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Camacho steps aside

After building a girls' basketball dynasty at Bell-Jeff, coach and athletic director leaving school to accept an assistant job at CSUN.

June 19, 2010|By Jeff Tully

BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON HIGH — There have been a lot of sleepless nights the past few weeks for Bellarmine-Jefferson High's Bryan Camacho.

Faced with a tough decision, the longtime coach and the school's athletic director agonized about a possible move.

Ultimately, the decision came down to what would be best for his future. With that in mind, Camacho said Friday that he is leaving Bell-Jeff and has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Cal State Northridge women's program.

"Being able to be the first assistant at CSUN is just a great opportunity for me," Camacho said. "It is just a different challenge and I'm fortunate to be able to have this opportunity. The timing of this and the opportunity that I have, it's just too tough to pass up."

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Along with being Bell-Jeff's girls' basketball coach for a total of right years — serving two four-stints — Camacho also headed the boys' basketball program last season and served as the school's athletic director.

A 1992 Bell-Jeff graduate, Camacho said because of his close ties and the long standing relationships he has cultivated at the school, leaving was a monumentally difficult decision.

"The decision was very hard on me," he said. "Just working with such great kids and with [Bell-Jeff Principal] Sister Cheryl [Milner], it was just such a special time in my life to be at Bell-Jeff.

"It has been the toughest two weeks of my life, just deciding what to do. I really thought long and hard about what I should do."

Although Milner said she is happy with Camacho's new opportunity, she is also sorry to see him go.

"With his charisma and his talent, we have no doubt that he will be successful in his new endeavor," Milner said. "But at the same time, we're sorry to see him go.

"He has meant so much to our school over the years and he has given so much back. He definitely will be missed."

Camacho built the Bell-Jeff's girls' basketball team into one of the top programs in the state. Since coming back to the school for the 2006-07 season, Camacho and the Guards have enjoyed a wealth of success.

In those four years, Bell-Jeff has captured state and Southern Section championships, advanced to division title games twice and won three straight Santa Cruz League crowns.

In the four-year stint, Camacho led the program to a 104-21 record. In his eight years with the Guards' program, Camacho accumulated a 183-50 record and had a .785 winning percentage.

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