Since taking over as Director of Athletics at Campbell University in July 2011, Bob Roller has led a department that has reached new heights in academics, facility construction, fund raising and competition.
Roller's tenure has seen Campbell Athletics achieve its highest academic marks in school history. Campbell student-athletes have maintained an overall GPA of 3.042 over the past two seasons.
During that same period, 42 percent of Campbell's 480 student-athletes among its 21 NCAA Division I sports maintained an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher.
On the field, the women's golf team has won three Big South Conference championships (2012, 2014 and 2016) and competed in five NCAA Regionals and two NCAA Championships; the men's golf team competed in this year's NCAA Regionals; the men's cross country team won the 2015 Big South title; and the baseball team won the Big South regular season title in 2013 and the tournament championship in 2014, when it also earned a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Overall, Campbell Athletics' 21 Division I programs have seen steady improvement in competition. That culminated with Campbell's highest ranking in the Big South Conference overall sports trophy standings in 2016 since re-joining the league five years ago.
"I am most appreciative to Dr. Creed for his confidence and support in this transition. It been an amazing first five years working with Dr. Bazemore and the entire University Cabinet," Roller said. "Carolyn and I have loved becoming a part of the Campbell community and Buies Creek. The Campbell brand has grown considerably across our state and nation, and there is no reason to slow down. Our alumni and boosters deserve much of the credit for this growth as we have received tremendous support from these groups."
Roller has led a transformation of Campbell Athletics through major facility improvements and record fund-raising. Major facility additions and expansions he has overseen include:
- Installing a four-sided center hung LED display scoreboard and court-side LED scorer's table at the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center, where the basketball and volleyball teams play
- Opening the Burt Family Sports Performance Center, adding lights and a LED display scoreboard and video board, and completing the West grandstand and press box at Barker-Lane Stadium, where the football and women's lacrosse teams play
- Renovating and dedicating Jim Perry Stadium, where the baseball team plays
- Dedicating the Irwin Belk Track and Clarence Roberts Field
- Renovating Eakes Athletics Complex, home to the men's and women's soccer teams
- Opening Amanda Littlejohn Stadium, where the softball team plays
In addition, Roller led the creation of The CAMMYs, Campbell’s multi-media awards show for student-athletes widely recognized as one of the finest events of its kind. He also was instrumental in Campbell winning the bid to host the 2016 Big South Men's Basketball Championship. The 2016 event held in Buies Creek drew the tournament's highest attendance in the last five years.
During Roller's tenure, Campbell has also co-hosted the 2013 and 2015 NCAA Women's Soccer College Cup and the 2014 NCAA Men's Soccer College Cup, and hosted the 2015 Big South Softball Championship and the 2014 Southern Conference Wrestling Championship.
Under his watch, 900 of Campbell’s NCAA Division I student-athletes over the last four years have recorded an overall grade-point average of better than 3.0 during the academic year.
Campbell athletes have also donated more than 18,000 hours in community service around the Buies Creek area over the past five academic years.
Introduced on July 20, 2011 as the fourth A.D. of Campbell’s Division I era (since 1977-78), Roller joined the Fighting Camel staff after spending more than 11 years as Director of Athletics at Samford University. While at the Birmingham, Ala., school, he oversaw one of the most exciting periods of growth in the history of Samford athletics.
During his tenure at Samford, the entire facilities landscape of the campus was transformed. New athletics venues were built for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball, tennis, soccer, track and field and a football field house and strength and conditioning center were funded and constructed.
Roller arrived at Samford in 1997 to direct the Samford Athletic Foundation. During his first two years, the foundation saw record growth in individual and corporate donations to the university’s athletics programs. Roller held that position until May 1999, when then-President Thomas E. Corts named him to the top position within the athletics department.
In the summer of 2003, Roller was elected to the prestigious executive committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics [NACDA] to serve a four-year term. He joined athletics directors from Kansas State, Stanford, Army and Clemson on the governing committee that oversees the activities of the 6,000-plus member organization.
In 2006, Roller was named national chairman of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Committee for NACDA. The Directors’ Cup is awarded to the top universities in NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA for overall athletics success throughout the inter-collegiate season.
Prior to his tenure at Samford, Roller was vice president of AdCraft Sports Marketing in Louisville, Ky., for seven years. During that time, he helped create the Sears Collegiate Champions program, which honors all champions of men’s and women’s sports throughout the nation at every level of college athletics.
While with AdCraft, a division of Host Communications, Inc., Roller created and managed a publishing division and helped launch NCAA Football USA, which involved promotion, licensing and merchandising for college football programs at all levels of intercollegiate athletics.
Roller was director of communications for the Orange Bowl Committee in Miami, Fla., from 1988 to 1991. He was with the Orange Bowl when Federal Express became its first title sponsor in 1989.
The Pearisburg, Va., native began his career in sports information. He earned his degree from Virginia Tech in 1983 and worked as a student assistant in the sports information office for four years. He was the sports information director at UNC Wilmington and East Carolina University from 1983 to 1988. While at UNC Wilmington, Roller was also executive director of the university’s athletics fund-raising program.
Roller, 55, who holds a master’s degree in education administration from Samford, is married to the former Carolyn Keller. He has one son, Brad, and three stepchildren – Kerstin, Kyle and Karrah.