Frank Zimmerman Notches 200th Coaching Victory at Oceanside High School
In February 2014, Oceanside’s well known youth soccer coach Frank Zimmerman joined an exclusive club as the Pirates rattled off their 200th victory under his leadership. Never a coach focused on winning at all costs, Zimmerman has devoted his life to developing players in an easy going and highly effective style.
Brad Ackles, Director of Recreation – Girls at Oceanside Breakers, believes Frank Zimmerman is an outstanding example of a truly great coach who coaches for the right reasons and says, “Frank is all about his love for his family, his soccer players and his community.”
Win or lose – and for Oceanside High School (or Oceanside Breakers SC) it is more often win – Frank Zimmerman has been an important element in the Oceanside boys’ soccer program. A three-year varsity captain for the Pirates during his own high school playing days, Zimmerman returned to his alma mater in 1996 and is the school’s sixth, and longest serving, head coach. On Wednesday, February 5, he joined a select group of head coaches when he directed the Pirates to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over rival Del Norte High School for his 200th prep career victory.
The win was one in a long list for Zimmerman at Oceanside H.S. In his 18 seasons as head coach, he has led the team to the Oceanside City Championship 18 consecutive season. Under Zimmerman’s direction, the Pirates have earned one CIF Championship (2002) and been CIF Finalist two other years (2007 and 2008). In his outstanding high school coaching career, he has taken his teams to tournament victories in the Nautical Cup Championship (1999) and the So Cal High School Classic Championship (2013).
Victory number 200 was long awaited and came after two disappointing results in league play. After earning win 199 in a hard-fought 1-0 match against Ramona High School on January 24, Oceanside hosted a tough Orange Glen High School side on January 29. The two teams battled from end to end, with Orange Glen taking 1-0 and 2-1 leads before Oceanside tied it at 2-2. The teams continued through extra time, with no one managing to net a goal. Finally, in stoppage time senior forward Cheyne Hausmaninger took a ball in the Oceanside half, dribbled under pressure through three opposing defenders, and fired a shot past the Orange Glen goalkeeper to put the Pirates up 3-2.
“We went nuts!” Zimmerman recalled. “The bench was going crazy, and our goalkeeper Roy Sarmiento set a personal best in the 100 yard dash, sprinting down the length of the field to jump on the pile in front of the Orange Glen goal!”
However, the victory was not to be. After order was restored on the field, the visiting Patriots marched down the field to score just before time ran out. Two days later, Mission Vista High School handed Oceanside their one and only league loss of the season, a 2-1 heartbreaker.
It all came down to the first meeting of the season with Del Norte. The Nighthawks came into the game following three straight 1-1 draws and were looking to prove themselves. Oceanside scored first, then went down 2-1 as Del Norte battled back. But the third time would prove to be the charm as the Pirates senior midfielder and team captain Luis Cardenas scored two late goals to give Zimmerman his 200th high school coaching victory.
“Luis willed us to victory with those two late goals for number 200,” said Zimmerman. “That was another exciting game!”
Asked what was most memorable about the win, Zimmerman responded, “Honestly, seeing my wife and children in the stands celebrating with my JV and frosh players. That choked me up.”
Oceanside would go on to finish out the regular season with four wins in five matches – the only blemish being another draw (1-1) with Orange Glen. On Senior Night, Friday, February 21, the Pirates sealed the season with a 6-0 drubbing of Mission Vista – a fitting end and a measure of revenge for their only league loss.
“We had another come from behind 3-2 win against Ramona in the second round of league play, scoring in the final minute,” Zimmerman recalled. “This team does not quit, and I love them for that!”
While earning high school victory number 200 was a thrill for Zimmerman, it is only a portion of the success he has had as a coach. Along with leading the boys’ soccer team at Oceanside, where he also teaches digital video communications, the Oceanside High and San Diego State University graduate is men’s soccer head coach at Mira Costa Community College and Director of Coaching at Soccer Club of Oceanside, better known as the Oceanside Breakers. He has also been Director of the Coop Beach Soccer Championships in Oceanside, which will celebrate its eighth annual season this May.
In 2013, Zimmerman joined with fellow Directors of Coaching Rene Miramontes, Paolo Landini, Cha Cha Namdar and Sami Nedjar to create the San Diego Developmental Academy (SDDA). This forward-looking league, which is supported by San Diego’s Presidio Soccer League, is focused on helping players to develop their skills for the long term and elevating member clubs to “Blue Ribbon” status. The league recently completed its first season, which included several successful Showcase Events for players.
Zimmerman has been recognized for these efforts as well as his success as a coach numerous times over the years. He was named North County Times High School Male Sports Coach of the Year in 2002, the CIF San Diego County Soccer Coach of the Year in 2006, and most recently the Cal South Nike Youth Soccer Coach of the Year in 2008. Through it all, Zimmerman’s approach to coaching has not changed. As he explains on the Mira Costa website, it is all about helping to “build young men of excellence.”
Brad Ackles, who is Director of Recreation – Girls at Oceanside Breakers, knows that this describes his Director of Coaching perfectly. Reflecting on Zimmerman’s reaction after his 200th win, Ackles said, “I think this typifies what Coach Frank is all about: his love for his family, his players and his community.”
Winning as a coach is no easy task, and doing it consistently is an even greater challenge. Frank Zimmerman has succeeded at this challenge on multiple levels – from club to high school and college – but he has never forgotten the real key to success. Helping young people become the best individuals they can as they grow into responsible adults.
Congratulations to Coach Frank Zimmerman on Win No. 200 and on helping generations of young players to be better adults.