James Campbell was a kind, compassionate young man who loved life, his family, soccer, and his teammates at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A highly-accomplished athlete, James passed away in the early morning hours on Sunday, October 11 following a car accident that claimed the lives of three other USC Upstate students and left one student in stable condition.
“James always had a smile on his face. He just loved life and he loved people,” said Shawn Campbell, James’ father.
As a soccer player at J.L. Mann High School, James helped his team to a 3A State Championship in 2010 and a 4A title in 2012. Upon his graduation from J.L. Mann in 2013, James went on to play at Marshall University before transferring to USC Upstate in January 2015.
USC Upstate head men’s soccer coach Greg Hooks said, “James joined our team as a transfer and he added a lot to the program. He was a very hard working and intense player whose competitiveness made those around him play harder. Most importantly he was a great young man who will be missed very much.”
While Kyle Juell and James attended different high schools, they played club soccer together. “James was intense and passionate on the field,” Juell said. “He was the kind of aggressive player you wanted as a teammate. He was fun and warm and full of life and he cared so much about his teammates.”
Juell said that after high school James went on to play his first two years at Marshall University, but said he kept encouraging him to transfer to Upstate. The two friends were united in the spring, when James was recruited to come to USC Upstate.
“Anything and everything reminds me of James,” Juell said. “It was spur of the moment kinds of things that made just about everything and every situation with him funny.”
A resident of Greenville, James was a junior at USC Upstate where he majored in business administration (accounting). He was a member of Brookwood Church.
James is survived by his parents, Emily and Shawn Campbell, a sister, Cailey, and brothers, Hunter and Landon. He is also survived by grandparents LaDonna and Robert Campbell and Martha and Dennis Martin.
USC Upstate Chancellor Tom Moore said, “There are no words to describe this loss to the USC Upstate family and no way to comfort the grieving families who have lost their loved ones. This tragedy will have tremendous impact on the Upstate community, individually and collectively.”
USC Upstate will hold a candlelight vigil on Monday, October 12 at 7 p.m. in the soccer stadium.