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Daniel Richards steps down as Laguna Beach boys’ soccer coach

Estancia vs. Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach’s Jet Rocha (14) and Estancia’s Charlie Segura battle for the ball in a home match on Jan. 17, 2018.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

After nine seasons as the head coach of the Laguna Beach High boys’ soccer program, Daniel Richards posted on his Facebook page that he has stepped down.

Richards said it wasn’t possible to continue coaching Laguna Beach because of his coaching duties as an assistant with the Cal Poly Pomona women’s soccer program and the Pateadores club soccer program.

He guided the Breakers to an overall record of 64-62-38 during his tenure. Laguna Beach went 32-37-17 in league matches under Richards.

“I always wanted to make sure that when I finally left the program, it would be in a stronger and healthy position for whoever was lucky enough to work there next,” Richards said in the post. “With a strong culture, amazing facilities [and] equipment, a healthy booster club, new young talent coming through getting the opportunities with a club program being back in the city along with a supportive community and group of parents, I’m sure the program will only improve further and go from strength to strength under its new leadership.”

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Richards thanked his predecessor as head coach of the Breakers, Patrick Coyne, for helping him to break in with the program, as well as former Laguna Beach athletic director Mike Churchill and current athletic director Lance Neal. He also expressed his gratitude toward the program’s booster representatives, those who had served as part of the Laguna Beach coaching staff during his time at the school.

As for acknowledging his players, Richards added, “I’m proud of all the young men who have been a part of this amazing journey and have enjoyed watching you all grow and mature.”

Richards is headed into his fifth season as an assistant coach at Cal Poly Pomona.

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Laguna Beach also made five CIF Southern Section playoff appearances under Richards, including four straight berths from 2012-2015. The Breakers last qualified for the postseason in 2017.

Last season, Laguna Beach moved into the Sunset Conference. The Breakers went 4-9-3 overall and 1-5 in the new Wave League. Laguna Beach notched its lone league victory in its season finale, a 6-0 shutout at Marina.

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