Sergio Palafox – Head Coach
Sergio Palafox is originally from Zacatecas, Mexico and came to the United States at age 4. He began playing soccer in his East Los Angeles neighborhood before moving to Long Beach, CA for high school. While at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Sergio decided on a path towards soccer while he played for the varsity soccer team. After graduation, he continued his passion for the game while at California State University, Los Angeles.
Following college, he returned to Mexico to play for the 2nd division team Club Deportivo Tapatio of Guadalajara. International play was the normal thing for Sergio as he played in Mexico for 2 seasons before moving across the Atlantic. He began played in the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart from 2000 through 2002. Having exposure to the international play elevated his play and desire to teach the game back in the U.S.
When he returned to the United States, Sergio founded the soccer program at Schurr High School in Montebello, CA. His coaching style and determination for success got their program to place 2nd in the first 2 years. After continued commitment to player important, the girls varsity team won the 2005 league title with a record of 22-2.
After a brief hiatus from coaching, Sergio moved to the San Diego with his wife and kids. He began his coaching tenure at Encinitas Express in 2010. Now along with being the elite teams coach, he is also the strength and conditioning trainer for the club. Splitting his time with Encinitas, he coached the junior varsity boys team at La Costa Canyon High School from 2011-2013. While at LCC, his team won back-to-back league titles with the record of 38-2-4 in both years.
During the day, Sergio runs his own Website Design and Development business. When he is not coaching, he likes to draw and play the guitar. He married his college sweetheart and they have 5 kids (ages 16, 13, 9 and 7 year old twins). They all inherited Sergio’s love for the game, and play competitive soccer in San Diego.
Brian Waltrip – Assistant Coach
Brian Waltrip was born in Pensacola, Florida in January 1978. He got his start early and started international play for São Paulo FC of Brazil and VFB Stuttgart of Germany before heading to college. He then went on to play college soccer at the University of South Florida and was a Hermann Trophy candidate in 1999.
He was selected in the 2000 MLS Superdraft by the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Although this opportunity would have kept him stateside, he opted out of this contract and went abroad. He started with Tampere United of the Veikkausliiga in Finland. A few months later Brian signed with C.D. Olivais e Moscavide C.F. Os Belenenses of the Portuguese top league.
Leaving Portugal, Waltrip went back up north to play with Mandalskameratene in Norway. After one and a half successful seasons there his contract was bought by Sandefjord. He was there for another year and a half until January 2007 when he was bought by Sogndal. After another successful season he was bought by Molde FK. In 2010, he left Norway for the J League and spent the next 2 seasons with Kyoto, Japan.
Brian holds a B license with US Soccer and coached a USSDA team at FC Golden State. Currently, he is being evaluated for a US Soccer A license and is the Director of Coaching with Honda Estilo USA.
He recently moved to San Diego with his wife Candice and is looking forward to being a part of the Battalion family.
Jeff Praino-Miller – Assistant Coach/Strength and Conditioning
Jeff Praino-Miller has been coaching and training athletes in San Diego since 2005. He studied Kinesiology at Cal State San Marcos, and furthered his knowledge of the body through his experience as a PTA and Sports Performance Trainer at Rehab United. Jeff works exclusively with some of the top Physical Therapists in San Diego, as well as having the experience of training professional athletes. He has coached all levels of competitive soccer, from youth clubs, to running and working at the high school soccer programs for the past 10 years. Jeff traveled the world playing soccer and played at a professional level for 4 years as a captain (2 years) and player for the San Diego Flash.
Tim Roty – Assistant Coach
Tim Roty joins the Battalion after long soccer career that has spanned both coasts. The Amherst, New York native played his college soccer at the University at Albany, where he was a four-year starter and captained the squad in his senior year. His professional soccer career began in Vermont where he played for the Vermont Voltage of the Premier Development League (PDL) for two seasons starting in 2001. Tim spent one more year in the PDL and moved to the Brooklyn Knights.
After the 2003 season Tim moved to San Diego to pursue his Master’s Degree in counseling from the University of San Diego. Even though he was attending school Tim did not stop playing soccer. He joined the San Diego Gauchos, playing from 2004-2007. In 2005 he spent some time with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Major League Soccer reserve league. Since then he has spent time in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) with San Diego United and most recently the San Diego Flash. Tim briefly took his talents indoors as he played with the San Diego Sockers and won two PASL titles in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.
He has coached for 9 years with the Carlsbad Lightning, Chula Vista Rangers, and Del Mar Sharks. From 2011-2014, he coached the Rancho Buena Vista Boys Soccer team and they won the Avacado West title in 2014. Currently, he is a coach at Del Norte High school and possesses his D license.
He joins the coaching staff this fall and begins the transition from being a Battalion player to a coach.
Duarte Andrade – Goalkeepers Coach
A San Diego native, Coach Duarte Andrade played at Point Loma High School and collegiately at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Duarte has spent the last three years with the Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks holding several different key positions. He is a coach for three teams as in addition to the Sharks’ Goal Keeper Academy Co-Director and Futsal Director.
Outside of club soccer, Duarte will be entering his second season at San Diego Mesa College as the Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach/GK Coach. During his first season as GK coach, his student, Ryan Daniels, earned Pacific Coast Athletic Conference GK of the Year.
Most recently, Duarte completed his second season as the Boy’s Varsity Assistant Coach/GK Coach at his alma mater, Point Loma High School. For the 2014-2015 season, Point Loma was Co-Champions of the Western League and earned a playoff berth.
While Duarte stays busy with his numerous coaching duties, he finds time to manage the San Diego Sockers Indoor Center, a facility that holds league play, camps, and clinics. Additionally, he is the owner of Andrade Keeper Academy where he provides private goalkeeping training/clinics/camps for young goalkeepers in San Diego County.