BULLHEAD CITY – Mohave Community College has hired Northwestern Arizona’s first college football manager, who will also serve as the head coach of the MCC Bighorns men’s football team – Camilo Valencia.
As a student-athlete himself, Valencia captained the National Junior College Athletic Association Yavapai College national champion soccer team in 2007 and held the record for most games played and most matches started in the program’s history. He then transferred to the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and played for the Rebels from 2008 to 2010.
“We are thrilled to welcome Camilo and his family to Mohave County and to the MCC family,” said MCC President Dr. Stacy Klippenstein. “Camilo is among the best in the sport and I know he is the right person to help us build top men’s and women’s football teams that will make the whole region proud.”
Before becoming a coach, Valencia played professionally in the Colombian first division for Cortulua and Boyaca Chico and in Argentina for CSD Flandria. Additionally, he played for the Colombian U-20 national team in 2003. He joined the UNLV Rebels men’s coaching staff in 2016 and recently served as interim head coach.
While in Las Vegas, he helped guide the Rebels to a Western Athletic Conference Tournament title and the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 Championship Tournament.
“I am extremely excited to become the first-ever director of football and head coach of men’s football at MCC,” Valencia said. “This is a unique opportunity to launch an athletic culture and tradition that will have a direct and positive impact on the college, county and tri-state area.”
He has a long list of awards and accomplishments, including helping dozens of student-athletes succeed on and off the court. In the past two years alone, 25 of Valencia’s student-athletes have earned academic accolades and been named to the All-WAC Academic Team.
“This is an exciting time for MCC and Northwest Arizona, and I believe we have attracted and hired an exceptional coach with not only experience, but also a passion for student development- athletes on and off the field,” said MCC Vice President Dr. Tramaine Rausaw. of Student and Community Engagement who also led the national search for the college’s first athletic coach. “Camilo has a mindset and vision that aligns perfectly with the strategic goals of the college and he has the drive, determination and mentality to make Bighorn football a state powerhouse and a national contender. “
Valencia is no stranger to Mohave County or hot weather, and having lived in Las Vegas for the past nine years, he appreciates the desert climate. During his recent visits to the Bullhead City campus, where the MCC football teams will be based, he said he felt very welcome by the college and the community.
“The support I felt from the administration and the community, combined with the challenge of building something from the ground up and running a sports department that an entire community will be proud of, convinced me that the MCC was the perfect place for me,” Valencia said. . “In addition, the soccer facilities are truly impressive and will contribute to our success in recruiting top student-athletes.”
Bighorn football teams will train and play at Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse and Firebird Field in Bullhead City. They also plan to hold tournaments, clinics and other games in Kingman and Lake Havasu City.
Valencia was born in Washington DC and raised in Cali, Colombia. He attended Yavapai College from 2006 to 2008 where he earned an Associate of Commerce degree. He then attended UNLV from 2008 to 2011 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. He also received his Masters in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania in 2016. He holds a “B” license from the United States Soccer Federation and national and advanced national diplomas from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
He, his wife and two young children can’t wait to call Mohave County home. His first day on the job at MCC will be August 1.
The college will soon be hiring a coach for the women’s soccer team and recruiting players will begin this year. The college plans to have teams ready to play competitively in the 2023 NJCAA fall season.