Julius Campbell, the high school football player whose contributions to a barrier-breaking state championship were portrayed in the film “Remember the Titans,” died Friday of multiple organ failure according to a report from the Washington Post. He was 65.
Campbell starred at defensive end for the football team of T.C Williams High School, which was racially integrated in 1971 by combining the student bodies of three schools in Alexandria, Va. Amid the racial tensions of a desegregated school and its surrounding community, the team went 13-0 and won the Virginia AAA state championship.
Played by Wood Harris in 2000’s “Remember the Titans,” Campbell’s leadership alongside fellow captain Gerry Bertier is depicted as a uniting force on a team of players with an obvious divide at the beginning of the season.
Together, Bertier, Campbell and a talented Titans defense combined for nine shutouts in a season, allowing only 113 total yards per game in the regular season, according the website of the programs ’71 Original Titans Scholarship Fund. In total, the team outscored opponents 356-45.
Per the Post, Campbell had aspirations of playing for Woody Hayes’ Ohio State program, but ended up at Ferrum Junior College with plans to transfer to a major program. An ankle injury that never fully healed eventually ended his football career, at which point he moved back to Alexandria where he worked for local animal control departments.
He is survived by his wife, Cathy Campbell, and a daughter, three stepdaughters, two stepsons and five grandchildren.
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