As a Soccer for Success coach with the Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Oswaldo Gallegos knows a thing or two about the positive power of soccer. A lifelong player and fan, Oswaldo now shares the joys of the game with the community he knows and loves.
Read Oswaldo’s story below to learn more!
Name: Oswaldo Gallegos
Role: Head Coach at Spring Spirit Park, Houston Soccer for Success
Growing up with 9 brothers and sisters, Oswaldo Gallegos learned to be a team player at an early age. But it wasn’t until Oswaldo and his family moved from Monterrey, Mexico to Houston, TX, when he was 12 years old, that he discovered his true passion for the game. Despite being the new kid in town, Oswaldo was welcomed by the Spring Branch soccer community and quickly found success on and off the playing field.
As a teenager in 1996, Oswaldo joined the Houston Parks & Recreation Department's free soccer program. Along with his teammates, Oswaldo worked diligently to improve his skills and knowledge of the game. During this time, Oswaldo also served as volunteer coach and referee, and took it upon himself to serve as a mentor for younger kids in the program.
Oswaldo’s hard work and dedication paid off in 2000, when he was granted a scholarship to play for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At UAB, he embraced the Student-Athlete title by serving as the President of the UAB Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and as the University’s representative at the NCAA Leadership Conference. He graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science.
After graduating, Oswaldo began his coaching career under the mentorship of UAB's Head Soccer Coach, Mike Getman and the Alabama State Director of Soccer, Scott Spencer. He later returned to Houston, and in 2010 founded the Spring Branch Youth Soccer Academy (SBYSA) and MyFC – a program focused on providing players with youth development opportunities.
Now in his second year of working with the Soccer for Success program, Oswaldo is thrilled to be able to serve more kids in the Spring Branch community and says he is more motivated than ever before to get more kids in the game. Most importantly, he is excited to be serving as a mentor for the next generation of Spring Branch youth. "I'm a strong believer that it takes a village to raise a child,” he says. “The work I do with the youth in Spring Branch and around the city of Houston using soccer as a tool, is my way of giving back to the community that raised me and showed me compassion when I needed it the most."
Here’s what others are saying about Coach Oswaldo:
“I think he is a great coach because he lets everybody play with him. He is fair, active, and he is always having fun. He helps us stay healthy and gives us good advice for a better life.”
- Edgar, age 12, Houston Soccer for Success participant
“Coach Oswaldo is an extraordinary human being, as a mentor he always looks for ways to help the kids and the community. He focuses a lot of his time on the kids’ education and sportsmanship. As a coach he provides experience and insight on the sport with the kids.”
- Victoria, Houston Soccer for Success family member
“I’m glad to have Oswaldo on the Houston Soccer for Success coach/mentor team. We both, as youth players, were given the opportunity to play for free in the Houston Parks and Recreation soccer program. Now, he is giving back as a great leader for the Spring Branch soccer community, one of the largest Houston Soccer for Success sites.”
- Hector, Program Lead, Houston Soccer for Success