By J.R. Rucker
As he sits at his desk, his eyes are racing through important emails and dates. He discusses with an employee how he is going to transport a group of student athletes to yet another college tour. He, is Jordan Campbell, a Norco High product, former USC and NFL football player, and is now one of the most dynamic and innovative minds in sports training in Southern California. Young enough to pass for a college student, with the business acumen of someone much older, Jordan Campbell is a leader. His vast sports training complex is flooded with eager parents and their aspiring athletes of all levels. This sports training hub is called Winner Circle Athletics (WCA), and Jordan Campbell is the man behind it all. Part mentor, coach, big brother, master trainer, motivator, and educator, Jordan Campbell is in constant motion. Winner Circle Athletics is not just a brand, but a culture that Jordan has created with his close business associates.
In the past student athletes that wanted an opportunity to play sports at the collegiate level on scholarship were at the mercy of chance. The chance that their team was good enough to get attention, the chance that their coach got their name out, and that college scouts could find their film or could come to a game. Even as a teen Jordan was a visionary with an eye towards the future. Jordan Campbell knew that in order for him to accomplish his goals he had to have hard work, exposure, and a real plan. Under the guidance of his grandfather Ray Collier, a longtime high school strength coach, Jordan made the calculated decision to enter a prep school following his 8th grade school year. That year gave him a year to physically mature and mentally get ready for the next step in high school. Four straight CIF championship trips later at Norco high school Jordan took his game to the University of Southern California. It was at USC, that the winning mentality continued further, which would set philosophical foundations for Winner Circle Athletics years later.
Jordan never let the talk of him being too short or too slow, stop him from reaching towards his goals of making it to the NFL. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, and Kansas City Chiefs. While getting ready for the Kansas Chiefs camp to start, Jordan made the decision to “go all in” and create Winner Circle Athletics in the spring of 2014. From being around the Gearhart family of Norco, his grandfather, the best sports trainers at USC, and in the NFL Jordan made winning a lifestyle. With a huge You Tube following already established from his training videos, Jordan launched WCA in 2014. Starting in a 4,000 square foot facility and now in a 25,000 square foot complex, Jordan has been instrumental in sports training of many local area athletes that are now in the NFL and playing Division I sports. At any given time you can see athletes being trained to improve in soccer, football, basketball, and numerous other sports. Those that are not training are recovering with certified injury prevention and muscle recovery professionals on the site. This new wave of sports training all by itself is impressive and very rare. Yet what makes Winner Circle Athletics on the cutting edge of ground breaking change is their new WCA Prep Academy.
The WCA Prep Academy is a school for 7th and 8th grade students that helps them prepare for high school. WCA Prep Academy currently has 100 students enrolled and gives students the ultimate opportunity to learn and grow without the possible distractions of a large traditional school. The school features block scheduling, is WASC accredited, CIF qualified and NCAA approved. Students at the school focus on their academic core subjects, are taught in person by fully credentialed teachers, do online work in computer labs, have college style lectures, and are finished with their academic day by noon. From noon to 3pm WCA students train and focus on getting better towards their physical preparation for high school. Half of the WCA Prep Academy students are “true 7th or 8th graders” and the other half of the students enrolled are considered hold back 7th and 8th graders to develop more for high school.
This concept is not without it’s detractors and non believers. Jordan Campbell maintains that people who fear change don’t realize that students need to have a plan in order to achieve their goals, it won’t just happen in athletics. On the national scene IMG Academy in Florida has made a huge splash in educating, training, preparing premiere high school student athletes for college. Criticism and praise have been across the board for IMG Academy. Jordan Campbell and WCA Prep Academy have maintained that there goal is to prepare middle school student athletes for high school, and while they are CIF approved have no plan of fielding teams. Despite being misunderstood in some circles the Winner Circle Athletics team give students a unique and personalized experience where they can pursue their career goals. While WCA Prep may not be for all students, it is in theory what education should be… an opportunity to further one’s dreams.
In the Inland Empire and beyond the brand of Winner Circle Athletics speaks for itself. The happy expressions on the faces of parents entering the complex and the many athletes that train at WCA are a testament of the successful work being done. For example WCA client Marcus Williams was selected 42nd overall in the recent April 2017 NFL Draft. In only four years, Jordan Campbell has taken WCA from concept to a thriving reality that is shaking sports training and education to its core. The start of all significant change is always difficult and takes time to be accepted. Jordan Campbell and his team of WCA stand proudly and poised, ready to take there personalized sports training nation to the next level. Welcome to Winner Circle Athletics.