PHILIPPI - The campus of Alderson Broaddus University was buzzing Monday morning with big news from the Athletic Department. During a press conference at AB's Memorial Coliseum, school officials named Kirsten Brown as the new majorette coach and promoted offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell to the assistant head football coach and announced him as the head coach in-waiting.
Dennis Creehan, who serves as both the school's athletic director and head football coach, says the additions are good for the university because both individuals are "highly qualified" in their area of expertise.
"I can't tell you how excited we are to have Kirsten Brown," Creehan said. "She's a rock star when it comes to the baton world. I've never seen anybody do what she can do with a baton. She's flat out amazing. It's really big news for us."
Brown has spent the last six years as a feature twirler at West Virginia University. While at WVU Brown became a World Champion at the 2014 Twirl Mania International Team Collegiate Competition in Orlando, Fla.
She has also claimed a Junior Olympic gold medal while qualifying for World Competitions in England, France and the Netherlands.
Brown teaches lessons across West Virginia and also coaches the All-Star Twirlettes based in Morgantown. Prior to that, Brown worked with Twirling Unlimited as a choreographer and individual and team instructor.
As far as Campbell taking over the football reigns, no time table has been set. While Creehan is still in charge, he says Campbell will gain knowledge and experience tutoring under him.
"He's going to be great," Creehan said. "He's way ahead of the curve. He knowledge of the game is phenomenal. He's already one of the best offensive coordinators in the country.
He's passionate about the game to the point where it's all he wants to do. He's definitely going to be successful."
By naming Campbell as coach in waiting, Creehan says it gives Campbell "reassurance" that the job is his next.
"With young coaches, sometimes they start applying for jobs thinking that the grass is greener on the other side," Creehan said. "We wanted to make sure he knows the opportunity is going to be there for him and that he will be at the helm of one of the best programs in the country in a couple of years."
Coach Campbell said he is thankful for the opportunity to eventually take over as head coach. For the time being, he's says he's going "watch and learn."
"It's definitely exciting to be able to see the program start from the beginning with the first couple of helmets and the first victory," Campbell said. "It really gives me a lot of appreciation of where we're going. For the time being, I'm going to act like a sponge and soak up as much information for coach Creehan as possible, so I'll be ready for the job."
Campbell is in his second season with the Battler football team serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In their inaugural campaign, AB averaged 326 yards of offense and 29.6 points per game under Campbell. The team rushed for 105.2 yards per game while the passing for 264.7.
Prior to his time with the Battlers, Campbell spent one season at Tiffin University coaching wide receivers. He coached with Creehan at West Virginia Wesleyan for two seasons helping to turn the Bobcats around from a 2-8 mark in 2009 to a 9-2 record in 2010. In that stint Campbell coached both wide receivers and tight ends.
He also served kick and punt return coach as well as junior varsity head coach and offensive coordinator.
In his playing career Campbell was a four-year member and two-year starter at wide receiver for Mercyhurst College from 2004-07.
Also at the press conference, Creehan announced the promotion of J.J. Mayer to defensive coordinator and Aaron Rule to special teams coordinator.
Mayer is in his second season with the Battlers serving as the defensive backs coach last year. He will continue to coach the defensive backs while also serving as D-coordinator. The AB defense held opponents to 143.9 yards through the air in 2013. Mayer will take over a defense that allowed 38.2 points per game a season ago.
Prior to coming to AB Mayer coach defensive backs at Division II Stonehill College. He was a four-year player at defensive back at Fairmont State.
Rule, also in his second season at AB, is now the special teams coordinator as well as the linebackers coach. In 2013 Rule coached the running backs. With Rule as the running backs coach, the Battlers averaged 105.2 yards per game on the ground and posted 11 rushing touchdowns.
AB special teams averaged 32.7 net yards per punt and 47.6 yards per kick-off a season ago. The Battlers kicking game was solid going 20-of-24 on field goal attempts.