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