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Meet Rogelio Ochoa: Head Men's Soccer Coach

Meet Rogelio Ochoa: Head Men's Soccer Coach


Rogelio Ochoa isn't done for the day after teaching Spanish classes at Napa High School.

Ochoa, who is in his eighth year on the staff at Napa High, has two other jobs.

He is the head men's soccer coach at Napa Valley College, which began its season in August.

He is also the head coach for Napa Valley 1839 FC, a third-year local men's amateur soccer team which plays in the National Premier Soccer League West Region Conference.

Napa Valley 1839 FC plays a regular-season schedule in the Golden Gate Division and is currently playing a national schedule of matches in the NPSL Members Cup, a fall tournament that ends on Oct. 26.

"It's not the first time I have done three things at once," Ochoa said.

In the past, he has coached both high school and club soccer.

"I have always told myself that I'm not going to do it. But I end up somehow doing it," said Ochoa. "I have great support at home. My wife, my family, my parents and my siblings help out a lot. I'm very fortunate that I have that support at home, that they're allowing me to pursue my career and pursue what I love and to try to get better as coach, as a teacher in this profession."

Ochoa has an extensive background in soccer, both as a player and coach.

He played as a defensive midfielder for Napa United, Santa Rosa United and Vintage High School.

"I felt like I had the physicality and the stamina to just run around," said Ochoa, a 2004 Vintage High graduate, who played on the Crushers' varsity team for three years and was selected to the All-Napa County team.

He attended college at UC Davis and played on the UCD club team.

"I was fortunate to go there and had a great experience," he said.

Ochoa began coaching soccer with Napa United, spending five years with the organization. He has also been a coach with the Napa Soccer Academy.

He was an assistant coach at both Pioneer High in Woodland and at Napa High.

In six years as Napa High's head coach for boys soccer (2012-2017), Ochoa led the Grizzlies to the Monticello Empire League title in 2015 and to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs each year. Ochoa was also named as the MEL Coach of the Year, in 2015 and again in 2017.

Ochoa took over as Napa Valley College's head coach in 2017. He has led the Storm to successful seasons, as Napa Valley has won two straight Bay Valley Conference titles and advanced to the playoffs each year.

"One of the positives of working in the high school system is that you get to know a lot of these players. I get to watch them play, so it's good and it helps for recruitment purposes, and that way I can have a good idea of what I'm going to get before the season even starts," said Ochoa.

NVC lost to West Valley of Saratoga, 3-0, in the first round of last year's California Community College Athletic Association Northern California Regional Playoffs.

NVC lost to Hartnell of Salinas, 7-0, in the first round of the CCCAA Northern California Regional Playoffs in 2017.

Ochoa was named as the Bay Valley Conference Coach of the Year in both 2017 and 2018.

Ivan Colin is the Storm's assistant coach. Colin also plays for Napa Valley 1839 FC.

Ochoa said he views every week and every game as a new challenge as he goes about preparing his teams.

"You're always looking toward the next team and the next opponent, and you're always trying to make a game plan and making sure the team understands it to the best of their ability," said Ochoa.

"During our trainings, we work through it and we talk about in team meetings. It's very exciting. It's one challenge after another. Our nonconference schedule is very difficult. I made that purposely to challenge the boys. The goal is to prepare them as much as we can.

"With 1839, we are playing against very high-level professional opponents. The number one thing is that it's humbling. It shows us where we're at, as a community, and it shows where we can be. I think it's pushing us as a team, as a coaching staff, to really push ourselves, to be as professional as possible, not just on the field, but off the field – taking care of our bodies, the way we eat, the way we sleep, in order to be able to compete at this level.

"It's just a whole different level. The players have really stepped up and have really developed this new professional definition when it comes to the game."

Napa Valley 1839 FC went 3-6-2 during the Golden Gate Division regular season. 

New York Cosmos B, Detroit City FC, Chattanooga FC, Milwaukee Torrent, Michigan Stars FC and Napa Valley 1839 FC are the teams in the NPSL Members Cup.

Ochoa graduated from UC Davis in 2009 with a degree in ethnic studies in Spanish. His minor was in education.

He got his state teaching credential from Sacramento State and received his masters in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in Irvine.

Ochoa and his wife, Veronica, have a son, Rogelio Ochoa III, 3, and make their home in Napa.

* Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association, Associated Press Sports Editors, and California Prep Sports Media Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Vintage High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019.