Head Coach: Manuel Buentello
AUSTIN, Texas (January 13, 2014) — The Austin Aztex announced today that Manuel Buentello has been named head coach. Buentello will lead an Aztex squad that will look to defend their league title when the USL PDL season kicks off in May.
”Based on the success we have seen as an organization, our coaching position attracted candidates from across the nation when it opened last week,” said Aztex CEO, David Markley. “However, we are fortunate to have many qualified coaches in the Austin area, and familiarity with our local players is central to our philosophy for our PDL team. Manuel was a logical choice based on his contributions the last two seasons and his commitment to the club, and we are proud that we can promote a coach from within our own ranks.”
Buentello served as assistant coach of the Austin Aztex since the inaugural 2012 season. In the two seasons, the Aztex compiled a 26-8-4 record across all competitions, including the 2013 USL PDL Championship. Working closely under Paul Dalglish, Buentello is familiar with the organization’s philosophies and has built a strong rapport with the squad.
“It is important to sustain continuity following success,” Aztex Director of Operations Ric Granryd said. “Manuel’s appointment signals adherence to the successful formula we’ve created since 2012.”
Born in Matamoros, Mex., Buentello brings a wealth of experience and an intimate knowledge of Central Texas soccer to his new role with the Aztex. Buentello served as USSF Academy Director and staff coach at Classics Elite SA. His contribution to Austin soccer extends throughout his 20 years as coach and director with various clubs including Classics Elite, AU Capitals SC, Austin United Soccer Club, and most recently Georgetown Force, with whom he will continue to coach.
“I am very excited to be the new head coach of the Aztex,” Buentello said.” I am very excited with the continued vision and direction that the owners have set for the Aztex to provide organizational continuity to a project that has Austin’s flavor to it. The mission is always going to be the same as it was before: to develop our elite players to play an entertaining brand of soccer for our supporters, and serve the Austin community through soccer. The philosophy has been embraced by everyone, from the front office to the players on the field to the fans in the stands. We believe that the high standards set by the owners and by Paul will continue to attract top talent to Austin placing us in an enviable position to compete for future championships.”
Assistant Coach: Zack Pope
Pope has an extensive history of playing soccer in the Austin area. Pope attended Stony Point High School in Round Rock and played collegiately at Duke University, where he graduated with a psychology degree and a minor in sociology.
Pope was drafted 40th overall in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Chicago Fire and appeared in reserve games for the Fire and FC Dallas. In 2009, Pope made seven appearances for the Austin Aztex USL1 team.
Pope gained coaching experience as an assistant coach with Southwestern University men’s soccer team, Stony Point High School’s boys varsity team, and head coach of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School’s girls varsity soccer team. Pope served as trainer and technical director of Cen Tex Soccer Training from 2008 to 2010 and is the owner of Acurix Elite Performance Training. In addition, Pope serves as staff coach for Lonestar Soccer Club, with whom he will continue to coach.
Aztex Coaching Staff
Former Head Coach(es):
2012-13: Paul Dalglish