Corey Prost

Corey Prost was livid.

It was late in the second half of a recent league game, and the Santa Monica boys soccer team had a promising scoring opportunity quashed when a referee whistled one of his players for warding off a defender.

Prost fervently protested the divisive call, barking at the official as play continued. He was soon the subject of a yellow card.

Pragmatism prevailed, Prost quickly calming down and guiding the shorthanded Vikings into overtime against El Segundo. But his actions were not lost on the team.

“That’s what I like about him — he stands up for us,” junior starter Christian Palomares said.

Vocal but not usually vociferous, Prost is currently in his first year at the helm of Samohi’s program. It’s a program with which he’s very familiar, in part because he’s coached at the lower levels in spurts over the last four years and in part because he used to be listed on the Vikings roster.

Prost, 29, who graduated from Santa Monica High in 2003 and played varsity soccer for two seasons under then-coach Frank Gatell, has taken the reins following the departure of Serafin Rodriguez. He is assisted by Daniel Hulbert, Joe Doyle and Danny Martin.

“It’s an honor and privilege to coach at Samohi,” said Prost, the son of Tom Francis and Christine Prost. “It’s been really great. There have been a lot of challenges, but I’ve got a great staff. They make it a joy to come to work every day.”

Prost is trying to build on the history of a program that has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years. The Vikings won a CIF Southern Section division championships in 2008 and captured three consecutive Ocean League titles in 2010-12.

As of Jan. 29, they were 4-9-1 overall and 2-3 in conference play but still in contention for a spot in the playoffs.

“We’ve been building all season, making progress and improving,” Prost said. “Guys are adapting to a new style of play and new expectations. They’re starting to step up and take ownership. It’s been great to see the transition, and I think we’ll continue to improve.”

Prost’s return to the Vikings follows more than a decade of involvement in soccer and coaching.

He studied business administration at UC Berkeley, where he was a member of the soccer team’s practice squad. He spent one semester training with Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in Brazil.

Prost played intercollegiately at Cal State Dominguez Hills in 2007 and helped the Toros to an 18-3-2 overall record that year, when they won a California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament title and reach the second round of the NCAA playoffs.

The 6-foot-4 defender played in seven matches and scored two goals, including one game-winner.

Prost brings a variety of coaching experience to Samohi. He has managed teams in the Pacific Coast, Santa Monica United and FC Los Angeles soccer clubs, worked as a performance trainer at Velocity Sports club and volunteered as an assistant with the UCLA men’s soccer team.

“He’s been teaching me new things,” Palomares said. “He’s a very good coach.”

Contact Jeff Goodman by phone at 310-573-8351, via email at jeff@www.smdp.com or on Twitter.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.