From field to classroom

Spanish teacher’s professional soccer career


Photo courtesy of Juan Aguirre

Spanish teacher and soccer coach, Juan Agurrie poses in an indoor soccer complex for his club team in the United States. He played indoor professional soccer for the Witchita Wings, in Witchita Kansas. “When I first moved to the United States in 1991 the soccer league was much less developed than it is now,” Aguirre said. “Back then soccer was just starting the develop”

Annabelle Harshbarger, Staff Reporter

Playing on a professional sports team is the goal for many student-athletes. Hitting a home run or kicking the winning goal in front of a stadium of cheering fans may only seem like a dream, but for Spanish teacher and varsity boys soccer coach Juan Aguirre, this dream became a reality.

Aguirre has played soccer since he could kick a ball, and started playing at his first club at age 14. While playing club soccer Aguirre would practice six days a week and spend almost all his time on the field. It was his dream to play professionally since he was 5 years old when his father took him to his first game. He had the opportunity to fulfill this dream when he was only 18 and made his first professional club team. 

“When I was very young and my father took me to the stadium and it struck me that soccer is what I wanted to do,” Aguirre said. “And for me to be able to accomplish that was huge.” 

Aguirre played for three different clubs during his professional career, Racing Club, Launs and Boca Junior. All three of which were in Argentina. When Aguirre played on his last club team, the Boca Juniors, he had the opportunity to play with players he had looked up to since he was young. He played professionally for six years. Although his team did not win great things during that time Agurrie still grew as an athlete and a person.

“Until this day I am still a very disciplined person and I take care of my body and health,” Aguirre said. “Playing at the professional level taught me to appreciate what God gave me.”

For many, including Aguirre soccer is much more than just a sport. While growing up in Bueños Aires, playing soccer was a way for him to stay away from drugs and other bad things. 

“Growing up, it was easy for people to get wrapped up in drugs and other bad things in the streets,” Aguirre said. “But for me playing soccer helped me stay away from that because when you are an athlete you have to have discipline.”  

After playing for the three clubs in Argentina, Agurrie moved to the United States. Here he played for the Witchita Wings in Witchita, Kansas. This team was part of a professional indoor league. He later played for a semi-professional team in Denver. 

Aguirre continues to share his passion for the sport by coaching. This year he will be the head coach of the Millard West boys varsity soccer team for the first time. From 2007 to 2015 Aguirre was the assistant coach with Ron Beerink. He is also the kicking coach for the Millard West football team.  

“My professional career helps me, coach, because I am able to identify certain things I have seen as a player,” Aguirre said. “I really enjoy teaching the game and sharing my experience and anecdotes” 

In 2015, Agurrie took a break from coaching Millard West soccer to spend time with his daughters, Lauren and  Elise Aguirre and watch them play soccer. He would help his daughters with technique and also just enjoy the game with them.

“When I was playing soccer my dad and I would practice together,” sophomore Lauren Aguire said. “He taught me good field plays and cool techniques.”   

Aguirre now enjoys the sport by coaching and spending time playing daughters.