Trejo tabbed to take over NHS girls soccer
Newberg girls soccer will enter a new era this fall with the hiring of former Beaverton and Clackamas boys coach Anthony Trejo.
Trejo will succeed Jon Halstead, who stepped down after the conclusion of the 2017 season last fall after leading the program for 10 years.
"It's time to give someone else a chance to lead this program," Halstead said. "It's been a good run."
That person will be Trejo, who stepped down as boys coach at Beaverton following the 2016 season and moved his family to Newberg last fall while taking a year off from coaching.
He reached out to NHS athletic director Tim Burke after the season just hoping to get involved, perhaps as an assistant, and learned that the coaching position would be vacant.
"I wanted to make sure I got involved in the community because I've got younger girls, 5 and 3, that one day will be going there," Trejo said. "I don't think I'll coach that long, but hopefully will lay down a foundation that one day they'll play in the program."
Trejo was one of four candidates interviewed and has coaching stints at Clackamas (2010-2014) and Beaverton (2015-2016); he was by far the most experienced candidate.
Burke said the hiring committee he convened also liked Trejo's soccer acumen and approach to coaching.
"He's going to push them, but he understands he needs to build relationships first," Burke said. "When you earn that trust, then you can push kids a little harder and he's definitely ready to do that."
Trejo, who is a branch manager for Umpqua Bank in Wilsonville, said he is excited to finally have a chance to coach where he lives and to put some roots down. When he coached at Clackamas, he lived and commuted from Beaverton. While coaching the Beavers, he lived in Canby.
"So this is the first time it's really worked out where I'm coaching in my backyard," Trejo said. "As much as I was invested in those communities and building a program, I think it's going to be a lot more involvement for me this time around. I am truly excited about that."
Trejo is also a former player, playing goalie at Cascade Christian College in Portland, a branch of Oklahoma Christian University that closed in 2009 due to financial difficulties.
After graduating, Trejo coached for one season at his alma mater, then spent two years as an assistant at Willamette University before accepting the coaching position at Clackamas. In five seasons, Trejo led the Cavaliers to the state playoffs three times, advancing to the quarterfinals twice and semifinals once.
In 2015, Trejo took over a Beaverton team that had gone 1-10-3 the previous season and quickly turned the program around, going a combined 13-14-5 in two seasons and making the playoffs both times. He sees a similar challenge and potential for success in Newberg, which went winless in 2017.
Trejo said his biggest strength lies in Xs and Os and in-game adjustments, but that his overall approach is to immediately and consistently demonstrate his passion for the game to the players.
"Hopefully that rubs off on them to really buy into what we're doing as a program. That's how I've been at every stop. Granted I'm 10 years older than when I first started coaching, but I feel the passion and my fire for coaching and just soccer alone is still there."
Trejo has some experience coaching girls but hopes that retaining both assistants from last year -- former NHS players Danielle Scott Goodman (tentatively) and Mikayla Oviatt -- will be helpful both for that transition and for the players getting to know a new coach.
Halstead, who continues to coach the Newberg girls tennis team, amassed an overall 42-85-18 record and made the state playoffs five times in 10 years at Newberg.
"He just said it was time," Burke said. "He'd been doing it for 10 years and he wanted to step aside and give me time to find somebody who could put the time into it. His son is getting older and I don't think he wants to miss out on anything he's going to be a part of."