Riverside's Buster Campbell enters Coaches Hall of Fame
Long time Riverside basketball coach Buster Campbell was inducted into the Arkansas Activities Association Coaches Hall of Fame Friday night in a ceremony held at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs. Joined by a host of family and friends, Campbell accepted his honor, along with four other coaches from around the state, as well as five officials and three administrators.
The 42-year veteran of the hardcourt has racked up an incredible 874 victories. Campbell began his career at Caraway, where he led the Tigers to the prestigious NEA Tournament title. When Caraway consolidated with Lake City to form Riverside in 1985, Campbell became the head coach of the Rebels, where he has spent all but one of the last 32 years. Campbell’s 1989 squad finished as state runner-up, and the longtime Rebel mentor has led Riverside to three final four appearances in state tournament play. Riverside also captured back to back NEA tournament titles in 2005 and 2006. The Rebels brought home regional championships in 1989 and 2017.
Campbell’s coaching tree includes long-time assistant Kevin Hall, current Lake Hamilton Athletic Director Ricky Waters, who played for Campbell at Caraway, former Lady Rebel coach Jeff Womack, who also led the Black Rock boys to a state runner-up finish, Lady Rebel softball coach T.J. Eakins, Matt Snyder, who coached at Black Rock, Pocahontas and is now an assistant baseball coach at Valley View, and Tyler Timms, head girls basketball coach at Cossatot River.
“I certainly didn’t win this honor by myself,” said Campbell. “There are so many other people responsible for this award. My players, assistant coaches, the administrators, the fans, and my family. This wouldn’t have happened without all their help. I am extremely honored when I think of the people who are in the Hall of Fame, and all the ones that aren’t in as well. It’s hard to get in there. I am very fortunate, and I am tickled it has happened. It’s not only an honor for me, but for the entire Riverside community. I want to mention the Rebel fans who aren’t here anymore who were such a big part of this: Gerald Jennings, Tammy Shasteen, Brian Stallings, Jason Gilbert, Troy Case, Benny Wayne Overman, Calvin Jackson, and of course my Dad and my son Casey. I wish they could have been there with me. Mr. Jennings took a chance on a green kid and I’ll never forget that. He was a great guy and great friend.”
“There’s never been anyplace else I have wanted to be, other than Riverside,” Campbell said. “My wife Linda is such a trooper for putting up with me for all these years. My girls, my Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters, granddaughter and son in laws have all gone to our games. It’s been a family affair. Coach Hall has been my assistant for the past 23 years. He was the first assistant coach to be named Assistant of the Year in Arkansas. He’s been a blessing to me. He keeps me in line and makes things easier for me. There’s no better guy to work with. Most of all I wouldn’t have been able to have hung in this long if not for the kids. It’s not just about winning ballgames, it’s about teaching life lessons.”