MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Coaching kids through life. That’s the mission at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City.

Coach Cameron Couch has been leading young men and women through adolescence for the better part of 20 years.

He is living an example first modeled for him decades ago.

Running backs coach “Coach Cam” has been turning young Titans into champions since 2008, building a legacy of character at Carl Albert.

“He makes us even better, as a team and for ourselves,” said sophomore, Maddox Wilkerson. 

Coach Cam first started cutting hair years ago at an alternative high school for kids on probation.

“For kids, a haircut is an empowerment,” said Carl Albert athletic director, Mike Dunn. “Going to school and looking nice and looking fresh and looking clean, that does a lot for self confidence.”

Over the year, Couch earned a reputation as a gifted barber at Carl Albert.

He could often be found cutting hair for his athletes in the locker room, after practice.

“He has a unique way of meeting the kids where they’re at,” said football booster Landon Cordray.

Earlier this year, the athletic department shifted some office space to allow Coach Cam to set up a small barber shop inside the high school.

He did 20 haircuts in the first week of school.

Dunn nominated Coach Cam for a Pay It Forward award to recognize the many ways he invests in his players.

First Fidelity Bank’s Matt Robinson was thrilled to join in this surprise.

“We’re proud to highlight one of the titans in coaching today,” Robinson said. “On behalf of First Fidelity Bank, it’s my priviledge to present you with $400 to pay it forward.”

Cam Couch is giant among coaches, who’s life’s work has become shepherding and styling young players.

He was shocked and speechless to be honored by News 4.

Coach Cam is taking a page out of the playbook of life by living the example his mentors modeled for him back in the days when he couldn’t afford a trim every two weeks.

“I couldn’t get to a barber shop,” Couch remembers. “But as a young man growing up, my mom demanded my hair be cut every two weeks.

Today at Carl Albert High School Coach Cam has this standing offer for his student athletes: a neighborhood cut on the house; walk-ins always accepted.

“If a young man can look himself in the eye and be confident, then he can go impact somebody else,” Couch said. “It just goes back to self confidence in my opinion.”

Players tip in smiles.

“I love Coach Cam. I love what he does for us, and I really appreciate everything he has done for me,” said Senior safety Ta’shawn James. “He’s really a father figure for a lot of the players who have come through here.”

This is a coach who has uniquely invested in the future, shaping locks and lives, one clip at a time.

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Coach Cam. “I’m blessed by our community and you guys at News 4. Thank you.”

Thank you, Coach Cam, for paying it forward to your family of Titans.