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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Greg Kampe reflects on staying at Oakland after 500th win

Greg Kampe in the early Division I days
Shortly after collecting career victory 500 Saturday against Western Illinois, Oakland coach Greg Kampe reflected on career opportunities he has bypassed over the years in favor of Oakland. He talked about the school presidents (4) and athletic directors (5, including his two stints) who have come and gone in his 29 years.
“I’ve made conscious decisions to stay,” Kampe said. “I’m not going to sit here and say I wouldn’t leave. If Joe Dumars called tonight and offered me $25 million, I’d probably take it. I’m not stupid.
“I’ve turned down jobs that pay double what I get paid here. I’ve brought my family up in this community. It’s been a special place and I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to stay.”

Kampe discussed building Oakland basketball into a nationally-recognized program from its roots in Division II as a GLIAC power.   
“I’ve never really been one to want something better,” Kampe said. “I’ve always been one to try and (improve where I am). We’ve tried to make this UCLA. As long as I’m here, that’s what the goal will be.
“That’s why I’ve stayed. I’ve been fortunate they’ve let me.”
Five hundred wins, three NCAA tournament appearances and hordes of professional players bear the brand of Kampe’s efforts.
“It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got,” he said. “That’s how I’ve always felt here.”
Kampe was recently recognized by Forbes for the value he brings Oakland’s pocketbook, being named No. 17 in mid-major coaches in terms of value.
Kampe also discussed the milestone with College Insider in this podcast, saying he spent about 20 minutes revelling in the accomplishment before moving onto preparation for Saturday’s opponent Omaha. He also called Oakland’s 1999-2000 Mid-Continent Conference title the program’s greatest accomplishment.

It’s got to be the shoes
If you watched Saturday’s broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit, you may have noticed Kampe’s shoes at some point. The bright green tennis shoes clashed with his suit and tie, but probably would’ve blended well with Kampe’s former sweater-vest look. Kampe tweeted before the game that he had forgotten about wearing the shoes as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign.
“I got talked into these shoes,” Kampe said after the game. “These things will sit somewhere with the 500 game ball.”
The shoes and game ball may be collecting dust next to Kampe’s retired sideline attire, but he did tweet that he would bring back the sweater-vest for the Golden Grizzlies’ final home game March 2 against Fort Wayne if he reaches 1,500 Twitter followers by March 1. As of Jan. 29, he still needed 564.
Kampe moved away from his usual outfit of the mid-2000s beginning last season. The transition quickly earned him acclaim from the likes of Sports Illustrated.


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