Camels begin Minter era as Charlotte makes gridiron debut
Campbell will open the 2013 season and the Mike Minter coaching era and UNC Charlotte will play its first-ever college football game at Charlotte's new Richardson Stadium at 12 p.m. Saturday.
Minter was hired as the Fighting Camel head coach in November after CU went 1-10 last season. The former Carolina Panther and Nebraska star was the special teams coordinator at Liberty last season.
Campbell is entering its sixth season of football after relaunching its program in 2008. Charlotte, coached by Brad Lambert, is a Football Championship Subdivision independent program for this season and 2014. The 49ers are scheduled to join Conference USA in football in 2015.
The Camels have a number of returners who saw major game action a year ago, especially on the offensive side of the ball, where five starters return. Senior running back Kurt Odom rushed for 489 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. Odom also led CU in receptions with 24 for 189 yards and one touchdown.
Quarterback Dakota Wolf paced the team in rushing with 617 yards and seven touchdowns, also passing for 801 yards and three touchdowns.
At receiver, A.J. Artis, Ben Bolling, Jordan Hildreth, Chad McMichael and Jabri Ridenhour, who all return, made up five of the Camels' leading receivers in 2012, along with Odom out of the backfield. Bolling paced the team in yards with 210 on 18 catches.
Isaac Scott anchors the defensive line after an honorable mention All-PFL performance as a redshirt sophomore last season. He notched 60 tackles, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, 12.0 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Lucas Smith added 52 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and a fumble recovery.
Linebacker Matt Farris, the Camels' leading returning tackler from 2012, posted 88 tackles last season.
Junior punter Adam Lutz was named Second Team All-PFL at punter as a sophomore in 2012. He punted 67 times for a 40.4-yard average with 16 punts inside the 20-yard line and 13 fair catches.
The Camels will open their six-game home schedule on Sept. 7, hosting UVa.-Wise at 6 p.m. at the newly-renovated Barker-Lane Stadium and Ed Gore Field.