Eliza Campbell Now Working with Former Coach


Hailey Swonger, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Two years after his death, Coach Nowak’s legacy is still strong here at Notre Dame. It was his advice about teaching that led Eliza Campbell to follow both his and her mom’s passion.

The legendary coach once told her: “I like the idea of no matter how old I am I will be able to be around people who make me feel young.”  

“That sat with me because I am such a kid at heart, and I want to be in a setting where you get something new every day,” said Campbell, who now coaches the varsity girls basketball team with Sara Rohde. She recently completed her student teaching in social studies at Freedom High School.

Campbell graduated from Notre Dame in 2014 with two state championship wins under her belt. Her basketball record at UW-Oshkosh embellished that high school reputation. She averaged close to nine points per game and completed 43% of her shots.

Even though her organized playing days have ended, she is still in the game as the varsity assistant to Rohde, the coach she once played under at NDA.

“Coaching is more of a behind-the-scenes action than playing. I now get to see what my coaches did before every game and practice I had. I also now have a better understanding of why my coaches would get happy or mad at the stuff my teammates and I did,” said Campbell.

Head coach Rohde said Campbell “brings a different perspective coming from college,” and “it’s nice getting her ideas and opinions.”

“It’s really good, though,” added Rohde,”to have someone who understands our system.  Eliza has a great relationship with the players, and we have fun together.”

Varsity captain Samantha LeFever echoed the words of Head Coach Rohde.  

“She’s been through the program and understands it,” said LeFever.  “The players relate to her–and she’s fun to be around.”