ANNA - Marlon Madrigal, 34, has been named the new head coach of Anna girls soccer. Arriving from Bonham where he coached Lady Warriors soccer for three years, he is the program’s fourth head coach in four years, as his two immediate predecessors departed after single-season stints.
Wins were tough to come by at Bonham, but Madrigal said he sees better promise with the Lady Coyotes.
“There were a couple of positions out there for me to go for,” he said recently at Anna High School. “But when I saw Anna open up, I literally told my significant other, ‘I need that one.’ We’ve played Anna before at Bonham and I’ve seen what kind of capabilities the girls have. There’s more to work with at Anna. And what I’ve heard from all the people I’ve known in this school district, there’s great people and I will learn more how to be a teacher.”
Madrigal will teach Spanish at Anna Middle School.
A graduate of Texas A&M-Commerce, Madrigal earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. He and his fiancée Kimberlyne Oconitrillo have two sons, Dylan, 4, and Alexander, 4 months.
“He’s very passionate about soccer,” Anna Athletic Director Jason Heath said. “He loves the game. He was at Bonham when they started that program and he grew that program. He understands what it takes to develop a program. … We wanted somebody that’s going to be with us and is going to see it through for many years down the road.”
Madrigal is a native of Costa Rica, but he said that he does not go back that often.
“Most of my family is here,” he said.
That includes his parents who own a furniture business in Wolfe City and a brother and two sisters.
Bonham was Madrigal’s first public school coaching job.
While Madrigal was quite familiar with the game, its strategies and its terms, he said there was more he needed to master.
“What I did have to learn was how to set up a practice, how to get a team ready for a season — which I tried to learn as quickly as I could,” he said. “The first year, there was a learning curve. By the third year, you kind of figure out things. What I’ve learned is you have to work. If you don’t work, you’re not going to get anything done.”
Madrigal recalled one of his truthfulness sessions with the Lady Warriors, a time when they could say anything - good or bad - about one another.
“I came up and they were like, ‘Coach, you work really hard,’” he said. “To me, that’s better than saying, ‘You’re the smartest guy in the room.’ Nothing beats work, no matter how smart you are. I get that from my parents. My mom has been working since she was 13. My grandparents had a sewing company in Costa Rica.”
Madrigal commented on becoming the Lady Coyotes fourth coach in four years.
“I think what I’m going to bring is for them to understand it’s a safe place to be,” he said. “If you build a relationship, it works out everything. I see it as two broken relationships that they’ve gone through. I have to come in and win their trust. … I like to get to know them. I like to hear all the crazy stuff they do outside. It makes them not just another number on my sheet. To me, that’s important.
“I would never make a promise because life happens,” he added. “But I do expect them to understand that I care. So I will never say, ‘I’m going to be here for five years.’ … But I will show that I care. I think that goes a long way in them trusting me, and them also going as hard as they can for me.”
“They’re not going to like it at first,” Madrigal said. “I don’t know how much they were pushed. They will work. I will get them ready for the season. The whole point of doing it is to build a team. … We will run our butts off at practice because we’re going to pressure. We’re not going to be standing back. … I like the ball to be controlled. What I will teach, and it will be every practice, is control - a controlled pass and a controlled receive.” He said he’ll also stress good decision-making. “If you think it’s a good idea, try it. If I think it’s a dumb idea, I’ll tell you. But I don’t want you to not try it.”
The Lady Coyotes finished last season 1-6-1 in district, with an overall record of 7-9-4.