New TCU women’s basketball head coach Mark Campbell: “This opportunity is a dream come true“

·3 min read
Lawrence Dow/Star-Telegram

New TCU women’s head basketball coach Mark Campbell wouldn’t put a timetable on how long it will take to turn around the program. But he says has a distinct vision for how to do so.

Campbell is suited and excited to take over a program that only won a single Big 12 regular-season game this past season.

“This opportunity is a dream come true,” he said. “The ability to win at an elite level at a place that aligns with my faith, I couldn’t have a better job in the country.”

Campbell was introduced to the media on Thursday, two days after athletic director Jeremiah Donati announced his hiring. He replaces Raegan Pebley who resigned after nine seasons.

Campbell’s last three coaching jobs were all in similar positions to TCU at the time of his hiring.

All three, including two Power Five schools, were top programs by the time he departed.

“All of those life experiences prepared me for this rebuild. I’ve had a lot of different opportunities and I’ve been very selective with every step in my journey,” said Campbell, “TCU has everything in place to win at the highest level.”

Campbell’s vision includes bringing top recruits to TCU.

“A student-athlete that wants and values an education that we provide and then a student-athlete that wants to be a pro. That wants to chase their dreams and also wants to compete for national championships.”

Campbell was at Oregon as an assistant coach from 2014-2021. In Campbell’s first year at Oregon, they placed 11th in the Pac-12 standings but by 2020 they were the No. 2 team in the country and a title favorite before Covid-19 shuttered the season.

Campbell acknowledged those players were easy to find yet hard to land but he has experience doing so. Campbell recruited New York Liberty star point guard Sabrina Ionescu to Oregon where she won two national player of the year awards.

Campbell said Ionescu was like a daughter to him and he expected that she would be around the program. Ionescu praised TCU for the hire on social media.

Campbell has turned around every program he’s been a part of to date and he’s determined to continue the trend with TCU.

When Campbell joined Oregon State in 2010 the team only had one player and the program was under threat of cancellation. By his final season in 2014, Oregon State finished tied for second in the Pac-12 regular season standings and made it to the Pac-12 postseason tournament championship game.

At Sacramento State, he inherited a team with a 3-22 record, two years later they won the Big Sky regular and postseason tournament titles with a record of 25-8 while making the NCAA tournament as a No. 13 seed.

It has been 13 years since TCU’s women’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament.

“Every sport at TCU is competing for championships and winning at the highest level except the women’s basketball program. We’re gonna get that fixed.”