A friend of a friend-Bobby Purcell and Mac Campbell-February 18

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for February 18, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

In 1998 I got hired as Director of Athletics by Chancellor Joe Oxendine and he challenged me to elevate the fundraising efforts of the UNC Pembroke Athletic Department. I began a systematic method of asking key constituents what they thought. One of the people I had a conversation was Dallas McQueen “Mac” Campbell Jr. from Elizabethtown, NC who was a member of the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees at the time. That conversation started a friendship that has spanned over 17 years.

One of the first things that came out of my conversation with Mac was his offer to help me as a rookie Director of Athletics grow in the area of development. Just a few short weeks after meeting Mac he had me in his car and we were headed to Raleigh NC to interact with the athletic development team at NC State. That group of professionals is called the Wolfpack Club and the Executive Director was Bobby Purcell. Bobby and Mac were great friends.

That trip to Raleigh, NC introduced me to a lot of great concepts that the NC Wolfpack Club was utilizing that we were able to transfer to our Braves Club at UNC Pembroke. In addition Bobby pointed out a professional organization that supported Director of Athletics called NACDA which stands for National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. I promptly joined and that was a great resource. NACDA had a sub organization for fundraisers called NAADD which I also joined.

One of the benefits of joining NACDA/NAADD was that I got to learn about different award that the organization had. With the help of Bobby Purcell who happened to be the chair of the awards committee I was able to successful nominate Mac for the 2001 College Division Volunteer of the Year. He was selected from over 600 plus colleges to receive the award at a ceremony in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was very proud of my new friend Mac because he didn’t think he deserved the award but the standing ovation he received said otherwise.

Mac Campbell graduated from UNCP in 1968 and if there is anyone who is a living testimony to service to others it would be Mac. He has been extremely generous with his time, talents, and treasure to our university. He also does everything with humility with no expectation of the spotlight being shined on him. He has impacted our entire region.

Today our friendship is still as strong as ever with us often talking on the phone 2-3 times a week about life, UNCP Athletics, and friends. I feel blessed to have Mac Campbell as a friend.

Mac and his family which include four sons (all who graduated from NC State) and a beautiful wife named Sylvia have been involved in bettering our community. Three of his four sons Brian, Chris and Wesley are all involved in the family business called Campbell Oil Company. Their holdings include oil, lubricants, and convenience stores. The oldest son McQueen lives in Raleigh and has business interests of his own. The entire Campbell family is committed to a lot of great causes including their church, NC State, UNC Pembroke, and Bladen County.

Mac was instrumental in creating a golf tournament that raises money for Bladen County called “Bladen We Care”.  I was excited when he received national recognition for his charity work specifically the “Bladen We Care golf tournament in 1988. It will celebrate its 27th anniversary this year and the event has raised more than $1.5 million for people in need in Bladen County. For his efforts Mac was among the people featured in the January 2014 issue of Golf Digest as golfers who give back to the game. Nobody gives back like Mac Campbell. Link to the story is below.


The Friend-MAC CAMPBELL-on the left during dedication ceremony of Campbell Wellness Center at UNCP

Mac Campbell

The Friend of the Friend-BOBBY PURCELL


The Mac Campbell and Bobby Purcell Relationship

Mac Campbell had all four of his sons attend NC State. He became a NC State supporter before they went to school there but their attendance at NC State made his relationship grow stronger.  At the time his boys were in school at State he became to become more involved with the Wolfpack Club and Bobby Purcell. In 2005-2006 Mac eventually became the president of the Wolfpack Club and did a great job for the university.

Anyone that has been around Bobby Purcell will tell you he is a great leader. He is ALWAYS thinking of other people first. He has been a mentor to so many people and every year at the NACDA convention he always has dinner with the men and women that have worked under him That list is pretty impressive including UNCW Director of Athletics Jimmy Bass, Chris Wyrick-Vice Chancellor for Advancement at University of Arkansas, and Steve Ponder the Senior Executive Athletic Director for Development at University of Mississippi. There are countless others.

It is no surprise that Bobby was honored by NAADD with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.


Bobby Purcell began his career at NC State in 1981 and has been with the Wolfpack Club since 1987. During his tenure as Executive Director, his responsibilities have included overseeing all facets of the Student Aid Association. He assumed the additional duties of overseeing the Wolfpack Pride Campaign and Endowment Fund for student-athletes when Charlie Bryant retired in March of 1997. Under Purcell’s leadership, the Wolfpack Club has had record-breaking donation and membership results.

A native of Clinton, Purcell has served in a number of capacities within the Wolfpack athletics program. He was originally hired in 1981 as a part-time assistant football coach for Monte Kiffin. Under Kiffin, he helped coach running backs, special teams and the defensive scout team in addition to being the academic coordinator for the football program. When Tom Reed became NC State’s head football coach in 1983, he named Purcell as recruiting coordinator/assistant coach, where he quickly gained recognition as one of the ACC’s top recruiters. Among his signees was Erik Kramer, the 1986 ACC Player of the Year. Dick Sheridan retained Purcell as his recruiting coordinator when he became State’s head coach in 1986. Purcell also handled many administrative duties for Sheridan, including being coordinator of the Dick Sheridan Football Skills Camp.

Purcell became assistant director of the Wolfpack Club in July 1987 and coordinated fund-raising efforts in 49 North Carolina counties and various out-of-state areas for four years. He also directed the Wolfpack courtesy car program and oversaw management of the Stroud Center. Purcell attended NC State and North Carolina, where he received his BS degree in business administration in 1977. Following two years with Whirlpool Corporation, Purcell returned to school and earned a master’s of education in sports management from the University of Georgia. During his tenure in Athens, he worked as a volunteer graduate assistant under Vince Dooley and later served as an intern in the front office of the Atlanta Falcons.

Two guys that know about serving others are Mac Campbell and Bobby Purcell. If you meet either one you are lucky if you know both you are blessed.


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