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Mary Jo Campbell

Mary Jo Campbell has been involved in sports as a participant, teacher, coach, professor, and administrator since elementary school days. She has competed in golf, softball, basketball and volleyball during high school and college, and was the first girl to compete on a boy’s high school golf team in her hometown of Independence, Mo.

In 1960, Campbell won the Kansas City Junior Golf Tournament. During her college days, Mary Jo was an athletic and academic force. Not only was she a consistent member of the Dean’s Honor Roll in the UNM General Honors Program and a top-flight golfer, Campbell holds the distinction of being the first woman to receive a sports scholarship from the University of New Mexico.

After Ms. Campbell completed her B.S. at UNM, and a M.A in Exercise Physiology and Motor Learning from the University of California at Santa Barbara, she taught high school physical education and coached the girls track and field team. She taught physical education at Ohio State University and ultimately received her Ph.D. in 1973. Campbell came back to UNM where she would eventually live and breathe her 30-year career in Physical Education.

During Dr. Campbell’s tenure at UNM she has served as a program coordinator, department chairperson, division director and Chair of the Department of Physical Performance and Development within the College of Education.

Among Campbell’s passions is her lifetime work in directing and overseeing youth sports programs. For more than 30 years, she has been the director of the Summer Youth Sports Program, and since 1995, Mary Jo has led the National Youth Sports Program at the University of New Mexico. Charlotte Piper, a former professor and UNM Hall of Honor recipient in 1999, proudly states, “Dr. Campbell doesn’t brag of her laurels, but she has positively touched many students’ lives as well as her colleagues.”

In June of 2005, Campbell started another chapter of her athletic life – she retired from UNM. Campbell will be sorely missed by all those that benefited from her lifelong knowledge of promoting physical activity and championing fitness and sports for children and college students. Mary Jo will now be enjoying the lush fairways and green pastures of myriad golf courses across the country.