Former San Marcos High School head coach and athletic coordinator Mark Soto has been named the new head coach and athletic coordinator at Johnson High School in San Antonio.
Carl Padilla first reported the news, and both schools have already confirmed it with statements.
— Carl Padilla (@padillapoll) April 13, 2020
Soto first came to San Marcos in March of 2012 and there were an abundance of changes with him at the helm. One of the biggest changes was a culture change. The football program took on a new identity under Soto and they became known for a blue-collar work ethic and being a team that could never be counted out, as they had several comebacks, especially in the 2017 season when they won a district championship and advanced to the area round of the UIL State Football playoffs.
The team’s success built up gradually year by year and so did the number of athletes that received athletic scholarships.
After playing home games at Texas State University, Soto was integral in a bond that not only lead to the building of a new stadium at San Marcos High School but also a Student Activity Center which the hometown Bobcats also utilized at a time.
Jaguar Nation Please help me in welcoming our new Head Football/Athletic Coordinator, Mark Soto. Coach Soto is joining Johnson High School with a wealth of experiences. Stay safe and as always, It’s a Great Day to be a Jaguar!#JaguarPride pic.twitter.com/OVcdvXhR8o
— CTJHighSchool (@CTJohnsonHigh) April 13, 2020
There was a ton of transition in his time with the Rattlers as well, going from 5A to 6A and then joining a district with some of the best football teams in the area. The team also transitioned from being led by David Hamilton, who went on to play baseball at Texas and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, to putting the ball in safety Prudy Calderon’s hands at quarterback. Calderon is now a safety at Rice. The current crop of Rattler players that played years for Soto includes defensive stalwart Kannon Webb and receiver Takai Magett among others.
As news was announced of Soto’s hiring and his departure from San Marcos, several of his former athletes took to Twitter to wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor.
All good things must come to an end! Happy for you coach! Good luck at your new school. Make and impact on many kids like you have done for the ones in SM! I thank you and San Marcos thanks you💜🐍Farewell coach Soto! @coachsotopop https://t.co/N7JIdthYzU
— Alex Costilla (@alex_cstilla) April 13, 2020
Couldn’t have said it any better bro! Left a legacy that will last a lifetime at SM for sure! Thank you and good luck on your next chapter!
— Prudy Jr. (@prudyc2) April 13, 2020
What Johnson is getting, aside from someone that has proven to be successful on the field, is a coach that is dedicated to his players and someone who’s impact has extended beyond the gridiron, which is something San Marcos CISD noted in their statement.
San Marcos CISD Athletic Director and San Marcos HS Head Football Coach Mark Soto has accepted the Head Football position with San Antonio Johnson High School.
Coach Soto was named head coach for the Rattlers in March of 2012. Coach Soto led the Rattlers to several successful football seasons, including a District Championship in 2017. Under Coach Soto’s leadership, San Marcos High School has also made a series of appearances to UIL State Playoff contests in various sports including basketball, powerlifting, softball, swim and more.
Along with success on the field, Coach Soto played an integral part in the development of the Toyota Rattler Stadium and the Student Activity Center that included a state-of-the-art indoor facility.
“On behalf of Rattler Nation, we thank Coach Soto for his service and commitment to the students of San Marcos,” Superintendent Michael Cardona said. “We wish him well on his new journey.”
The process of finding a new San Marcos CISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach will begin immediately.
We’ll be looking to get Soto’s thoughts on his time with San Marcos and on his new job with Johnson soon.