Cameron Hired As New JHS Basketball Coach

By Benjamin Cox on May 17, 2023 at 9:24pm

Photo Courtesy Carroll University

Jacksonville High School has a new head basketball coach, who has some close ties to the city.

Michael Cameron was approved among several hires by the District 117 Board of Education last night.

Cameron will replace J.R. Dugan who abruptly resigned just a few games before the end of this past season. It was Dugan’s second stint as head coach at Jacksonville.

Cameron is a 2013 graduate of Pleasant Plains High School where he played for his father Cliff Cameron. Cliff Cameron, an IBCA Hall of Famer, previously coached for the 2016-2017 season at Jacksonville and then retired. Subsequently, it was the Crimsons last winning season when they went 18-13.

Michael Cameron was a 2018 graduate of MacMurray College, with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. While at MacMurray, Cameron set the school record for most assists in a single season and most assists in a game as a point guard on the basketball team. He was also a part of the Highlanders’ basketball 2015-16 SLIAC Conference basketball championship.

After his playing career concluded, Cameron joined the UIS basketball staff as an assistant coach for a single season for 2018-19. The following year, he spent a year in Shenzhen, China coaching youth basketball. Upon his return stateside, Cameron landed his first head coaching position at Greenview High School for a single season in 2020 before leaving to pursue his master’s degree at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. While at Carroll, he served as an assistant basketball coach and graduate assistant for the past two years.

JHS Athletic Director Ryan Van Aken says that Cameron just graduated with his master’s degree and will be coming back to Jacksonville with a clear cut idea on where he wants to take the boys’ high school basketball program: “Since his playing days, he’s had a young coaching career. Some of what we love is that is his youthful energy. He really has a vision. He’s looking to build not only the high school program, but through the jr. high through the youth – bring them into the basketball world here in Jacksonville. We’re excited. He’s youthful but he’s driven, and we’re excited to have him as a part of the Crimsons program.”

VanAken says that Cameron has contact information from the previous assistant coaching staff, and will likely be talking to them as he puts together his staff for the upcoming year in just a few weeks.