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Alex Uribe has a lot of experience coaching soccer in the Santa Ynez Valley. 

Only, nearly all of his experience came at Santa Ynez High School, where he spent 14 seasons as head coach of the Pirates. 

Uribe will spend his 15th season coaching in the Valley at another school with a very distinguished soccer history.

The Dunn School in Los Olivos announced this week that Uribe has agreed to become the Earwigs' newest coach, taking over for the retired Mark Geriak. 

Uribe won nine Los Padres League titles in his 14 seasons with the Pirates, making it to the CIF Southern Section championship game in 2005, where the Pirates lost to rival Santa Maria. Uribe made the postseason every year he was in charge at Santa Ynez.

Uribe will have the chance to coach his youngest son, sophomore center-mid Michael Uribe, on a Dunn team that won the Division 6 championship last year and is losing two Division I players, including the Gatorade State Player of the Year. 

The Earwigs, behind the play of Rodney Michael, the Gatorade honoree and UCSB commit, and Peter Kargbo, who has signed to play at Boston University, won two CIF titles over the last three years.

The Earwigs also featured Abu Danladi, the Gatorade National Player of the Year who went on to star at UCLA and become the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft by Minnesota United earlier this year. Danladi is a native of Ghana, and Kargbo and Micahel are both from Sierra Leone.

Uribe is clearly taking over a program with loads of recent success. 

"I think it’s going to be a little bit of the same, but there certainly are some different factors," Uribe said during a recent phone interview. "Santa Ynez had a lot of really good local players. Dunn has good players from different countries. It's also a bit different when you’re at a private school. We’re in the Condor League and it's not really competitive right now. At Santa Ynez we'd play the Los Padres League teams, like Santa Maria, and teams from Santa Barbara and SLO. Also, the Thanksgiving and holiday breaks, with Dunn being a boarding school, are completely different.

"So it's some of the same and a little bit of the new."

Dunn also announced that local AYSO leader and coach Joey Tensley will coach the junior varsity squad. 

The Dunn School is happy to have a coach in Uribe with a lengthy resume take over for the retired Geriak.

"The Dunn program is a perfect place for both of these coaches," Head of School Mike Beck said in a press release. "With two CIF Championships in three years, we already have a strong program, and there's no doubt that Alex and Joey will only build on our success on the field."

Uribe led the Pirates through the 2015 season, but took the last two years off. His main reason for stepping away from the pitch was to be there for his daughter Natalie Uribe, who was a member of the girls soccer team at Santa Ynez.

"During her first three years I missed all her games," Uribe said. "Because the boys team would be home and the girls would always be away or the other way around."

Uribe spent the 2016 season watching Natalie play for the Pirates. Last season, he was busy watching his son Michael play as a freshman. But Michael was not in the black and orange at Santa Ynez, but rather spent this season playing midfield and right-back for the Earwigs and he'll be counted upon even more in his sophomore season.

Dunn loses both Michael and Kargbo from the Division 6 championship team that went 16-1-1 last year. Uribe says he's focused on the team meshing together before turning his attention to other things.

"The first thing we have to do is get these guys to be a close-knit team," Uribe said. "We did lose some major players so we have to get this team to be cohesive and to play as a unit."

After ensuring the players cooperate on and off the pitch, Uribe will start instilling his philosophies on the team.

"The coach should determine which formations are best and what kind of players he has," Uribe said. "We've had some really strong teams and there are some very competitive guys coming in. I'll be seeing what I have and what formation fits our system. A lot of coaches focus on European formations or whatever the latest trend is. I want to see what I have and what formation fits our team."


Sports Editor

Alumni Fresno State