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Valencia soccer coach Scalercio resigns

Posted: August 28, 2014 10:15 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2014 10:15 p.m.

Tony Scalercio won two Foothill League titles, in 2001 with the girls team and 2013 with the boys team. Signal file photo

 

Another pillar of the Valencia High athletic program is gone.

Vikings soccer coach Tony Scalercio resigned as head boys coach last week.

Scalercio had coached at Valencia for 17 consecutive seasons — first the girls team and second the boys team.

His three children Kierra, Keenan and Lukas all played for him in the program.

“Huge,” said Valencia Athletic Director Brian Stiman on how big a loss Scalercio is. “The guy’s been rock-solid since the school opened up. Great guy. Knows the game. Knows kids. Loves kids. Tough one. Tough one to see him go.”

Over the last year, Valencia has seen longtime tennis coach Annie Kellogg resign as boys tennis coach and the departure of baseball coach Jared Snyder and boys basketball coach Rocket Collins. That’s nearly 80 years of coaching at Valencia between the four.

Scalercio said it was just time for him to step down.

“I’ve been doing this 17 years and I don’t think there’s ever a right time, but at this point I just need a break,” Scalercio said. “There will always be players I want to come back and coach or a team I want to come back and coach. But at this point I’m focusing my efforts on club teams.”

Scalercio, who has long been a club coach, will continue to coach at the club level and said he would help the Valencia program in its transition with its next coach.

Scalercio guided the Valencia girls program from 1998 to 2005 and the boys program from 2005 to 2014.

In that time, he won two Foothill League titles (2001 girls and 2013 boys) and was the coach of the 2003 girls team that made it to the CIF-Southern Section Division II title game and lost 2-0 to Westlake.

“This was a really difficult decision, and it was an emotional decision,” Scalercio said.

The 48-year-old’s greatest contribution to the program, Stiman said, was how he connected with his players.

Scalercio’s sense of humor was as strong as his coaching ability.

His brand of soccer was a strategic, defensive-minded game of keep away and counterattacks.

“I would say my teams are very tactically sound and defensively very sound,” Scalercio said. “I find beauty in defending.”

He didn’t rule out coaching at the high school level again.

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