GONZALES — With over 10 years of football coaching experience Arthur Berlanga is ready to become a head coach. Fortunately for Gonzales High School, 34-year-old Berlanga has chosen Gonzales as the school to start off his head coaching career.
His official announcement as the new Spartan football coach was to be made last night (after press deadlines) at the Gonzales Unified School District Board meeting.
Berlanga, the twin brother of Soledad High head football coach Frankie Berlanga, has coached in the high school and college level. Berlanga is excited to have the opportunity to work with the athletes and will begin to immediately put together his coaching staff.
“For the last few years I have been an assistant coach at Hartnell College and I would meet some of the kids that had played at Gonzales,” said Berlanga. “I graduated from Soledad and we always knew that Gonzales had good athletes that played hard. Well, now I am a Spartan and my job is to develop the student athletes at Gonzales and build a strong football program. I have been preparing all my life to be a head football coach.”
Berlanga, was a member of the first class to ever graduate from Soledad High School in 2001 and was a three-sport athlete as an Aztec playing football, basketball, and running on the track team.
At Soledad High Berlanga was an All-League and All-County football player and was also an All-League basketball player as a point guard. After graduating from Soledad Berlanga attended Hartnell College and was an All-Coast Conference player as a cornerback for Coach Larry Souza.
Berlanga received an athletic scholarship after graduating from Hartnell to attend Colorado Mesa University to play football. Berlanga stayed in at Colorado Mesa after completing his undergraduate work and served as an assistant coach and recruiting assistant. Berlanga also played two years in the Arena Football League and Arena II League in Colorado.
The last team Berlanga played for in arena football was the Fort Wayne Fusion in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In 2009 Berlanga and his brother Frankie returned to South County to serve as assistant coaches for head coach Randy Starr at Soledad High. The Berlanga’s left the following year and went to Seaside High School to serve as assistants to Al Avila.
“Coach Avila really prepared us to be football coaches,” said Berlanga. “He was and is still a mentor to me and I learned a lot from Coach on how to run a program.”
After a few years on the Seaside staff, Frankie Berlanga was hired as head coach in Soledad and Arthur joined his brothers coaching staff. Berlanga also coached three seasons on the Soledad track and field staff.
Berlanga helped the Aztecs become a formidable program and then left to Harnell College to put his Master’s Degree in Kinesiology to work as a Physical Education instructor and assistant football coach. Berlanga was an assistant for Panther coach Matt Collins at Hartnell.
“I feel this is the time to get to work and be a head coach,” said Berlanga. “I loved coaching at Hartnell and feel that my experience there and the other schools I have coached at have given me the knowledge and ability to be a good coach. There is no reason why we can’t win a championship at Gonzales. I will go to work right away developing a coaching staff that will work with me to prepare the kids for spring ball and then the regular season. I am really looking forward to meeting the players and get them excited about playing football.”
Berlanga, the son of Arthur and Marie Berlanga of Soledad lives in Salinas with his wife Jessica and his son Arthur Berlanga III.