James Campen begins his 13th campaign as a Packers coach and his 18th overall with the organization.
Promoted to offensive line coach on Jan. 15, 2007, by Head Coach Mike McCarthy, Campen moved up from his position as assistant offensive line coach in McCarthy’s first season at the helm. Prior to that, Campen filled the role of assistant offensive line/quality control coach for two seasons (2004-05).
In eight of Campen’s nine seasons in his current position, the Packers have ranked in the top 10 in the league in scoring. Green Bay has finished in the top 10 in total offense in seven of those nine seasons, highlighted by three of the top four single-season yardage marks in franchise history. Campen’s players have combined for six Pro Bowl selections over the past six seasons (2010-15). He had at least one of his linemen selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2010-12 seasons, the first time since 1967-69 that the Packers had a different lineman honored in three straight seasons.
In 2015, G Josh Sitton was named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in four seasons, becoming the first Green Bay guard to do so since Marco Rivera went to three straight Pro Bowls (2002-04). Campen’s line helped block for RBs Eddie Lacy (758 rushing yards) and James Starks (601), the first Green Bay duo to both rush for 600-plus yards in the same season since 1985. The line helped QB Aaron Rodgers reach 30 passing touchdowns (31 overall) during the regular season for the fifth time in his career and be selected to his fifth career Pro Bowl. The group helped four receivers finish with 50-plus receptions for only the third time (1983, 2002) since 1940.
In 2014, Campen’s line helped the Packers lead the league in scoring (30.4 ppg) and set franchise records for first downs (356) and giveaways (13). Green Bay ranked No. 6 in the league in total offense (386.1 ypg) and was tied for No. 9 in sacks allowed (30). The Packers allowed just nine sacks in the second half of the season, the second fewest in the league by a team over its final eight games behind only Denver (eight).
The line’s protection helped Rodgers finish in the top three in the NFL in passer rating, TD passes, TD/INT ratio and yards per attempt, the only QB in the league to do so, on his way to earning his second career Most Valuable Player Award from The Associated Press. Lacy posted his second straight 1,000-yard rushing campaign, finishing No. 7 in the league with 1,139 yards on the season.
After starting center JC Tretter sustained a knee injury in the third preseason game vs. Oakland that would sideline him for the first eight games of the regular season, Campen tutored Corey Linsley as he went on to become the first rookie center to start every game for the Packers since the league went to a 16-game schedule in 1978. Linsley was named to the PFWA’s All-Rookie team and was part of a line that featured the same starting five in 15 of 16 games. Also under Campen’s guidance, Sitton was named to his second career Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro recognition from AP.
In 2013, Campen’s line helped the Packers finish in the top 10 in both rushing (No. 7) and passing (No. 6) for the first time since 2004. Green Bay’s rushing average of 133.5 yards per game was the team’s best mark since 2003 and was the sixth-best posted by the team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The Packers tied for the league lead with six 180-yard rushing games and ranked No. 4 in the NFL with an average of 4.65 yards per carry. Green Bay averaged 266.8 passing yards per game despite starting four different quarterbacks on the season, as Rodgers missed seven contests due to a collarbone injury.
Under Campen’s direction in 2013, David Bakhtiari became the first Green Bay rookie to start every game at LT since 1978, after veteran Bryan Bulaga was lost to a season-ending knee injury in training camp. Bakhtiari was part of a line that helped Lacy rush for a franchise rookie-record 1,178 yards on the season, one that culminated with Lacy being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by AP, as well as being selected to the Pro Bowl. Lacy was one of three Green Bay running backs (Johnathan Franklin, Starks) to post at least one 100-yard rushing game in 2013, which tied a single-season franchise record.
In 2012, Sitton and C Jeff Saturday were both selected to the Pro Bowl, the first time since ’03 that the team had two offensive linemen honored. Sitton became the first Green Bay guard to be chosen since Rivera in 2004. Campen’s line helped the Packers rank No. 5 in the NFL in scoring (27.1), tie for No. 2 in fewest giveaways (16) and protect Rodgers as he led the league in passer rating (108.0) and TD/INT ratio (4.88) and ranked No. 2 in TD passes (39). With injuries at running back, the Packers had seven different players rush for at least 125 yards on the season, which was tied for the most (1944) in franchise history.
In 2011, the line helped the offense set franchise records for points (560), total net yards (6,482) and total net passing yards (4,924). Rodgers was named league MVP after setting an NFL single-season record for passer rating (122.5) and team marks for TD passes (45), passing yards (4,643) and completion percentage (68.3). Veteran C Scott Wells earned Pro Bowl recognition for the first time in his career as he became the first Green Bay center to be honored since Mike Flanagan in 2003, while Sitton was named a Pro Bowl alternate for the second straight season.
In 2010, Bulaga was selected to the All-Rookie team by Pro Football Weekly/PFWA after he started the final 12 regular-season games and all four postseason contests at RT in place of veteran Mark Tauscher, who sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 4. Veteran T Chad Clifton earned Pro Bowl recognition for the second time in his career, while Sitton was named the 2010 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association.
In 2009, Sitton started every game at RG in just his second season in the league, while rookie T.J. Lang played three different positions and started games at both tackle spots when needed. Even though injuries contributed to the Packers utilizing six different starting combinations along the line, RB Ryan Grant posted career highs in rushing yards (1,253) and touchdowns (11), and Rodgers was sacked just 10 times over the final seven games.
In the first two years at his current post, Campen helped with the development of three linemen – Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Tony Moll – who started a combined 103 games from 2006-08. In 2007, the unit allowed only 19 sacks all season, which was tied for No. 3 in the NFL, and Clifton earned his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Campen (KAMP-en) made the transition from assistant offensive line coach smoothly, having worked extensively with Colledge, Spitz and Moll when all three draft choices were rookies in 2006. Alongside Joe Philbin, Campen helped teach the zone-blocking scheme to the youngsters and the veterans.
In 2005, Campen made his mark tutoring young linemen as Wells, then in just his second year, filled in at center for an injured Flanagan on several occasions and for eight games at guard after coaches altered the lineup. He also helped Clifton be named an alternate for the Pro Bowl, while seventh-round draft pick William Whitticker started 14 games at guard and became the team’s lowest-drafted rookie to start the season opener since 1972.
In 2004, Campen assisted with a line that set a team record for fewest sacks allowed (14) and blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher for a franchise-record sixth consecutive season. Rivera became the first Green Bay offensive lineman in 33 years to make three straight Pro Bowl appearances.
Formerly a player with the Packers, Campen was a Plan B free agency addition from the New Orleans Saints in 1989. He played in 15 games for Green Bay that season, then took over as the starter at center in 1990, starting all 16 games and grading out as the most consistent member of the offensive line. Campen went on to play in 13 games in both 1991 and ’92.
Green Bay’s starting center on Sept. 27, 1992, vs. Pittsburgh, Campen literally launched Brett Favre’s 285-game starting streak, an NFL record among QBs. Campen’s playing career came to an end in 1993 when he suffered a torn hamstring in Week 4 at Dallas and later underwent season-ending surgery. He played in 61 games overall with the Packers, making 42 starts from 1990-92.
Campen broke into the NFL by talking his way into a free-agent contract with the Saints in 1986 after going undrafted. Waived during training camp, he made the New Orleans roster in 1987 on his second try and started three games for the Saints.
A two-year starter at Tulane (1984-85), Campen received the school’s Dr. Eamon Kelley Award as a senior, honoring the top student-athlete in the class who bettered the campus and community. He was the first football player to serve as a resident advisor in the dormitory. Campen earlier had begun his collegiate career at Sacramento (Calif.) City Junior College (1982-83).
Campen began his coaching career as defensive coordinator at his prep alma mater, Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, Calif. After four seasons, he was named head coach and went 29-20-1 over the next five years competing in the Sierra Valley Conference, one of the most competitive high school leagues in the state. As a Ponderosa student-athlete, he earned two letters in football and three in wrestling.
Possessor of a B.A. in social science with an emphasis in criminal justice, Campen served as a reserve deputy sheriff in New Orleans and volunteered with the Green Bay Police Department in a similar capacity while playing for the Packers.
Campen was born June 11, 1964, in Sacramento, Calif. He and his family make their home in Suamico, Wis.