Former Santa Margarita and Trabuco Hills girls soccer coach Eddie Huerta, whose career included leading club teams and providing hundreds of lessons, died Thursday after fighting cancer, his wife Paulette confirmed Monday.
Huerta, 54, guided Trabuco Hills in 2022-23 to a turnaround season that included a share of the Sea View League title and a trip to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs. The Mustangs were winless in the South Coast League the previous season.
Huerta resigned after the season, his first at Trabuco Hills, for health reasons, his daughter Alexes said.
Alexes said her father loved coaching soccer but his lessons extended beyond the pitch.
“He was teaching kids to be better people,” said Alexes, who assisted her father at Trabuco Hills, her alma mater, and Santa Margarita. “He was passionate about it.”
Huerta arrived at Trabuco Hills after a three-year run leading powerhouse Santa Margarita. His tenure including a Trinity League championship and three playoff appearances.
At Santa Margarita, Huerta compiled a 39-10-7 record, including a co-league title in 2019-20 and two second-place finishes in the league.
He took the reins at Santa Margarita after serving as 24 years as assistant to former Eagles girls coach Chuck Morales.
“He was every bit responsible for building that program,” Morales said of Huerta, who was part of several CIF-SS titles at the school. “It was like we were co-coaching.”
Huerta’s coaching career with girls soccer spanned more than 30 years. He coached at several clubs, including West Coast, United and Pateadores.
“There’s a lot of love for Eddie,” Paulette said of her husband of 32 years. “It’s pretty amazing the people who are coming forward.”
As a player, Huerta was a standout goalie at Alta Loma High before playing collegiate at Concordia in Irvine. He recorded more than 300 saves at Concordia.
Huerta also taught 28 years at Newhart Middle School in Mission Viejo.
He began fighting kidney cancer in 2022, Alexes said. The cancer later spread to his lungs but he kept his fight private until last week, she added.
Huerta’s daughter Ravyn marveled at her father’s strength in fighting cancer.
“He was a walking miracle,” she said. “I’m so happy to be called his daughter.”
Service arrangements haven’t been announced but a GoFundMe has been established.