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After an 18-year NLL career, Thunderbirds assistant captain and defenseman Scott “Soupy” Campbell has officially announced his retirement.
“Scott was one of the best, and it was such a pleasure to play with him for as long as I did,” Thunderbirds captain Cody Jamieson said of his longtime teammate. “He really could do it all, inside the locker room and on the floor. Always making sure things were done right, but making sure the guys had fun doing it. I’ll miss being in the locker room with him.”
Originally drafted 10th overall by Minnesota in the 2004 National Lacrosse League Draft, Campbell spent time with both the Minnesota Swarm and Toronto Rock before joining the Rochester Knighthawks for his first stint with the organization.
The Markham, Ontario native spent 11 seasons as a member of the Rochester-Halifax organization, and was instrumental in the team’s three consecutive NLL Championships from 2012-2014.
“There aren’t many guys who can say they won three in a row, but Soupy is one of them. He was a huge part of it, as his game fit so well into the systems we had,” Thunderbirds senior lacrosse advisor and player analyst Mike Kirk said of Campbell. “Not many guys can do it all, but he is one of them for sure. Great defender, smart in transition, tough as nails, and he was one of the best teammates of all time.
Campbell appeared in 16 games in his final season, posting two goals and 10 points along with 16 caused turnovers and a career-high 101 loose balls. Over 247 career games, Campbell amassed 56 goals and 148 points, adding 1116 loose balls and 139 caused turnovers.
The 40-year-old currently sits third all-time in games played (168) for the organization and fourth in loose balls (799).
Campbell will now transition into a front office role with the Thunderbirds, as he’ll become the team's new Assistant General Manager, a role which has been vacant since before the franchise left Rochester for Halifax.
“We have been fortunate having Soupy in our organization for the better half of his career and for our Three-Peat of NLL Championships. Scott has always come in prepared and and in great condition, I have gained the utmost respect for him as a competitor, a leader, and as a friend,” said Thunderbirds owner and General Manager, Curt Styres.
“Our franchise has thrived with Scott on the floor, and we know it will continue to do so with his knowledge and expertise off of it as well. we are excited to welcome him into his new role as Assistant General Manager, where we know many new successes and memories will built.”
“Soupy and I spent a lot of car rides breaking down other team's strengths and weaknesses. To be able to do it together in the front office of Halifax will be special. He has the ultimate understanding of what it takes to win, and I’m excited to see what he can do from the other side.”
A Letter from Scott Campbell
Not in my wildest dreams as a kid did I ever think I would play pro lacrosse, so it is crazy to me that I am retiring after 17 seasons of having the privilege to play in the NLL. I am honestly not sure how I got to this point; it was all a blur and not particularly planned but I loved every minute of it.
This journey would not have been possible without all the amazing people that have helped me along the way in my career and I would like to mention more than a few right now. I will undoubtedly leave people out that should be mentioned but just know you will be appreciated while I am telling a story sometime in my life about how you help me along the way.
Thanks to all my teammates, nothing better than being in a locker room with “The Boys” and I know this will be the biggest part I miss.
Thank you to my roommates. I was lucky enough to have Dan Ladouceur as a roommate early in my career to help guide me when I was young and dumb. Matt Vinc was my roommate through the middle part of my career, which allowed me to see how the best ever prepares and competes. Graeme Hossack in the late part of my career, where he probably mentored me more than I did him even though it should have been the other way around.
Thank you to my car pool guys. Early in my career, I was lucky enough to car pool with legends, soaking up lacrosse and life lessons. Jim Veltman when I was with Toronto and Shawn Williams early with Rochester. The trips each Friday evening to Rochester with Mike Kirk and Dylan Evans are some of my favorite memories and then continuing on the car pool traditions with Luc Magnan, Hoss and Petterson.
Everyone has a story of the volunteer in their minor lacrosse system wearing too many hats and their love for the game is infecting the next generation, and for me, this is Tim Claridge, thank you.
Troy Cordingley, you helped me immensely in getting drafted. Marty O’Neil, thank you for drafting me and being available to bounce question offs of throughout my career.
Mike Hasen, Paul Day, Paddy O’Toole, and Mike Accursi, thank you for your coaching and mentorships, I hope to follow in the paths you guys have carved out in coaching and management after your playing careers.
There are not enough words to truly thank the operations staff, trainers, equipment managers, and all the people behind the scenes. Tracy Johnson, Dave Sowden, Dan Noble, to name a few, thank you, thank you thank you.
Thank you to all the Fans coming to support us playing the game we love. Your passion and energy will always be remembered.
Curt Styres…. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities you have provided for my family and I. You took a chance on me when I was lost in my lacrosse career and welcomed me into your lacrosse family. 3 Championships and 11 seasons I cannot thank you enough.
Lastly, but most importantly, none of this ride would have been possible without my family. To my wife Carolyn, I cannot tell you what your support through this journey means to me. Being a single mother on the weekends and raising our two daughters while allowing me to chase my passion is incredibly selfless, you are my MVP! To my cheerleaders Grace and Miller, thank you for your unconditional love and support through wins and losses. Uncle Tom thanks for the early lessons on grit and your continued support through out my career. Dave thanks for being my first teammate and first competition.
To my second biggest Fan, Johnny (Dad), thank you for passing along your passion for lacrosse, coaching me, driving me all over North America to play, and instilling in me the drive and work ethic that made up for a lack of skill.
Linda (Mom), thank you for always being my biggest fan. Always the first to tell me I had a great game and the first to tell me when I played lousy or could have worked harder. Come to think about it, you might have been the one that instilled the work ethic in me.
One last thank you to everyone who has helped me on this journey and I look forward to learning and growing in my new role with the team.