Football: Pearson leaves Camden for Camden Catholic

Durwin Pearson, who was the head coach Camden for the last three seasons, has left the Panthers’ program to become an assistant at Camden Catholic.

Pearson, a Camden police officer, said he was informed by Camden school officials that they were advertising for a new football coach under stricter hiring guidelines.

“Bottom-line, they have to look at teachers in the district first, then teachers outside the district,” Pearson said Monday. “They were up front and honest with me. I don’t have my teaching certification so it was a difficult situation for me to be able to remain at Camden.”

A long-time assistant before he became head coach, Pearson won his first game in September of 2009 with a 14-9 upset of Camden Catholic – the No. 1 team in The Inquirer preseason Top 10.

Pearson’s teams went 9-21 in three seasons. The Panthers were 6-4 in 2010, and went 4-0 to capture the Independence Division title in the first season of the West Jersey Football League.

“It was nice to be able to hang a banner in the gym that wasn’t just for basketball,” Pearson said.

Pearson said he was excited to work with Camden Catholic coach Gil Brooks. Camden Catholic went 10-1 last season and should be among the top teams in South Jersey in 2012.

“Hopefully I can add a little and we can make another run,” Pearson said.

Brooks said he was pleased to add Pearson to the coaching staff.

"He is an outstanding coach and a great role model for our players," Brooks said.

* Phil Anastasia