Santa Barbara High has named coaches for its varsity boys and girls soccer teams, Todd Heil, the school’s new athletic director, announced.
Ricardo Alcaraz Cuellar, a SBHS alum and a lower level coach in the Dons boys soccer program, has been promoted to head coach. He replaces Heil, who coached for 21 years and won three CIF-Southern Section titles, a State Regional title, 16 Channel League titles and 431 games.
Heil, who officially took over the AD position on July 1, named former professional soccer player and Cal State Northridge star Willie Sims to run the SBHS girls soccer program.
Sims has coached club soccer in the community. He is currently a development director and coach on the girls side with Santa Barbara Soccer Club. Previously, he was a volunteer assistant at CSUN and a varsity assistant coach at Bishop Diego.
Sims was a first-team All-American at CSUN in 2005 and was drafted by the New England Revolution of MLS in 2006. He played briefly with the Revolution and later played for a professional team in his native Guatemala. He also saw action for the Guatemalan national team.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to have someone of Willie’s playing and coaching experience lead the girls soccer program at SBHS,” said Heil. “Willie joined the girls soccer coaching staff at SBHS in the middle of last season and had an immediate impact on the varsity team. He’s a student of the game who understands the importance of not just developing soccer players, but helping our student-athletes grow as individuals as well. We’re very excited about the future and direction of the girls soccer program with Willie at the helm.”
Alcaraz Cuellar is a member of a prominent soccer family in Santa Barbara. He and his four brothers (Armando, Hugo, Luis and Johnny) are part of the sport’s rich tradition at SBHS. They all went on to play in college.
Alcaraz Cuellar was a starting midfielder on Heil’s 2001 CIF-SS championship team. He continued his career and education at Westmont, where he was a four-year starter for coach Dave Wolf’s Warriors.
He is a teacher at Franklin Elementary School and has been coaching soccer at SBHS for the last decade.
“Ricardo is a SBHS alum that has been an integral part of the boys soccer coaching staff for the better part of the last decade,” said Heil. “Ricardo was an incredible player who led by example on the field. I’m excited that he now gets the opportunity to lead this program as its next head coach.
“His passion for the boys’ soccer program and SBHS as a whole is unmatched. I have no doubt that he will work tirelessly to carry on the established tradition within the program that is simply ‘Nosotros.’’’
Alcaraz Cuellar becomes the sixth boys soccer coach in the history of the program, following Lito Garcia, Pat Butler, Joby Nunez, Rudy Ybarra and Heil.
“First, I’d like to say thank you to my family for their support,” said Alcaraz Cuellar. “Second, I would like to thank Principal Elise Simmons and Athletic Director Todd Heil for giving me the opportunity to lead one of the most successful and rich tradition soccer programs in the state
“I’m excited to coach the SBHS boys soccer team. Playing for this program 20 years ago gave me many great and fun memories, and now I have the opportunity to make sure these student-athletes create their own.”
Santa Barbara is still looking for a softball coach. For information, contact Heil at firstname.lastname@example.org.