GLENDALE — Following a Pacific League game midway through the league season, Reggie Rivas remembers his 4-year-old daughter Brittany asking him whether or not he would be home or if he had more soccer to coach later.
It was a common occurrence, but this particular day is the one which Rivas looks back upon as the genesis of making his decision to step down as coach of the Crescenta Valley High girls’ soccer team, which he announced to the squad on Wednesday as two-year assistant Jorden Schulz (Stanley) was introduced as the new coach.
“My daughter Brittany asked me everyday, ‘Are you gonna be at soccer today?” said Rivas, who cited spending more time with his wife, daughter and 1-year-old son as the major factor in him stepping away from the Falcons program. “I want to spend time with them.
“I was being pulled in so many directions and it was taking away from my family.”
But it was also following along the lines of an easy transition for Schulz and following along the lines of a plan set in motion when Rivas returned to lead the Falcons before the 2008-09 season.
“When we started, he was planning on getting a couple of years under both our belts and then stepping down,” said the 24-year-old Schulz, who played under Rivas at CV before graduating in 2003. “It was planned from the beginning, we just didn’t know exactly when.”
Rivas, with Schulz as an assistant in 08-09 and a co-coach last season, led the Falcons to consecutive Pacific League titles over the last two seasons and a trip to the CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinals in his first year and the second round of the playoffs this past season. He leaves with an 89-24-17 record over five seasons and two stints as CV soccer coach, the first characterized by a run to the CIF championship match in 2002 and the second seeing the Falcons go 34-5-9 over the last two years, with a 24-2-2 mark in league.
Rivas is happy about leaving the program in what he sees as the capable hands of Schulz.
“In a perfect world, yes, I wanted Jorden to take over,” Rivas said. “The program’s in great hands.
“She’s a good coach and she’s gonna keep the program going in the right direction.”
It’s a program that must deal with the losses of senior mainstays Frances Boukidis, Dana Dowse, Amanda Rose Johnson, Olivia Sierra and Danny Cardenas.
One of the most prominent returners will be Jordan Royer, an All-Area and All-CIF selection as a sophomore who missed her junior year due to injury. Royer believes the transition will be made easier due to the team’s familiarity with Schulz.
“We definitely heard rumblings about it,” said Royer of the change. “We always knew that [Rivas] respected [Schulz’] opinions and he made comments that she was the future of this program.
“I feel like she’s always been that person that’s straight with us. Jorden is Jorden. She’s a great coach whether she’s the assistant or the head, I don’t think that will change.”
Nonetheless, some things will change.
“I have a lot of similarities to Reggie, but I also have a lot of differences to him,” Schulz said. “The goal is always to win Pacific League and hopefully go farther in CIF than the year before. I don’t think the goals are gonna change, but I think the mentality has to change.”
Rivas will also maintain his position as Director of Coaching at the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club, in which Schulz also coaches. Leading the CVSC and its demands was another reason for Rivas’ departure.
Still, Rivas is quick to admit he’ll miss his time coaching the Falcons.
“Absolutely I’m gonna miss it,” he said. “I loved coaching for Crescenta Valley High School.”
For Schulz, though, it’s an opportunity to coach her alma mater, something she never fathomed back in her playing days but is certainly energized about now.
“I’m excited. I’ll probably become more nervous when it gets going, but I’m ready to get going [right now],” she said. “I’m really excited to do it.”