English teacher Alicia Carrillo stepped down as North’s girls’ soccer head coach after five years of leading the program “to pursue other professional and personal interests,” she wrote in her press statement.
Looking back on these five years, Carrillo said, “I loved working toward a common goal with a group of people dedicated to accomplishing it.”
Carrillo took over the team in the 2015 season after James Hamblin stepped down as head coach.
“She brought a whole new energy to the team,” said athletic director Tom Giusti.
Her most successful season came in 2018 when she helped lead the team to its first tournament appearance since the team won the state championship in 2013.
According to junior Malia Sung, next year’s captain with juniors Jess Minkin and Catalina Powderly, “It was very clear that she cared about everyone on the team and she was a great educator, great coach and I think both of those things really came into play.”
Speaking about what she enjoyed most, Carrillo said, “I love showing a little tiny adjustment in the way someone’s foot touches the ball or a run into space can make a huge difference in the life of the game. I like sharing the poetry of soccer, the geometry of soccer, the magic of soccer and the joy of soccer.”
The culture of the soccer program was extremely important to Carrillo. She said she hopes to leave behind “this commitment to Tiger soccer culture. A commitment to the tenants of Tiger pride.” She said she looks forward “to sitting in the stands next year and watching the student athletes exhibit their positivity, resilience, investment, drive and energy.”
Sung added, “For her, a lot of the sort of Tiger pride aspects of the team are really important. Since as captains we are going to be on the committee to find the next coach and we’re a part of that process, I think we definitely want to carry that through.”
According to Giusti, the committee to fill the vacancy is made up of captains, parents, other North coaches, a member of the athletic administrative team and Giusti himself. The committee will interview potential candidates and make a recommendation to principal Henry Turner who ultimately makes the final decision.
According to Sung, “I am looking forward to seeing what kind of coach we’re gonna have next. We’re definitely looking for someone who holds some of the same qualities as her [Carrillo], that positivity and experience.”