Best Bad News Bears-Style Soccer Coach (2013)

Sal Reza

Phoenix human rights champion Sal Reza is known for leading massive marches against Arizona's racist Senate Bill 1070 and against bigot-boy Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but did you know he's a badass soccer coach as well? Yep, even human rights champions have some free time, and in Reza's, he coaches the coed soccer team at Esperanza High School, a charter school catering to underprivileged Latino youth.

Outgunned by charter schools Esperanza's size with deep pockets, Reza scored sponsors for the team and coached the hell out of the teens, though he himself admits that he knew little about soccer before becoming coach. Well, whatever he did worked. Esperanza went to the playoffs two years in a row. Last year, the team came in second place. And this year, it won the state championship in its division. After one early defeat, Reza told his team, "You can either soar like eagles or crawl like a snake." His streetwise players chose the former, and soar they did.


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