Ranger College President William J. Campion won a lot of games during his career as a basketball coach. He called even more during a 35-year period as a college referee before retiring from the court to focus on being one of the top small-college administrators in the United States.
More than two decades after he hung up his whistle, Campion got the call he least expected last month. He was wanted in the hall.
The Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, that is.
"We're honored to inducted President Campion into the NTJCAC Hall of Fame," said Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference Commissioner Stan Feaster in making the announcement. "As a coach, referee and administrator, few people have done as much for this conference, and this school, as he. I can't think of anyone who deserves this more."
With his induction into the NTJCAC Hall of Fame, Campion becomes the fourth person from Ranger College to be enshrined in the conference's hall of fame. Other RC individuals honored with individuals enshrined are former basketball/softball coach Ron Butler, former baseball coaches Jack Allen and Don Flowers.
A native of El Paso, Campion has spent more than 40 years in the college ranks, working as a coach, educator and administrator at some of the top institutions on the U.S. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso. He later earned his doctorate from Texas A&M-Commerce.
Campion, who has served as president of Ranger College for the past 10 years, broke into coaching college basketball in 1969 at Schreiner College in Kerrville. He served as the college's head coach through the 1975 season. Following his departure from Schreiner for a position with East Texas State University, Campion continued working as a college and high school official. He spent more than three decades as an official in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.
Campion's induction into the NTJCAC Hall of Fame marks the second time he has been honored with inclusion in an athletics hall of fame. In 1994, he was enshrined in the Florida Community College Basketball Hall of Fame. The following year, in 1995 he was honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) with a Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to junior college athletics at the national level.
During his tenure at Ranger College, Campion has had a major impact, including the passage of a $10 million bond that has helped the 93-year-old campus upgrade several of its facilities. He also hired former University of Kentucky and Texas A&M head coach Billy Gillispie as the men's basketball coach and athletic director to oversee the overhaul of the RC athletic departments. Earlier this year, the RC men's basketball team was ranked No. 1 in the country. The college's golf and cross country teams are also ranked among the nation's best.
Campion and his wife, Sharon, are the parents of four daughters, and the grandparents to 12 grandchildren, some of whom have attended Ranger College.