Juan Salamanca (Sports)
Photograph Ray J. Gadd
Family: Wife, Cecilia, and three children, Omar, Edgar and Andrés
Occupation: Dual Immersion Teacher at Hailey Elementary, Youth Soccer Coach
For the last three summers, Juan Salamanca has worked tirelessly to help kids get outside. A bilingual Spanish teacher at Hailey Elementary, “Sr. Salamanca” is also the co-president of La Liga del Fútbol del Valle, a growing local soccer league for Latino and Anglo kids in need of something to do when the school doors close.
Where are you from?
I was born in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico.
What do you in the Valley?
Teaching is my profession and I’ve been doing it for 11 years. I’m also really involved in the community, with activities at the church and with the kids. One of the things I helped do is start this soccer league for kids who don’t have the means to enter another program during the summer.
What’s most rewarding about coaching?
I love sports. I spend a lot time with my own boys playing sports—baseball, football, soccer, basketball. So I just like to encourage kids to play and get involved. We chose soccer because of it’s popularity in our culture.
How would you describe your coaching style?
The things I always work towards are respect, having fun and building some skills. If we lose or win, the main thing is to enjoy the game. That’s what I stress with the kids.
Who’s your favorite soccer team or player?
I follow the Mexican league, so I’m a Chivas fan. I also follow a lot of the big teams, like Barcelona, and I really enjoy watching (Lionel) Messi. Also Manchester United because of Javier Chicharito, who used to play for Chivas.
What’s your favorite food?
I could eat carne asada every night.
What’s your favorite book?
Lluvia de Oro [by Victor Villasenor], which is about a family that moves to the U.S. and how they adapt to the new culture.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Well, the World Cup is coming up in Brazil [laughs]… and going to that would be incredible.