Entering his third season on the Creighton coaching staff, David “Digger” Hawkins joined the Bluejay program prior to the 2010 season. Hawkins is primarily responsible for working with the Bluejay attackers. A 11-year coaching veteran, Hawkins also serves as the Director of Coaching at the Gretna Soccer Club and as a staff member for the Nebraska Olympic Development Program (ODP).
A native of Portsmouth, England, Hawkins coaching career began in 2002 as a volunteer for the Portsmouth youth teams. After coaching in England for three years, he relocated to Nebraska as a professional trainer at the Gretna Soccer Club in 2005. Hawkins spent the next four years working with the Gretna Soccer Club, both as a coach and a professional trainer. He also began working with the ODP, making history by becoming the first Nebraska coach to win the Region II Olympic Development Program (ODP) Championship in July 2008. Later the same year he went onto win the 2008 Nebraska Girls Competitive Coach of the Year.
In May of 2009, Hawkins was promoted to the Director of Coaching and helped lead the program to the Nebraska Soccer League Premier Division championship. During his four years in that position, 10 Gretna teams have won the NSL Premier Division and a Gretna team (Shockers) won the Nebraska State Cup Final for the first time in 2011.
Hawkins was instrumental in the development of several athletes who went on to earn Division I scholarships to schools such as: North Carolina, Creighton, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Loyola, Missouri State, Nebraska Omaha, Iowa State, South Dakota, South Dakota State and UMKC.
Hawkins owns several coaching licenses from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
A well-established coach, Hawkins has established a branded set of soccer camps throughout the Omaha area including; Gretna Soccer Summer Camp, College Camp, Soccer Premier Footwork Academy, Striker Camp, Taste of Pre-Season Camp and Winter Academy.
In addition to his coaching accomplishments, Hawkins was a extraordinarily talented player growing up in England. Hawkins’ professional career began at the age of nine, playing for Coventry City of the English Premier League (EPL). Hawkins left Coventry City at the age of 11, moving to Portsmouth.
At the age of 13, Hawkins signed a Youth Training Scheme and professional contract with Portsmouth FC of the EPL. He progressed through the youth ranks to the reserve team and eventually the first team. Unfortunately, a stress fracture to his back brought an end to his playing career in 2001.
He then went on to receive an undergraduate degree in sports studies at the University of Chichester in 2002 and a master’s degree in information systems at the University of Portsmouth in 2003. A love of soccer runs throughout the Hawkins family as Digger’s brother Lee owns an Asian Soccer Academy in Jakarta, Indonesia and his brother Ben is a coach at the Gretna Soccer Club. In addition, Hawkins’ great uncle Reg Flewin was the last Portsmouth captain to hold the English Championship aloft in 1950.
Erickson on Hawkins:
“Digger has been a great addition to our staff,” said Erickson. “I have watched him develop as a coach locally and now with our program and he is constantly working to get better at his craft. He has a great eye for talent and he teaches the game with great enthusiasm and passion. Digger is a great asset to our program.”