MOULTRIE – When Jud Campbell was interviewed before his induction into the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, he said this about his outstanding career as a diver for Moss Farms and the University of Georgia: “It’s that mental competition…that.” Mindset I adopted from Moose (Moss). I just like pushing myself and feeling like, ‘I can’t believe I just did that.'”
Now Campbell has been inducted into the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame along with his former Moss Farms Diving coach, Moose’s wife Janie and three other former Diving Tigers.
Moose Moss was inducted into the inaugural class of the Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame in 2011. Lauryn McCalley Niday joined in 2016; Lane Bassham Winchester in 2018; and Janie Moss and her and Moose’s grandson Clayton Moss in 2019.
Campbell is part of the five-member Georgia Aquatic Hall of Fame Class of 2023, which also includes longtime distinguished swimming coach and Moultrie native Tommie Lee Jackson Jr.
Campbell began diving at Moss Farms as an 8-year-old and went on to launch a coveted junior career competing with three internationally recognized coaches: Moose Moss, Jay Lerew and Wenbo Chen.
He then went to the University of Georgia, where he became a record holder under coach Dan Laak.
The highlight of his career came in August 2000 when he defeated future U.S. Olympic team member Troy Dumais to capture the 1-meter championship at the U.S. National Outdoor Championships in Mission Viejo, California.
His career began in 1992 when he was named to the Can-Am-Mex team as a 13-year-old and won a silver medal in the 3-meter springboard and a bronze medal in the 1-meter springboard in Pasadena. Calif.
He also won a silver medal at the Junior Olympic National Championships.
A year later, he was called up to the national team and competed at the Crystal Palace National Sports Center in London, England.
In 1994, he won a bronze medal at the Can-Am-Mex meet and was a first-time All-American in high school.
The next year, he won two YMCA national championships and set records on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard.
In 1996, he was named Georgia Male Junior Diver of the Year and placed fifth in the 1-meter and 14th in the platform at the US National Championships.
In 1997, he won the YMCA National Championship in the 1-meter dash and placed second in the 3-meter dash; was a YMCA All-American; a high school champion from Georgia; a high school All-American; a National Academic All-American; and was both Georgia’s junior and senior diver of the year.
Campbell agreed to attend the University of Georgia and made an immediate impact.
And as a freshman, he placed first on the 1-meter board at the SEC Championships, giving Georgia its first SEC title since Billy Ray Schmidt won the last of his five championships in 1967.
He also finished third in the 3 meters and sixth in the platform at the SEC Championships.
Also that year at the NCAA National Championships, he placed fourth in the 1-meter dash and earned All-American honors in the 1-meter dash and honorable mention All-American in the 3-meter dash and on the platform.
In 1999, he defended his SEC 1-meter championship in Lexington, Kentucky, setting a Georgia record with a score of 571.0.
During that season, he broke the Georgia dual record in the 1-meter dash four times, was named All-SEC, and received honorable mention All-American in the 1-meter dash and platform.
In addition to winning his national championship in 2000, he was named All-SEC and All-American. He was All-SEC again as a senior.
During his career, he was named Georgia Diver of the Year four times; a nine-time NCAA All-American; three-time SEC champion; He was named SEC Co-Diver of the Year in 2001 and was a three-time MVP of the University of Georgia swimming and diving team.
He was also a three-time Academic All-American.
After graduating from Georgia with a degree in management information systems, he received a scholarship to and graduated from Pepperdine University Law School.
He passed the bar exam but decided against practicing law.
Campbell, 44, is a police lieutenant in San Diego, California, where he and his family live.