Alta Loma boys soccer coach Ryan McConnell picked up a milestone win last week when the Braves edged Mt. Baldy League foe Don Lugo 2-1. It marked his 300th victory as the head coach.
McConnell, 42, has been in the program for 21 years, the last 20 as head coach.
He has enjoyed his two decades at the school, where he is a physical education teacher.
“I look at it as every player I have coached has paved the way for this,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to coach some kids that weren’t just great athletes, they’re good kids too.”
McConnell singles out his 2015 team as perhaps the most memorable. It finished 24-4-3 and advanced all the way to the CIF-SS Division 3 semifinal before losing to eventual champion Cathedral in a penalty kick shootout after a 2-2 tie.
“There is always something about a team that gets that far. It was special,” he said.
McConnell played and graduated from Cal State San Bernardino and got his first job working as an assistant for Dave Condino at Upland while he was still attending college. It was fellow student Mike Collins, the previous coach at Alta Loma, that told him he was planning to step down and encouraged McConnell to apply for the job.