John Timu Football Camp 7 1 2023 (2871)
Football Jordan

Jordan Alum John Timu Hosts Inaugural Free Football Camp at Alma Mater

The562’s coverage of Jordan Athletics is sponsored by John Ross, Class of 2013.

Jordan alum and current Los Angeles Chargers assistant coach John Timu returned to his alma mater last weekend to host the newly-launched Timu Foundation’s inaugural free football camp for kids in Long Beach. Timu’s camp had more than 500 athletes sign up, with separate sessions for elementary school, middle school, and high school kids. Each participant got a Timu Foundation shirt, a goodie bag including snacks and Chargers merchandise–plus a chance to learn from Timu and the other coaches.

For Timu, it was emotional being back on the field at Jordan, now as a father of three instead of as a hungry young football star, one who would end up going on to Washington and then the NFL with the Chicago Bears.

“It’s surreal, just looking up at the stands and seeing parents looking at their kids,” he said. “The most important thing to be is being a husband and being a father, and being able to give back to the kids in my community is really special. That’s what it’s all about to me.”

Timu’s Long Beach roots are deep–he’s married to and raising his children with his high school sweetheart, Amanda. Those roots are what inspired him to hold the camp in Long Beach, and invite coaches from the local high schools, with coaches from Poly, Wilson, Cabrillo, and other schools volunteering to help out. Fellow Long Beach NFLers were also on hand to volunteer including Jordan alum John Ross, now with the Chiefs.

“The whole idea behind the camps is to support the public school, local coaches,” said Timu. “Poly is here, Wilson, Cabrillo, Jordan let us host it here. Millikan had a tournament today or they would’ve been here. Those coaches are the touchstones of this community for kids, they’re the glue that holds it all together, so I want to be here to help them. We want to put coaches in touch with kids in Long Beach that they’ll be with their whole life like my coaches have been, that’s my entire motivation. Just pouring into these kids and this community.”

Timu’s own coaches were among those on hand to help, as current Wilson head coach Scott Meyer (Timu’s coach at Jordan) volunteered at the camp as did former Jordan assistant and head coach Thomas Barnes.

“I think it’s awesome for John to come back and do it here at J-Town,” said Meyer. “He’s got a lot of guys here helping today who were on our staff, it’s amazing to be back here, it really is a special place. Great families and great times when we were here.”

Meyer said he wasn’t surprised at all that Timu held a camp and decided to make it free for local families.

“That’s just who John is, he had an NFL career, he’s coaching in the NFL, but he’s still so authentic to who he is,” he said. “He doesn’t try to be anyone else.”

Timu has big plans for the camp going forward, including potentially hosting different camps on the other Moore League schools’ fields. He also wants to expand the camp to include an academic component along the lines of Ron Palmer’s longtime “Books and Ball” camps that were popular in Long Beach for many years. He also hosted Long Beach coaches at the Chargers’ facility for his inaugural coaches’ clinic.

PHOTOS: John Timu Football Camp
Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.