Long Beach State head women’s basketball coach Jeff Cammon makes history as the second Black coach in program history. He follows the footsteps of former head coach and mentor Glenn McDonald.
“One of my mentors is Glenn McDonald who was the first African American coach,” Cammon said. “He [Glenn] did a lot for the university and our athletic program and a lot for a women’s program.”
Cammon and his siblings grew up with racial barriers and learned how to navigate them due to their upbringing and advice from their parents.
“Many things that my parents taught me is, we’re not going to make excuses being Black and all the challenges that you face,” Cammon said. “We’re going to fight and compete and work our butts off and we’re going to be good people despite that, and we’re going to try to be bigger than those evil terrible things.”
Before Cammon became the seventh head coach of the women’s basketball program, he was a point guard for his alma mater Alcorn State from 1998 through 2003.
Cammon began his coaching career as an assistant coach for LBSU from 2009 through 2014, before spending two seasons at Cal, and one season at Colorado. His return in 2017 saw him announced and hired as the head coach for The Beach.
“I think when I was here as an assistant, they got to see who I was as a person,” Cammon said. “Real genuine people that actually genuinely care about, you know, us as people and me as a person.”
In his first five years as head coach, Cammon has led The Beach to five Big West tournaments as far as the quarter-finals, which earned him a contract extension until 2027.
Cammon is also known for who he is outside the court. Redshirt senior guard Ma’Qhi Berry is one of Cammon’s earlier recruits who recently became the 27th player in program history to score 1,000 career points.
“It wasn’t just about basketball with him, he was always asking me how my family is, the people around me, how school [is], we rarely even talked about basketball,” Berry said. “Showing that he cared about me more as a person was really the main thing that like drew me to him and the rest of the coaching staff in the school.”
Cammon shared that as a Black head coach, there is often attention on him, but he tries to stay under the radar and focus on his job.
“I take great pride in being an African American male coach, and representing our community,” Cammon said. “Whether Black or Asian, it doesn’t matter. I think in general, just being able to impact lives.”