Having his playing career cut short due to a back injury, Reggie Rivas opened a new door for his passion for soccer by turning to coaching.
It’s nearly impossible to catch Lancers women’s soccer head coach with anything but an ear-to-ear smile as he steps out onto the turf of Robinson Stadium. As he begins his second season as head coach, he already feels right at home.
“We have passionate players,” said Rivas enthusiastically. “There are great student athletes here at PCC.”
Although the quality of athletes is partially if not completely due to the type of players that Rivas recruits, he is too humble to admit it. Instead, Rivas credits the great “athletic zone” at PCC. This includes excellent counselors, trainers, athletic director, and sports information director, Rivas said.
Athletes say his selflessness, positivity, quick wit, and passion for education make him an outstanding coach as well as an effective teacher. His top priorities are not just wins and losses. He wants to promote and teach better quality soccer. He wants to create a better product. In other words he wants to make each player on the field better, instead of simply finding ways to get the ball to best player and let them take over.
It is clear that the team respects their coach and takes what he has to say to heart. One of the main things Rivas preaches is togetherness. After a hard fought win against Mt. San Jacinto, sophomore defender Bailey Shaw-Rodriguez credited the victory to the team’s ability to come together and communicate.
“I love seeing team chemistry,” Rivas said. “I love seeing their eyes light up as I tell them something.”
Rivas takes a special interest in every player that he coaches. Assistant coach Michelle Weir played for Rivas at the club level in Crescenta Valley. She went on to play for the University of Saint Mary’s. Rivas contacted her one day just to check in and see how everything was going. After talking for a bit, Weir agreed to join Rivas’ coaching staff.
“There’s never a dull moment with Reggie,” said Weir. “He’s always having fun.”
“He could sell ice to an Eskimo,” added assistant coach Heidi Strauss, in reference to Rivas’ charismatic personality.
One of the keys to being a student athlete is being able to get your work done, but also have fun doing it, Rivas said. Just like anything else in life, balance is crucial.
“I love it, it’s the greatest job in the world,” Rivas added. “It’s just a blast.”