WeissCrax: Kicking around from A to Zimmerman

San Marcos assistant coach Brenna Zimmerman was a senior captain of the Royals' co-CIF Championship girls soccer team in 2006, later playing at Westmont.

“The scenery is the same. It’s the perspective that changes …”

Gone for her are those Santa Barbara High-San Marcos High epic soccer battles and trying to defensively harness The Dons’ Caitlin McDermott (actually a close friend and long-time club soccer teammate) from blasting yet another shot to the back of the net from 40 yards out.

That was already five seasons ago…

And for Brenna Zimmerman, now 23 and one of the shining senior stars of that 2006 SMHS CIF Co-Championship women’s soccer team, it’s still “a little weird” roaming the sidelines as Assistant Coach of the same program she once captained.

But she loves it!

“It’s fun to be back in a situation in which I’m very familiar but now seeing it from a totally different angle,” she said.

Like today as her Royals take on The Don’s in a 5PM contest at Santa Barbara City College’s La Playa Stadium.

Sez Christy Lozano, SMHS Head Coach in her fourth year, “Brenna is great! She has first-hand experience and is able to relate with our athletes on a much different and very special level.”

Zimmerman stayed local and attended Westmont after her SMHS graduation, with every determination of playing some major minutes and making some major contributions. She sez that the college already seemed like “home” as she attended summer soccer camps there since she was in junior high.

Zimmerman coached across the sidelines from former Santa Barbara Soccer Club coach Brian Lloyd this week.

Zimmerman as a player for the Royals.

But the collegiate experience just didn’t turn out as expected …

A series of injuries limited her effectiveness – injuries that lingered from that CIF championship run.

The result: not one, but two knee surgeries in her freshman year. The only good news is she returned to play four games at season’s end.

Sophomore year was a fractured ankle in Spring training and limited playing time in the Fall season – the only highlight for her being her lone goal vs. Cal Poly, a 1-1 tie.

Junior year: torn ACL in July, then surgery and out the entire season. Returned the following April and tore it again in May, less than six weeks later.

Senior year: she stayed with team but her playing career was essentially over – if she ever wanted to walk on her own for the rest of her life.

Zimmerman graduated last June with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and has dreams of becoming a sports psychologist – ironically a profession discovered via all her injuries, operations & rehabilitations.

Plus, she has always loved sports, especially soccer since her early days of AYSO. She could usually be found kicking goals in the backyard net for hours – developing skills that would later come in handy right here at La Playa Stadium.

Here’s a quick rewind…

Zimmerman redeemed herself for missing the only penalty kick in her life – nailing a sudden-death rocket in the shoot-out vs. Northwood here in the SMHS CIF semi-final game. Then, her defensive prowess was credited for saving the day in the CIF championship match – a 0-0 tie vs. perennial soccer powerhouse, Tesoro HS.

These days, as Assistant Coach for Lozano and Lloyd Biggs, she helps primarily with training and conditioning — mostly on a one-on-one level, along with some mentoring.

And it’s likely no one can relate more to overcoming adversity and playing to win, than this “heart of a champion” …

“We are very happy to have Brenna,” sez Abe Jahadhmy, SMHS Athletic Director. “She’s a great role model; has had great success and has the same level of drive as when she played here.”

Zimmerman offers, “Our girls are wonderful! Very fun. Very close. It’s easy to tell they’ve been playing together for awhile. They work really hard and always do as we ask.”

At today’s cross-town match-up, there’s a new twist for her — coaching against SBHS Soccer Coach, Brian “Toes” Lloyd – her first club coach while she was in junior high school. Both teams are looking to start the New Year in the “win column” after less-than-spectacular 2010 pre-seasons.


“It’s nice to see Brenna out here. I always thought she could be a very good coach. She gave me ‘that smile’ – and I know she wants this game as much as I do,” Lloyd said.

And while The Dons managed to score in the last few minutes for a 1-0 victory … for SMHS Assistant Coach Brenna Zimmerman, she’s savoring every minute on the sidelines and to be still “kicking around” in the sport that she loves.

It’s just a totally new perspective …


  1. Nice article Good luck Brenna!!