Harrison Simmons ‘22
After a month-long coaching search, Brophy Principal Mr. Bob Ryan announced on July 16 that Sandra Day O’Connor Head Coach Mr. George Archuleta would be the program’s new leader.
This comes after the soccer team’s third straight state championship with former coach Mr. Paul Allen ’03. Brophy received the unexpected news over the summer that former coach Mr. Allen was resigning. The resignation came after Allen was charged with two counts of assault, and he is now trying “to become a college coach and further his coaching career,” said Athletic Director Mr. Josh Garcia ‘07.
“What stood out was getting a good soccer coach who had been successful at Sandra Day O’Connor, but also someone that was going to help our young men develop,” said Mr. Garcia about why Mr. Archuleta was Brophy’s top head-coaching target.
The decision to leave O’Connor, however, was not an easy one for Mr. Archuleta.
“I had been at O’Connor for 12 years and really built the community up and been successful, and my DNA is to battle,” said Head Soccer Coach Mr. Archuleta. “I started praying and wanted to understand if this is where God wanted me to go, and then I got a sign that was telling me something … and I knew this is where God wanted me.”
Besides success on the pitch, Brophy was looking to find a coach who could also focus on growing soccer players into “good, godly men” by the time they leave Brophy.
“That’s my wheelhouse. I have always loved working with this age group because I think it’s the toughest age group where you are starting to become a man,” said Mr. Archuleta. While a lot of coaches shy away from dealing with high school athletes, Mr. Archuleta loves the challenge.
Mr. Archuleta’s desire to help develop athletes into good young men comes from his work mentoring former players at his church and his serving attitude.
“The ministry is most important to me. With Christ using me to help others find Christ, that is probably my biggest accomplishment. I have players from over 12 years ago who I have mentored who are now walking a Christian lifestyle, making God first in their lives, seeing their lives change for the better because they are living the right way,” said Mr. Archuleta. “My gift is my serving attitude, and I will serve whatever program, whatever team I have. When I go to bed tonight, I know I will have given 100% because God’s given me this platform and blessed me with this gift.”
So far, Mr. Archuleta’s players have recognized his goal to grow them into better physical and spiritual beings.
“He focuses on our mental and spiritual aspects as well. One of his philosophies is that he combines our spiritual selves with our physical game,” said senior center-back Nick Hahne ‘22. “We show devotion to the soccer pitch and to God at the same time.”
Along with developing players’ spirituality, Mr. Archuleta is also looking to grow players’ preparation for games with increased offseason training and the use of technology that tracks players’ movements and technology that allows players to watch tape right after practice.
“In our 7th hours, we do yoga on Mondays, upper-body workouts on Tuesdays, ball work on Wednesdays, lower-body workouts on Thursdays, and fun game day on Fridays. It’s intentional how I rewrote the entire workout specific to soccer,” said coach Mr. Archuleta. Before he arrived, the soccer team had never really used 7th period for extensive offseason training.
Mr. Archuleta will be utilizing GPS trackers for players during every practice and workout to know how hard each player is working and know if a player is doing too much in order to prevent injuries. He will also be using an artificial intelligence camera that tracks the ball and sends the videos that it takes of practices to the players and coaches so that they can immediately watch tape.
“I do trackers, film and all that stuff, but some of the top clubs aren’t even doing that,” said Mr. Archuleta. “If I have the ability to get that stuff for my players, then I’ll do it.”
Mr. Archuleta’s emphasis on preparedness is what he believes will give Brophy the best chance to control their own fate and win their fourth consecutive state title.
Mr. Archuleta went to Apollo High School graduating in 1987 and from there joined the Navy. After he came out of the military, he finished school, got into ministry and went to Hope University. He got into the business world selling networks and equipment where he thrived, but he said he never felt fulfilled.
He got married to his wife in 1996, and the couple has had four boys. Two of his sons are biological and the other two are former players of Mr. Archuleta whom he adopted in order to get them out of tough situations and finish school. His sons have all graduated from high school or college, and have followed in their father’s footsteps by working for a technology company, joining the military, and becoming a teacher.
He became a soccer coach in order to coach his sons, and from there joined the Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) soccer program. He found immediate success in the club ranks and eventually became the coach at O’Connor in 2010, where he also found success leading the Eagles to the 5A finals in 2015.