January 10, 2024

Double Duty: Leesburg’s Sean Campbell Coaching Both Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Programs

3.3 min read| Published On: January 10th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Double Duty: Leesburg’s Sean Campbell Coaching Both Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Programs

3.3 min read| Published On: January 10th, 2024|

One of the busiest coaches and coaching staff’s in Lake County this season are the Leesburg Yellow Jackets. Head coach Sean Campbell has been working hard this year in more ways than one. So has his staff. Campbell has taken on the head coaching duties of both the Boys and Girls Varsity basketball programs.

This has not been easy on the coaching staff at Leesburg High School but somehow, they are making it all work. While at times the coaching staff is spread thin, it has not hindered Leesburg’s quest for greatness.

(Coach Sean Campbell in orange shouting plays to his players at the recent Leesburg vs Eustis game.)

Leesburg High School is dominating this year. The Lady Yellow Jackets are currently 11-1 and look poised to make a run at the district championship and FHSAA playoffs this year and the boys’ team are equally as good this year with a 10-2 record.

At the beginning of the season the head coach of the girls’ team stepped down which opened a gap for a head coach right at the beginning of the season. While Leesburg has a ton of talent in their coaching departments, perhaps no one is more talented than head coach Sean Campbell who is a two-time State Champion for the boys program.

Campbell made a difficult but necessary decision to take on the head coaching duties of both the boys’ and girls’ programs. Together with the help of former State Champion and now assistant basketball coach D’mani Nettles, Jason Horton, Cam Smith, Derrik Campbell and Yolander Scarberry the group has managed to coach both programs to their respective winning records thus far.

(Assistant Leesburg coach D’mani Nettles is the assistant coach for boys and girls varsity teams and the head coach of the JV program. At just 22 years old he is one of the youngest coaches in Lake County. He also owns his own clothing line, is going to school for his bachelor’s degree in psychology and has plans to be involved in local Leesburg government. You can read his story here. )

It goes much deeper than just the coaches though. Each member of the Leesburg basketball team is like family. We recently talked with assistant coach D’mani Nettles who says “Coach Sean Campbell is like a father figure. We all admire him, and he brings such a valuable insight to the game.”

That is in part due to Principal Michael Randolph and his positive mindset he brings. Leesburg has been on an uphill climb the past decade and Principal Randolph has certainly been a key component. In fact, Leesburg High went from a 67% graduation rate in 2017 up to an 87% graduation rate in 2023. That is a 20% increase in students graduating the program. But it’s not just academically that Leesburg is thriving, it’s athletically as well.

(Leesburg head coach Sean Campbell gives a high five to Evan James who is one of Leesburg’s top athletes.)

Those numbers are rubbing off in positive ways. Student-Athletes are responding in big ways. The football team is coming off its best season since the early 1990s. The bowling team just won its second state championship in three years and the girls weightlifting program looks destined for greatness with coach Boyer leading the charge. Also a shout out to Spencer Hey the athletic director for Leesburg who has been equally committed to producing great teams.

Coach Sean Campbell says “It’s been tough because the coaching staff is spread thin at times, but we are all managing. I could not hope for a better team of individuals who care deeply about the players and school’s rich basketball history.” That history produced two back-to-back state championship winning teams just a few years ago in 2016 and 2017 including an NBA player Keon Ellis who plays with the Sacramento Kings.

(The crowd and cheerleeders at a recent Leesburg game against Eustis. They are delighted with what they are seeing out of the boys and girls teams this season.)

As the season has progressed, we have only seen the Leesburg boys and girls teams get stronger. Who knows? Could coach Sean Campbell and his staff get both programs to make runs at potential State Final Four appearances? It is possible, but for now, Leesburg High is focused on taking it one game at a time.

We must give this coaching staff some props for taking this on this season. Coaching two varsity teams at the same time during the same season is not any easy thing to do. It’s hard enough being there for all the games but think of all the practice time, travel time and logistics this takes! There are plenty of amazing stories during the year but this one is worth mentioning. Best of luck to coach Sean Campbell, his players and staff on the remainder of the 2024 season.

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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