Stuart Campbell, assistant coach of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, has been named as the new head coach for the team. Campbell, 37, replaces Thomas Rongen, who was fired on Friday along with general manager Farrukh Quraishi after a 2-5-1 start to the season. Campbell served as interim coach following Rongen’s firing. The promotion is effective immediately, according to a statement from the team.
Stuart Campbell said in a statement, “It is a great honor to be named the Head Coach of the Rowdies. I’d like to thank the Rowdies organization for the opportunity to coach a team that I represented with pride and won a championship with as a player. I look forward to leading the Rowdies to another championship. I would also like to thank the fan base for their support last Saturday night.”
Rowdies Principal Owner Bill Edwards said, “I have full confidence in Stuart’s ability to coach this team to victory. Stuart has been an integral part of the club since his arrival, and has earned the respect of his players. He will lead with the stability and unity necessary to win.” Edwards said he’d be acting GM “until I figure it out.” He’s now one the few owners in the North American Soccer League fulfilling that role for their team.
A native of Corby, England, Campbell spent most of his playing career in the United Kingdom with the Bristol Rovers. He made 288 appearances between 2004 and 2011. In 2006, he was appointed club captain and made history when he led the team to their first quarterfinals for the 2007-2008 FA Cup. Before joining the Rowdies, Campbell also played for Leicester City, Birmingham City and Grimsby Town.
Campbell originally joined the Rowdies in December 27, 2011 as a player for the 2012 season. During that season, Campbell played 31 matches on defense. That year, the Rowdies reached the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship. In 2013, he served dual roles as a player and assistant coach and became a full-time assistant coach last season. Campbell and his wife Tammy live in Wesley Chapel with their three daughters.