The Southern California Seahorses PDL team has literally gone "Back to the Future" as they name the team's founder Dave Irby (U.S. Soccer "A" License/M.A.T. - Teaching, University of La Verne.) as their new Head Coach.
Being named the team's Head Coach thirty-one years after he founded the team and twenty-six years after he moved on to new challenges is as unlikely as Irby's own "soccer story."
According to Irby "I grew up in Anaheim about ten minutes from Disneyland when soccer was considered a "foreign" sport. There was no youth soccer of any kind and my high school, Loara, was like all the other high schools - they had no soccer programs. I played Pop Warner Football and Little League Baseball."
But fate intervened as Irby transferred from Cypress to tiny Azusa Pacific College as a sophomore where he played soccer for the first time on the school’s first team. At the age of twenty-three Irby became the Cougars Head Coach. After leading the team to four winning records, three trips to the play-offs and two Coach of the Year Awards he opted to become one of the early pioneers of the soccer ministry movement.
Since leaving the Seahorses Irby has coached at all levels - youth - club - high school - collegiately, and with the Cascade Surge PDL team in Salem, Oregon and has literally crisscrossed the globe to forty countries as an Ambassador for Christ. His Seahorse team helped with reconciliation in Uganda after the civil war and Irby and teams have aided the peace process in Sudan and currently in Burundi; in addition to developing a soccer project for refugees in Europe.