Phillips steps down, Moreno steps in as Holy Trinity boys soccer coach
Holy Trinity athletic director James Phillips, left, poses with new varsity boys soccer coach Adrian Moreno. Phillips stepped down after 13 seasons as the Tigers head coach. Moreno is a Holy Trinity alumnus.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
Ten years ago, Adrian Moreno kicked his last soccer ball in high school while wearing a Holy Trinity jersey.
Now, the 28-year-old is set to become the Tigers varsity boys soccer head coach.
James Phillips, who led the Tigers program for 13 seasons, is stepping down after spending the past year as both the boys soccer coach and the school’s athletic director.
“With this new job, it was more of a time thing more than anything else,” Phillips said. “I just didn’t have the time, I felt, to dedicate fully to program. It needs a fully dedicated coach. It was just too much.”
The 42-year-old Phillips led the Tigers to nine district championships and one regional title — and therefore a spot in the state final four — as Holy Trinity’s head coach.
Moreno, who would go on to play at UCF, was a sophomore striker at Holy Trinity when Phillips took over the program and was part of the first district championship team.
He came back to Holy Trinity as a graduate assistant five years ago and coached the JV team. He was the assistant coach to Phillips this past season as Holy Trinity reached the regional semifinals.
“He knows the program so well. He knows the tradition of the program,” Phillips said of Moreno. “He was an easy choice to fill the shoes.”
Moreno never thought he would be returning to his old high school, let alone to take over for Phillips, but is glad for the opportunity.
“I’ve loved soccer all my life,” he said. “(Phillips) gave me so much, I wanted to give back.”
To that end, Moreno has set a broad range of areas he would like to help the Tigers improve on, and they’re not all about just playing soccer.
“My goal here is not just to make the kids better soccer players on the field,” he said. “It’s also to instill the work ethic that they have on the field and apply it to other things in their life.
“The things that (Phillips) taught me are about work and attitude and putting everything you can (into what you do). I want these kids to take those skills and use them when they go to college, use it for their studies and when they go into the job field.
“If you use that hard work ethic, the traits you get from a coach, you can achieve great things.” VV