Aaron Jaffe has been hired to coach the girls varsity soccer team at Poway.
Aaron Jaffe was never a soccer star. In fact, he didn’t even play the sport in high school or college. But when his passion for soccer was given a boost while he watched the 2006 World Cup, there was no stopping his will to become a coach.
Jaffe, 29, a graduate of Mt. Carmel High, recently was named girls soccer coach at Poway High. He replaces Jen Lalor, who stepped down after 11 seasons to spend more time with her two children and pursue other avenues in the soccer realm.
“On paper, there are probably coaches out there with far more experience than I have,” said Jaffe, who teaches photography at Mt. Carmel and is a coach with the San Diego Soccer Club. “But I have really pushed myself the last five or six years. I lived on the field to make myself a better coach.”
It will be Jaffe’s first run as head coach at the varsity level. He spent last season as the junior varsity boys coach at Mt. Carmel. Before that, he spent time learning from some of the top coaches in the San Diego area.
Poway boys soccer coach Eugene Morris said Jaffe’s career path demonstrates his dedication.
“Aaron didn’t play soccer,” Morris said. “He learned everything as a non-player. He studied the game and volunteered a lot of hours. That right there shows you his drive.”
It was during his recovery from back surgery that Jaffe spent time on the couch watching the World Cup in ’06.
“That kind of rekindled my interest in soccer,” he said.
Jaffe, who graduated from Cal State San Marcos, sent random emails to college coaches in the area. To his surprise many of them agreed to let him watch practice sessions and even gave him pointers about teaching soccer.
Jaffe attended any clinics he could and had stints coaching at Mira Mesa High and Del Norte High. He even managed to spend time around the USD men’s soccer program, the LA Galaxy II and the San Diego SeaLions (professional women’s team) as a videographer. He would often shag balls and roam the field to learn from SeaLions coach and former Titans coach Lalor.
“There have been a lot of people that have taken a chance on me,” Jaffe said. “I am just so thankful for that.”
Jaffe is just the fourth head coach in the history of the girls soccer program at Poway.
“Poway is a great program filled with great people and great coaches,” he said. “Honestly, this is a dream come true for me. I am still in shock over it.”
The Titans went 12-8-2 last year, falling to Rancho Bernardo 1-0 in the San Diego Section Division I quarterfinals. Poway returns a strong group, including its top goal scorer.
“I am really excited for Aaron,” Morris said. “The Poway girls are going to be good. They have a lot of young, great players coming back and Aaron is a great coach. He knows the game very well.”