved All-American status.
According to Randy White, a renowned figure in the Dallas Cowboys’ history and Campbell’s former teammate at the University of Maryland, Campbell was not only an exceptional football player but also a remarkable individual. White expressed his shock upon hearing the news of Campbell’s passing and reminisced about him as a tall and agile player from Delaware who made a significant impact as a dominant defensive end.
A teammate I was blessed to play and win with.— Burgess Owens (@BurgessOwens) July 13, 2023
Joe, RIP Brotherhttps://t.co/BIZzkbpWQT
In his professional career spanning five years, Campbell was initially drafted by the New Orleans Saints as the seventh overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft. While he played for multiple teams including the Saints, Raiders, and Buccaneers, it is his time with the 1980 Raiders team that remains most prominent in people’s memories.
The Raiders team from that year achieved a significant milestone as they became the first wild card team to secure a Super Bowl victory. They concluded their remarkable journey by defeating the Eagles with a score of 27-10 in Super Bowl XV. In response to the news of Joe Campbell’s passing, the Raiders released a statement expressing their condolences and stating that the entire Raider Nation is keeping the Campbell family in their thoughts and prayers.
Rep. Burgess Owens, who was also a former Raider, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Campbell, referring to him as a teammate with whom he had the privilege of playing and winning. Owens offered his well wishes to Campbell and expressed his sadness at his passing.