By: Louis Down
Simpson University manages to lure back many of its alumni to fill positions that arise on campus. However, one Simpson legend has found himself in a full circle situation, his name is Gary Weaver.
Weaver is a proud Stockton native that left Simpson in 2007 as a National Christian College Athletic Association all-American and after being selected for California Pacific All-Conference. After returning to Simpson in 2020 as assistant coach of the men’s soccer team, Weaver has brought his winning way back to Simpson. In his first season back, the program finished with its best record in over a decade (9-4). This record was in fact the best winning percentage in the program’s history.
Who knows what this current winning program could have achieved if Weaver had been able to lace up and still play. As a player, Weaver holds the record for most goals scored by an individual player for Simpson, 30 goals in as many games.
Simpson Men’s Soccer team head coach, Erly Cornejo, was the man who brought Weaver back to Simpson. Cornejo and Weaver have been reunited in a true bromance story. After competing together as teammates at Simpson, to now coaching side by side. Cornejo believes that the program wouldn’t have had the success they’ve had in recent years without him.
Cornejo went on to say “Honestly, he is the man! He makes everything happen in the program. Logistically he does everything that we don’t enjoy doing as coaches. He genuinely loves his players and wants to make sure to drag out the best in all of you. Obviously, he does it in a quieter, cooler way but I think the guys look up to him because he is genuine. From an experienced standpoint, he is the best player to play in program history. His knowledge of the game from a technical and tactical standpoint is super high and is great working with players, especially on a 1 on 1 basis. Just pulling players aside and talking to them.”
On Aug. 8, 2020, Weaver posted on Instagram claiming that he chose coaching as a career choice because he missed being around the game. Weaver stated in an interview with the Slate,
“What I enjoy most about being back is being around the guys. Building relationships with all the players. I love seeing the development and ambition. I love seeing hard work pay off.”
Simpson University student and Men’s soccer team player David Vasquez testified to the character and coaching attributes that Weaver possesses, “Honestly Coach Weaver is supportive. I believe I can tell him anything and he’ll be there for me on and off the field and I think that’s the sign of quality attributes in a coach.”
With the program already finding success under the guidance of Weaver in the short period of time that he’s been here, the school will be hopeful to keep him here as long as possible to keep sharing his wisdom and ability with players to come.