Head Coach Brings International Pro Experience to City
BY TUPAC ZAPATA
In the summer of 2008, Javier Aguiniga Campos is a UCLA graduate when he was invited to travel to Mexico City and try out for Cruz Azul, one of Mexico’s renowned professional teams.
Cruz Azul calls the southern part of Mexico City home, and the team has been the “Primera Division” champion eight times. It was a special time for the UCLA grad.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to become a professional footballer was unusual for a 23-year-old. That’s considered a bit old to start a professional soccer career.
“It was a unique and beautiful experience to be in Mexico for four months trying to achieve any young man’s dream, but the competition was incredibly good and unfortunately I did not make the roster,” said Aguiniga Campos.
Aguiniga graduated from UCLA in 2007. He also earned an M.A. degree in mathematics and one in physical education. He was ready for life’s curve balls, and soccer would bring another opportunity a year later. This time, it was a position as a head coach at Rio Hondo High School where he also worked as a substitute teacher.
During his two years at Rio Hondo High, his team won back-to-back conference titles in 2009 and 2010. At the same time, he attended Rio Hondo Community College where he played college soccer. The wins caught the attention of ELAC’s head soccer coach who brought Aguiniga Campos on as an assistant coach. He remained there until 2013 and then returned to Rio Hondo College as assistant coach until 2019.
In early 2020, LACC Athletics Director Robert McKinley and Kinesiology Department chair Aykanush Gevanyan, decided to name Javier Aguiniga Campos as the new head coach of the LACC men’s soccer team. They had interviewed several other candidates for the position, but Aguiniga Campos’s decade as assistant coach at two other colleges convinced them that he was the right man for the job.
“My experience allowed me to be considered as the most qualified candidate for the job as head coach,” he said.
Landing the job as the head coach at LACC is an opportunity that Aguiniga Campos has been patiently waiting for, as he feels that he has paid his dues and learned the ropes.
The native of Ziquítaro, Michoacan, was a standout ath- lete at Mountain View High School in El Monte where he played soccer, football and ran track & field.
“I have waited a long time for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward for what’s to come,” said coach Aguiniga Campos.
His assistant coach will be Felipe Bernal, who won a national title with Cerritos College in 2018. Coach Javier Aguiniga Campos is bilingual and will be vaccinated by April. He says he will have an idea of how the team will look by late June and will have his final roster by Aug. 1.