BROADALBIN — Broadalbin-Perth High School has appointed Juan Garzon as its new boys’ varsity soccer coach.
Garzon, who grew up in South America in Colombia, came to the United States at the age of 18 to pursue soccer in college. After finishing his collegiate career at The College of Saint Rose, he settled in Broadalbin with his wife, Jackie, and two daughters, Kaira and Kamila.
“That’s what I’ve been working for, having my own team and being able to put my own ideas into a program,” said Garzon, who has coached at several local clubs and served as an assistant at The College of Saint Rose and SUNY Adirondack. “As an assistant, I’ve had really good mentors and I’ve worked hard to learn from them and their different styles.”
During his time at Saint Rose, where he served as a captain, Garzon helped out with local recreation and club teams. However, a coaching career never occurred to him until post-graduation.
“Since I was a kid, my goal was always to play soccer,” Garzon said. “I wanted to play professional soccer. After college, I had many surgeries on my knees, so I couldn’t continue playing. I never saw myself as a coach, to be honest, until the moment I realized I couldn’t play anymore. I love the game and always wanted to be involved in the game.”
Garzon takes over for Brian Henry, who led the program for 21 years. Last season, the Patriots boys’ soccer team fell in the Section 2 Class B quarterfinals 2-1 to eventual champion Mechanicville.
“I’ve met with some of them and I’ve gone to some of their club practices,” Garzon said of his interactions so far with the Broadalbin-Perth players.
Garzon is in the process of finalizing the remainder of his coaching staff, including the varsity assistant, junior varsity and modified coaches.
“When you’re playing, you’re just focused on playing your position and doing your job. As a coach, you’ve got to be focused on everything,” he said. “You have to learn how to manage a group, all the technical and tactical aspects of the game and focus on every single position.”
On Saturday, he will have his first open practice for grades 6 to 11, an opportunity for both the players and Garzon to get to know each other.