The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Coach Britton makes his mark

Every day he steps onto the soccer field to meet up with his players to begin practice, and every so often a flashback occurs in his mind of his first time at EC.

Coming here years ago from Scotland, John Britton, men and women’s soccer and badminton coach, stepped onto the campus without ever realizing he would later enter EC’s athletic Hall of Fame for the recording the most goals scored for soccer.

“I came here to play soccer when I graduated school in Scotland,” Britton said.

Britton played every sport, from rugby, badminton, soccer, water polo, cricket, and tennis in Scotland, but he found most of his success in badminton and soccer.

“In Scotland, I was an all-around athlete because I didn’t have pressure placed on me; my parents let me develop because they let me play a bunch of sports and never forced me to stick to one,” Britton said.

Being in EC’s Hall of Fame is not the only accomplishment Britton has; he has also won the Scottish Open twice.

” I won as a Scot first then after I moved to the U.S. I went back with my American partner and won as an American,” Britton said.

Britton has also played international for badminton and was professional in Scotland and the U.S. He was eighth in the world for badmiton men’s doubles and the U.S. Men’s National Champion for doubles five times, as well as the U.S. Open Men’s Champion twice for doubles.

Britton was also a professional soccer player and coach for L.A.’s former team, the L.A. Heat, until it ended; he continues to play on the weekend with his soccer team in Palos Verdes with singer Rod Stewart as his fellow teammate.

Through all his success, Britton has a love for EC that brought him back here and keeps him here.

“I really enjoy working and coaching at EC. I love it because I enjoy the environment. It’s a great environment to work in, with a lot of college support,” Britton said.

Britton has coached the men and women’s soccer teams for about nine or 10 years and has coached the women since the start of badminton five years ago.

“With the exception of two years ago, the men’s soccer team has had a successful program. Last year, badminton tied for first in conference and has been in first place for the last four years. Men’s soccer has made it to the playoffs and women’s soccer has won four conference titles and has made it to the state finals twice,” Britton said.

“One year, my wife and daughter played badminton for EC and won the conference for doubles, and once I played my wife in the U.S. Open for doubles and she beat me; she has won twice for doubles and twice as many times for the U.S. National Doubles Champion,” Britton said.

Britton’s daughter is also a junior doubles champion and now coaches softball and soccer at West Torrance High School; Britton’s son is a professional soccer player in England for Sheffield United.

In order to handle the different teams, Britton has help from assistant coaches like Eddie Barragan, and Mary Jo Soufl.

“I’ve been coaching for six or seven years and I played here for John in 1996. He approached me after my second season because I was a captain and asked me to coach,” Barragan said.

“Even though I coached in high school, I learned a lot from him. And we get along fine; we have good communication between us because we think alike,” Barragan said.

Britton has a connection with his players that many players hope to have with every coach.

“He’s really cool to be around; he’s fun, he cracks jokes, he’s funny and he’s very understanding. I think of him as a great coach because he won’t put you down and he treats you really good and has a lot of energy,” soccer player Jennifer Silva said.

Britton has made such an impact he has past players come to help out or just to visit, as well as to watch games.

“He’s such a great guy; he drives out to Inglewood or wherever to come get us whenever we need a ride. W e call him ‘John Taxi’ and he gives players time off for school. If you have a test he tells you to go take your test,” Arielle Lombardo, badminton player, said.

“Academics should be their main focus; they have enough pressure with academics. Sports should be their release and they should enjoy it,” Britton said.

Britton cares for players on and off the court.

“He didn’t abandon me when I got my knee injury; the night before he called me and other doctors for me, which is so amazing because a lot of coaches treat you as you’re only as good as your last performance, but with John he treats you the same on and off the court,” Lombardo said.

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