Torres steps down as Carpinteria soccer coach

After leading Carpinteria’s boys soccer team to four straight CIF playoff appearances, a CIF runner-up finish and three Tri-Valley League titles in four years at the helm, Daniel Torres has decided to step down as coach of the Warriors.

Torres cited family and personal reasons for his decision. He leaves with a record of 64-23-6.

“I am single father of a 3 year old and I am going back to school to get my BA,” he said. “I want to spend more time with my son and focus on school.”

Torres, 26, who grew up in Carpinteria, played at Santa Barbara High and Westmont College, brought discipline and organization to a program that’s never been short of skilled, talented players.

“Carpinteria has a lot of talent and I’ve seen that throughout the years growing up here,” he said. “I brought energy, discipline and a winning attitude to the program. But the boys deserve all the credit  for buying into my ideas.”

He credits the coaches he played under for helping him become a better coach.

“I definitely didn’t do it on my own,” he said. “I had great coaches in Todd Heil at Santa Barbara, Ken Newendorp at City College and Coach (Dave) Wolf at Westmont.  I learned a lot from all three and I implemented all I learned from them into the program.”

Carpinteria Athletic Director Pat Cooney had nothing but praise for Torres.

“Coach Torres has been one of the most positive forces on the CHS campus in recent years,” he said.  “He has raised the level of expectation for the boys’ soccer program and for the student-athletes in the program. One of his greatest strengths as a coach has been his willingness to learn from his mentors and to put new things into his program. He kept his team ahead of the curve in more ways than one.”

In 2011, Torres’ Warriors upset top-seeded La Cañada in the second overtime of the quarterfinals of the CIF Division 5 playoffs en route to the final. It lost to Baldwin Park, 1-0, in the title match.

“The run we made in 2011 was probably the one I will always remember,” he said of the highlights of his coaching stint at Carpinteria. “The fact that the boys put themselves on the map is the most satisfying one. Before, Carp wouldn’t play against Santa Barbara, Royal, Channel Islands, Ventura, or be invited to the Buena and South Torrance Tournaments and have a chance to compete against  bigger schools. They earned plenty of respect around the area.”

Torres started his coaching career with the lower level programs at Santa Barbara High before being hired at Carpinteria in 2008.

He said he hopes to return to coaching.

“I do want to return to coaching in the future and Carp would be ideal,” Torres said. “All the coaches there have been very supportive during my tenure and always gave me plenty of advice. Carp athletics is one big family where all the students and coaches support one another and I would love to come back one day.”

Cooney said Torres wants to aid in the coaching transition.

“The Warriors will miss him and will remain hopeful that he will choose to return in some capacity down the road,” said Cooney.

Cooney said the hiring process will begin in August when school opens again. “We do not truly have a pool of candidates at this time.”

Whoever takes over the program will have loads of talent and experience. Torres said 17 players are returning from a TVL championship team, and the JVs won the league title last season. The incoming freshman class will be one of the best ever, with six players being on a Santa Barbara Soccer Club Under-14 team that recently won the National Cup.

“With dedication and discipline, great things can be accomplished at Carp High,” said Torres, who regularly downplayed his coaching and passed all the credit to his players. “It’s a small school with a big heart and desire to succeed. I became the biggest fan of the team. I was fortunate to have sat on the bench and watch all their accomplishments from up close. For the most part they coach themselves. Again they deserve all the credit.”

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