LongtimeSoccer Leader Returns To Cal South as COO
The Cal South Board of Directors announced the hiring of Johnnie Garza as Chief Operating Officer for the Association. Garza is a longtime leader of soccer in Southern California with more than 25 years of critical involvement, including serving a term as Cal South Board President from 2010-2013.
“There is simply no better COO for Cal South than Johnnie Garza,” said Cal South Board President and Chairman Derek Barraza. “Johnnie Garza is a game-changer. We are building a dream team and Garza’s background in management and extensive knowledge of Cal South uniquely qualifies him to lead our association into the future.”
Garza will retire from his role as the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Manager of National Airspace and return from Washington DC to Southern California and assume the role of COO as of January 1st, 2015.
“It is an incredible honor for me to be selected as Cal South’s Chief Operating Officer and serve our great association,” said Garza. “For more than forty years, Cal South has been a leader and trend setter within the soccer community. I am humbled and privileged to serve our membership in this capacity and look forward to working with the Board of Directors in achieving our objectives and continue our legacy into the future”.
“Our youth soccer players continually perform at the highest level across the country and our members deserve the very best from their state association,” said Barraza. “Garza is a high performing athlete of a leader who will strengthen our performance and help us build a strong future for soccer. Cal South is here to better serve the needs of our members and Garza will help us reach our goals. He has the operational experience and the proven ability to build high performing teams which will lead Cal South into the future.”
In addition to his term as Cal South Board President, Garza has served in a variety of positions, first as a coach for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) in 1998 and 1999, then as the Assistant District Commissioner for District 6 from 1999-2002. Garza then served as State Cup Chairperson from 2005 until 2007 and went on to join the Cal South Board of Directors as the Assistant Vice-President for three years after being elected to his first term in 2007.
“Soccer has been a huge part of my life as a volunteer and as a parent,” said Garza. “I am looking forward to being able to focus all of my attention on growing and developing the game in Southern California. Cal South is the premier state association and we have the opportunity and responsibility to make soccer the best possible experience for all ages and all skill levels.”
Garza has devoted decades of his life to the soccer world. With extensive experience on all sides of the game, Garza has been a soccer coach, referee, registrar as well as president of Cal South, US Youth Soccer’s most celebrated state association. Garza has a profound understanding of the needs of Cal South’s 204,000 plus members and promises to put all his talents to work diligently to realize a bright future for soccer in Southern California and America.