David Cameron heads into his 12th year holding the reins of the Bears’ Men’s Soccer program, and the program has never been in better hands. Over the first half of his tenure, Cameron’s teams were always in the running for playoff berths and Region I Playoff wins; over the last three years, his teachings have moved the Bears into the elite of the conference, since they’ve now been in the Region I Championship match an unprecedented three straight years. What’s caused Cameron to upgrade the program to new heights over the past few years? Many would just chalk it up to tenure, but Cameron would quickly add that it was the epiphany he had in early 2013 that made the difference. Cameron decided to overhaul his entire approach: not just what he coached on the field but off of it, as well as what components he truly thought were important in the student-athlete he would recruit to wear his team’s jerseys. His dedication to teaching his charges life experiences as well as on-field skills became evident immediately as the maturity and composed reactions to adversity from then on has propelled the team to higher grade point averages in the classroom while claiming the program’s first outright ACCAC Regular Season Title ever (and the right to be the first men’s soccer team in the history of Maricopa County to host the Region I Finals) in ’13; and new high-water marks for wins in a season since then.
Phoenix College Men’s Soccer history and Cameron actually first became intertwined in 1995 & 1996 when he became the first PC Men’s Soccer player to ever earn back-to-back NJCAA All-American Awards and Region I Player of the Year Awards. He then finished his college career by breaking Loyola Marymount University’s single-season goal scoring record before venturing out to a successful six-year professional career with the Arizona Sahuaros, Arizona Sandsharks, Arizona Thunder and Tucson Fireballs. While his playing career was winding down, Cameron was already putting the building blocks in place for a successful coaching career, becoming the head coach at his alma mater of Shadow Mountain High School in 1999, and later taking over the Agua Fria High School varsity soccer program in Avondale for three years. Cameron then made the step up to college coaching-along with a triumphant return to the PC campus-when he joined the staff of then-Bears’ Head Coach Donnie Deutsch in 2003. Cameron was an assistant for a little over a year until he replaced Deutsch as head coach on an interim basis midway through the ’04 season. After removing the interim title before the ’05 campaign, it took Cameron just one season to return the Bears to the Region I Playoffs. Since then, it’s been a steady climb, reaching the quarterfinals & semifinals five times each, making Region I’s final match each of the last three years, and finally, taking the ’14 Bears to the NJCAA West District Playoffs for the first time ever. Cameron’s personal milestones includes hitting the century mark in career wins during that magical 2013 season (the only soccer coach in PC history to hit the 100-win plateau), and earning ACCAC/Region I Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year Awards in ’09 & ’13.
Cameron has been a champion in the area of club soccer in the Valley for nearly two decades, first leading the Arizona State University Club Team to a national championship in 1999 as a player, then becoming the founder of the Palm Valley Soccer League; director of operations of the Arizona Futbol Club; coach and technical director of the Arizona Hammers; as well as head coach for Arizona State Select and both girls’ and boys’ ODP. Cameron has also set the foundation for soccer generations to come, helping develop and create the Fear Farm Sports Complex, a 17-field soccer complex in the west part of Phoenix. Cameron earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science & Physical Education from Arizona State University. With all of that on his plate, Cameron still has plenty of time to think about family as he and his wife of 19 years, Alisa, have four children: 16-year-old Dakota, 13-year-old Rian, 9-year-old Jack and 4-year-old Jett.