All-time rushing leader, Dillon Campbell on his induction to the Hawk Hall of Fame
Dillon Campbell, one of the most productive players to wear the purple and gold across all Laurier sports has cemented his legacy with the Hawks after being inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame class.
The 5’8 Whitby, Ontario native spent five seasons with the Golden Hawks football team and was an offensive force in his final three seasons, breaking several school records.
“It was exciting to get the call from Peter Baxter and learn that I was going to be inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame,” Dillon Campbell said upon hearing the news of his induction.
Campbell was inducted by his former coach, Michael Faulds who simply called him the, “best running back he has seen play,” during his induction video.
Campbell was recruited to Laurier by former football coach, Gary Jeffries after the 2010 season. While joining a team that had been known for its passing game, Campbell only received 30 carries in his first two seasons with the team but made the most of those opportunities. Campbell rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown on those 30 carries, which was good for an average of 4.2 yards per carry.
After the 2012 season and 10 years leading the Golden Hawks, Coach Jeffries had announced that he would step down from his role. That offseason, Laurier had hired former CIS quarterback and York Offensive Coordinator at the time Michael Faulds to become the program’s sixth head coach.
Faulds, had transformed the York offense into one of the best in the OUA in three seasons spent with them. Faulds himself was one of the best quarterbacks to play in the CIS, holding the all-time record for career passing yards and passing yards in a season.
“We were primarily a passing team and with Coach Faulds being a quarterback himself, you would assume that would continue, but he just believed in me, my talent and what we could do as an offense,” Dillon Campbell said about the transition in his third year from Jeffries to Faulds.
Coach Faulds changed the culture immediately with the Golden Hawks and certainly believed in Campbell. In the next three seasons, from 2013-2015, Campbell broke several Laurier rushing records and rushed for a total of 3,428 yards as well as 23 touchdowns.
“Coming into that third season we had a new coach and a new system but coach had believed in me,” Campbell continued.
Seeing a greatly increased workload over the next three seasons, Campbell once again made the most of his opportunities. He put forth a dominant 2014 season, leading the country in rushing yards with 1,458 as well as 13 touchdowns on the ground. The 1,458 yards is still good for the seventh most rushing yards all-time in a USPORTS/CIS season. After the season, Campbell was named the OUA MVP as well as a CIS All-Canadian.
In 2015, his final season with the Golden Hawks, Campbell once again rushed for over 1,000 yards and was named an OUA First Team All-Star along with being a national All-Canadian for the second straight year.
Through his final three seasons, Campbell had solidified his role as the star player on Coach Faulds’ offense. His performances were not limited to the regular season as Campbell was a clutch player as well delivering for the Hawks in his two postseasons. In only three total playoff games, Campbell rushed for 492 yards and one rushing touchdown.
A 12-time Laurier athlete of the week, Campbell mentioned that one of his biggest memories with the Golden Hawks was the upset playoff victory over McMaster in his penultimate game with Laurier.
“Going into McMaster we hadn’t beat them at that point and they had my number earlier that season. We changed our game plan, and I had a huge rushing game, we dominated as an offense,” Campbell said of what he remembers from the upset win.
In 2015, on a cold Halloween night in Hamilton, Campbell put forth one of the most dominant single-game performances ever seen by a Golden Hawk player. On the strength of 40 carries and 285 rushing yards, Campbell set the Laurier record for rushing yards in a game and the OUA record for carries in a game.
Averaging nearly 7.5 yards per carry Campbell ran all over the Marauders and led Laurier to its first playoff victory in five seasons, defeating sixth ranked McMaster 29-15.
In what was such a dominating performance, Campbell remembers a fourth quarter play in which he should have had added to his record. “I remember I had a long run near the end of the game that would have put me over 300 yards that was called back on a controversial holding call,” he jokingly says about the win.
Receiving the call from Laurier’s athletic director, Peter Baxter and hearing his name inducted into the Golden Hawk Hall of Fame has always been a dream for Campbell.
“When I was working at the Hawk desk and walking around the building, I would always walk into the Hawk lounge and think to myself that one day I want to be on this wall. I want my picture to be up here. Lo and behold, fast forward to 2020 and here we are,” Campbell said.
Following an impressive five seasons with the Golden Hawks, Campbell was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts in the fifth round of the 2015 CFL Draft where he spent a few seasons.
After making his mark on Laurier football, Dillon Campbell has now rightfully earned his spot in the Hawk lounge, alongside the six other inductees in this year’s 2020 Hall of Fame class and the rest of Golden Hawk greats!