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Midwest Premier Academy Directors



  • USSF National ‘A’ License – June 2014
    ‘B’ License – May 2013
    C’ License - August 2009
    D’ License – July 2007
  • NSCAA Premier Diploma – January 2013
    Advanced National Diploma (Pass with Distinction) – January 2012
    National Diploma – January 2011
    Advanced Regional Diploma – February 2009
  • UEFA ‘B’ License – October 2001
  • Professional Football Scouting Association Level III – February 2016
    Professional Football Scouting Association Level I and II – February 2015
  • USSF National “Youth” License – March 2010
  • NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma – March 2012
  • NSCAA Goalkeeping Level I and II – December 2011
  • Member of first and only Coaching Staff from Nebraska to ever win a National Championship
  • Member of the Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year 2010
  • Missouri Valley Conference League Champions 2010
  • Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Champions 2010
  • “2008 Girls Competitive Coach of the Year” for the State of Nebraska
  • First and only Coach to win the ODP Region II Championship for State of Nebraska 


Soccer has always been in Digger Hawkins' blood as his Great Uncle Reg Flewin was the last Portsmouth Captain in 1950 to hold the English Premier League (EPL) aloft. Digger followed in his Uncles footsteps by playing professionally for his hometown club Portsmouth FC, unfortunately a stress fracture to the back ended his career prematurely. Digger played for a professional club since the age of 9 starting at Coventry City who at the time were in the EPL, but now play in the Championship in England. Digger left Coventry City at the age of 11 and a couple of days later moved to Portsmouth. 

Digger signed a Youth Training Scheme and professional contract when he was 13 becoming the youngest ever player to do so. Digger progressed through the youth ranks, to the reserve team and into the first team before suffering a stress fracture to his back. With 6 months of his contract Digger left the club to continue his education gaining a Batchelor of Arts (Hons) in Sports Studies and a Masters (MSc) in Information Systems.

While at Portsmouth, Digger attended England trials on three separate occasions. He also represented his County and captained his District and High School teams. He also picked up several honors for his club team.

In terms of coaching badges he holds some of the highest licenses you can obtain, USSF 'A' License  NSCAA Premier Diploma, UEFA 'B' License, USSF National Youth License, NSCAA Director of Coaching Diploma, NSCAA Professional Development Certificate, NSCAA Goalkeeping Level II and is one of three residents in the US to obtain the Professional Football Scouting Association Talent Identification Level I and Level II and only US resident to hold the Level III.

Digger Hawkins Midwest Premier Academy Executive Director spent fourteen years at Gretna Soccer Club between 2005-2019, starting as Professional Trainer before becoming the Director of Coaching. During his involvement with the club they have achieved the following:

  • First ever Nebraska Club to win a National Championship
  • First ever Nebraska Club to advance a team to back to back National appearances
  • Won a Regional Championship and Finalist at Regionals
  • Won a National Premier League (NPL) Central States
  • Appeared at National Premier League (NPL) Nationals
  • Qualified for the US Youth Soccer National League
  • Thirty four teams have won the Nebraska Soccer League
  • Fourteen teams have won the Nebraska State Cup
  • Thirty two teams to make Nebraska State Cup Final
  • Ten teams have won the Midwest Regional League
  • Growth from 551 players in 2005 in the club to 1200 players in 2019
  • Growth in number of select teams from 6 teams in 2005 to 61 in 2019
  • Growth in number of College Soccer Scholarships, 170 in the last five years
  • Growth in number of  players representing Regional and National teams for ODP
  • First player to make the U19, U21 & U23 US Women's National Team

Digger Hawkins made history by becoming the first ever and only Nebraskan Coach to win the Region II Olympic Development Program (ODP) Championship in July 2008. Later the same year he went onto win the “Nebraska Girls Competitive Coach of the Year 2008”. Digger also made history tin 2015 by becoming a member of the only coaching staff to win a National Championship. Since 2010 Digger has served on the Region II Olympic Development Program Staff and served on the Nebraska State staff from 2005-2012.

Digger was the Assistant Women's Coach at Creighton University June 2010-July 2014 and in his first season won the Missouri Valley Conference Regular Season and Conference Tournament. Due to their success, Digger was part of the coaching staff that won the '2010 Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year' Award.

Digger spent a year as an Assistant Women's Coach at Midland University July 2017-May 2018 where he helped the Warriors to 14-2-3, 3rd place in the GPAC Regular Season and Semi-Finalists in GPAC Tournament narrowly missing out on a NAIA National Tournament berth. 

Digger is the current Head Coach of Gretna High School Girls Soccer with a career record of 55-17 a winning record of .7638 leading the Lady Dragons to a Class B State Final (2016), Class A State Semi-Final (2019) and two Class B Quarter-Finals (2017, 2018). During his tenure as Head Coach Lady Dragons have become EMC Regular Season Champions (2016, 2018, 2019), EMC Regular Season Runners-up (2017) EMC Tournament Champions (2016, 2019), EMC Tournament Finalists (2018), EMC Tournament Semi-Finalists (2017), District B-3 Champions (2016, 2018), District B-3 Semi-Finalists (2017), District A-5 Champions (2019). In 2019 Digger was selected to be a Head Coach in the High School Girls Senior All-Star Game.

Digger is a USSF and USSSA Instructor instructing USSF 'D' and 'E' Licenses and is currently the Nebraska Technical Director for US Coaches Club.

Digger has coached many players that have gone on to gain scholarships for the following colleges; North Carolina, Stanford, Notre Dame, Marquette, Loloya, Creighton, Nebraska, University Nebraska Omaha, Iowa State, Kansas State, Drake University, Texas A & M, Illinois University, Kentucky, South Dakota State, South Dakota, University of Missouri Kansas, Southern Utah, Teaxas A & M Corpus Christi, Iowa, University Colorado Colorado State, Northern Illinois, Loloya University (Chicago), University Central Missouri, Minnesota State University, Northwest Missouri State, Missouri State, Western Illinois, Kenneshaw State, Ponama College (California), Rockhurst, University Nebraska Kearney, Wayne State, Dominican University (IL), Monmouth College, Kansas Wesleyan, Newman University, Hastings College, Midland University, Washburn, Concordia, Doane College, Dana College, College of St Marys, Bellevue, Benedictine, Briar Cliff University, Augustana, Viterbo, Bethany College, Benedictine, Colorado Christian, Grand View, University Sioux Falls, William Penn, NorthEast CC, Savannah College of Art & Design, Simpson College, NorthWestern, Nebraska Wesleyan, Barton College, Buena Vista, and Grace University.

Digger has coached nineteen players to play professionally, make the Academy ranks or have trials at some of the top clubs around the world this includes; Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Paris St Germain, S.V. Werder Bremen, Stoke City, Portsmouth FC, Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, Washington Spirit, Chicago Fire, New England Revolution, Minnesota United, Seattle Reign, Utah Royals FC, FC Kansas City, Apollon, Western Sydney Wanderers, Preston North End, Blackpool FC, Cardiff Metropolitan University (playing in Woman's European Champions League), Suwon UDC and Canberra United. 

Digger has coached five players that have gone onto play for US National Teams at U17, U20, U21 and U23 level, Costa Rican full National team and Chilean U21 National Team.






Midwest Premier Academy Staff


Meet Our Staff

We are here to provide you and your family with the best youth soccer experience possible! We are proud to bring you a group of highly accomplished coaches and administrators. Read the bios below to learn more about your coach and other leaders in our community.

Please check back as we will announce more coaches over the next few weeks.



Midwest Premier Academy

PO Box 226 
Gretna, Nebraska 68028

Phone: 402-913-9966
Email: [email protected]

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