Joe Campbell: Former Raiders Defensive End and Super Bowl Champion Found Dead Aged 68 After Going on Hike

Selected with the seventh overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft by the Saints, Campbell went on to have a five-year career playing for the Saints, Raiders, and Buccaneers.

Former Raiders defensive end Joe Campbell was found dead after going on a hike in Florida on Sunday. He was 68. Campbell was also a member of the 1980 Raiders team that won Super Bowl XV. Campbell likely suffered a cardiac incident, his brother Patrick told Delaware Online.

The defenseman was drafted as the seventh overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1977 NFL Draft. He played for the Raiders and Buccaneers during his five-year professional career in the National Football League (NFL). He was also a standout player during his time at Salesianum School in Delaware. His contributions were instrumental in leading the team to a state title victory in 1972.

Died While on a Hike

Joe Campbell
Joe Campbell Twitter

Campbell was traded to the Raiders during the middle of a season after playing three complete seasons with the Saints. He also had a stint with the Buccaneers in 1981. However, it was his stint with the Raiders he is most well known for, having been a member of the Oakland team that won Super Bowl XV in the 1980 season.

"Everybody looked up to him," longtime friend and former Sallies teammate Dennis Kelly told the outlet. "Everybody loves a winner, and Joe crossed that threshold into being a pro athlete."

Campbell played college football at Maryland and was an All-American. "Great football player and he was a great guy, too," Cowboys legend Randy White, a teammate of Campbell's at Maryland, told Delaware Online. "You get news like this, it sets you back. ... I'll remember him as a long, lean guy from Delaware who came in there and dominated at that defensive end position."

Selected with the seventh overall pick in the 1977 NFL Draft by the Saints, Campbell went on to have a five-year career playing for the Saints, Raiders, and Buccaneers.

However, it is his time with the 1980 Raiders team that remains his most memorable stint.

Cause of Death

Joe Campbell
Joe Campbell Twitter

The Raiders team from 1980 achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl. They capped off their impressive journey with a commanding 27-10 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl XV.

"The Raiders Family mourns the passing of Joe Campbell, who played 13 games over two seasons with the Silver and Black," the Raiders said in a statement Wednesday.

"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with the Campbell family at this time."

In 2007, Campbell survived a collision with a pickup truck while cycling in Pennsylvania, resulting in severe injuries. He suffered a fractured skull and his left forearm required surgical reattachment.

The accident left him in a coma for over six weeks, during which he relied on a respirator for breathing.

Despite facing memory issues, Campbell remarkably retained memories of his championship-winning season.

Following the accident, Campbell lived with his brother Patrick and sister-in-law Diana in Wilmington, Delaware, for over a year before relocating to Florida in 2010.

He is survived by his two daughters, Daryn Garnant and Micah Mirigian, as well as his brother Patrick. Campbell's legacy lives on through his three grandchildren: Jack Campbell Garnant, Evelyn Mirigian, and Timothy Mirigian.