A Coach Unlike Others:

The Story of Abraham Becerril

Jesus Sandoval, Staff Writer

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The state of California has 1300 public high schools. Each probably offers around 10 sports, all with their own coaches. Now, applying a bit of elementary math skills, we can estimate that there are around 13,000 head coaches in California’s public high schools (at least). Thirteen thousand. With such a large number, it might seem difficult to find a coach that is truly different from any other. At Edison High School, however, there is a coach that stands out. There is a coach whose knowledge and understanding of the game of soccer is masterful. A coach with a unique background and special experiences. A coach whose impact extends far beyond the confines of the soccer field. Abraham Becerril, better known as Coach Abraham, is a the J.V. soccer coach at Edison High. His story, expertise, and commitment have helped him influence the lives of Edison’s students for years, and it is because of this that he is what makes Edison special.


Coach Abraham was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He lived there for 18 years, where he was able to study through high school. His family would eventually move to the city of Tampico, Tamaulipas, where he had the opportunity to attend and graduate from university. In Mexico, Coach was also able to play soccer at the professional level. His life in the South wasn’t perfect, however. He had issues within his family, as his father struggled with alcoholism, and his transition from the huge capital of Mexico to the small coastal city of Tampico also required many adjustments. At the age of 27, Coach had an opportunity to come to the United States. A relative had started his own car shop, and he needed someone he could trust to help him. He asked Coach Abraham, and although it was never something he had planned, he was young and single, so he decided to go.


The day was October 15th, 1996. Coach had arrived to San Diego, California, and he listened to the radio. There was breaking news: a famous matador had passed away. But it wasn’t just any matador; it was the one Coach had idolized growing up, the one who made him have dreams of also growing up to be a torero. The news made his first day in the United States a sad one, but it would not be a sign of things to come for Abraham Becceril’s life in the country. Unlike most immigrants, he was fortunate enough to already have a job upon his arrival. He learned many things as a mechanic, knowledge he still values to this day, yet the job wasn’t something he was truly passionate about. He made his way into the education industry, working as an instructional assistant for spanish speakers at Tehipite middle school. It was there that his life changed forever: Coach would fall in love with the woman who would become his wife and the mother of his daughter. Along with this, Abraham Becerril would become “Coach Abraham,” succeeding the Tehipite soccer coach after having helped him for a couple of seasons. Eventually, Coach Abraham would continue his work as an instructional assistant at Edison High School. After receiving a recommendation from the former Tehipite athletic director, who had thought highly of Coach ever since he witnessed him handle a tryout with 75 (an insane amount) players, he would start to help an initially reluctant head coach Femi Olukanni on the varsity soccer team. More recently, he has coached the freshman and junior varsity teams of Edison.


Working at Edison, both as an instructional assistant and coach, has undoubtedly been one of the most important stages in the life of Coach Abraham. As an instructional assistant, he has especially enjoyed the incredible diversity of Edison. Working with students of various backgrounds has been a fantastic opportunity for him. As a coach, he takes pride in preparing his players for the varsity level by implementing the same system as Coach Femi, allowing them to become accustomed to the style and philosophy of play, as well as the high expectations. More importantly, however, Coach’s first priority has always been to be the best influence he could be for his players. He knows that most of his players join already having an idea of the game, so he wants those who come through the Edison High soccer program to gain much more than soccer ability. He has worked tirelessly to develop in them qualities which he has found to be essential for success in life: leadership, teamwork, and the recognition that progress can only be achieved through the understanding of and cooperation with those around you. And that, that is why Coach is unique, and why he makes Edison High truly outstanding.


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This story is based on an interview conducted with Abraham Becerril himself.