By Arion Armeniakos
Special to Las Positas Athletics
With Andy Cumbo in charge, Las Positas College gets two quality head soccer coaches in one.
The successful Hawks men's coach the past three seasons, Cumbo was hired to also guide the LPC women's team when the position opened in December.
Both teams are looking good again this season with Cumbo handling a dual role.
"We know how great he has been for the men's team, and there is no doubt in my mind that (the women's team) is going to be great again this season," returning midfielder Arnaud Mantuidi said.
The well-respected Cumbo's disciplined approach and love of soccer and teaching make him seem well-suited to his expanded responsibilities.
"I'm a fairly organized person and I think that helps me," said Cumbo, who has also coached the Humboldt State men's and women's teams in the same season. "I try to stay ahead of my work and deadlines, and I also try to set my work aside on the weekends because it's easy to obsess as a coach.
"I have fun when I teach and when I coach and doing that at this level compared to the four-year level allows me to have a better balance in my life," he continued.
Coaching two college teams while also actively teaching classes is no easy feat, but Cumbo sounds energized by the task.
"I still love coaching soccer and working with the student-athletes," Cumbo said of his mindset. "The faculty at LPC is here to serve the students, and after some research and reflection, I thought it was the right thing to step up and coach the women's team."
He also credits his wife, Susan, who is also a part of the kinesiology faculty at LPC, and his kids for helping him get through the days once the season intensifies.
"I've got a great wife, she's super supportive, and my kids are a lot of fun, which helps out a lot, especially after a result you aren't happy with," Cumbo said.
Cumbo started with the Hawks' men's team in 2016 -- his dream job at the picturesque college -- after coaching the Cal State East Bay men's team for seven years. He also spent seven seasons at Humboldt State, where he was women's head coach from 2001 to 2008 and men's head coach from 2004 to 2008. He has earned 142 victories over 15 years at the NCAA Division II level.
He inherited a thriving women's program at LPC, replacing successful former head coach Paul Sapsford, who resigned for family reasons after leading the Hawks to a fourth straight CCCAA NorCal playoff berth in 2018.
Both the LPC men's and women's squads have been able to reach the playoffs with relative ease in recent years, but with little postseason success to show for it. Thus, Cumbo's biggest goal will be to lead his teams deeper in the playoffs. He is happy with how all the players, male and female, prepared for this season.
"They both completed their summer preseason programs and made progress, and the chemistry and commitment for each other in both programs is evident," Cumbo said.
His thoughts are echoed by Mantuidi.
"We're really excited about the upcoming season," Mantuidi said. "The team has great chemistry and we are looking better every day, constantly improving, and all on the same page."
And with the men's team being filled with mostly freshmen (19 of 25) and the women's team having a dominant regular season reputation to keep up, Cumbo looks to be in for quite the challenge.
* The early returns are positive. The LPC men opened the season with a 4-0 rout of visiting Lassen in nonconference play on Wednesday, with four players notching goals: Leonardo Barajas, Tyler Martinez, Adolfo Trujillo and Jason White. The LPC women's team (1-1) bested Cosumnes River 4-1 on Tuesday with two goals apiece by Camryn Adams and Camille Le Blanc.