Four area high schools will have new girls soccer head coaches this fall, including two defending region champions and a defending state champion.
Ryan Robinson takes over at Ogden High, Lei Anne Price will coach at Weber High, Thomas Zarate will coach at Northridge and William Echeverria will take over the girls program at Ben Lomond, where he’s currently the boys soccer head coach.
Each new coaching hire was confirmed by the respective schools’ athletic directors.
Here’s a little bit about the new Ogden, Weber and Northridge coaches.
RYAN ROBINSON, OGDEN
The defending 4A state champion and Region 10 champion Ogden Tigers have a new head coach set for this fall.
For those who’ve kept track of Ogden High’s soccer program throughout the years, Ryan Robinson’s name should be familiar. He was the head coach of Ogden’s boys soccer team that won the 3A state championship in 2002.
Robinson graduated from Ben Lomond High and started his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Ogden boys program, then became the head coach a couple years later.
Things have come a long way since he was last a head coach at Ogden.
“Obviously they’re not playing at Mt. Ogden Park anymore, they’ve got a nice facility. I just think soccer in general has come a long ways in 20 years,” Robinson said.
Robinson replaces Skylar Stam as the head coach. Ogden’s girls team is coming off a banner season in which the Tigers went 18-2, outscored their opponents 92-17 and won both the Region 10 title and 4A state title.
In that regard, Robinson says the program has been highly successful and not much needs to change, “if anything.”
“More than winning, I think there’s an opportunity for the program of soccer, both boys and girls, just to be a focal point of the school, a focal point of the community. It’d just be nice for them to do really well and then use that to have positive vibes all around town altogether,” he said.
Robinson is currently the principal at North Davis Preparatory Academy in Layton.
LEI ANNE PRICE, WEBER
Lei Anne Price has been waiting to coach soccer at the high school level, and the time has finally come.
Her children are older now and she can put in the time she wants at the high school level once she starts as Weber High’s new girls soccer coach in the fall.
The Warriors have had numerous players graduate and move on to the Division I level in recent years, including Camryn Karras (Air Force), Brynlee Collings (Colorado College) and Megan Price, Lei Anne’s daughter who is at Weber State.
Team success, though, has largely eluded Weber for the past three seasons. The Warriors went 4-14 in 2019.
Price wants to continue the recent trend of college-level players coming through Weber but, first and foremost, she wants the team to love playing soccer.
“My coaching philosophy is to enjoy the beautiful game,” Price said.
Price is a special education teacher at Bonneville Elementary. Her three older children have graduated from Weber High. She’s coached at Highland Junior High as well as the La Roca soccer club for the past few years.
Her daughter, Megan, just finished her senior season on Weber State’s women’s soccer team.
Price went to Ben Lomond High, played on the club soccer team at Weber State and then was part of the first NCAA sanctioned women’s soccer team at WSU in 1996.
To this day, she’s one of four WSU players to score a hat trick in a game, according to the school’s 2019 media guide.
In 25 games with WSU over the 1996-97 seasons, Price scored 10 goals with five assists. Price was college teammates with Layton High head coach Tara Ferrin, whose team the Warriors will face twice in Region 1 play.
THOMAS ZARATE, NORTHRIDGE
The Region 1 champions will have a new head coach this fall in Thomas Zarate, who was an assistant coach the previous two seasons.
Northridge went 15-3-1 overall in 2019, won the Region 1 title and made a run to the state semifinals. The Knights had a team of mostly seniors, but Zarate thinks an expected young lineup in 2020 can work to their advantage.
“It’s certainly a rebuild year, so I think a lot of people are going to underestimate us because they’re going to say, ‘yeah, they lost all their good players,’” he said.
Zarate was getting ready to apply to graduate school to pursue a PhD in economics, then moved to Utah from New York state and became a math teacher at Sunset Junior High a little more than three years ago.
“The end goal was always to teach at some level, a lot of my family are educators,” he said.
He happened to move in across the street from Wyatt Kennah, who was Northridge’s head coach until stepping down at the end of the 2019 season. Zarate and Kennah talked, Zarate said he wanted to get into coaching and Kennah brought him on as an assistant.