CONYERS — The winningest head girls soccer coach in any four-year stretch in Rockdale County High School history is leaving.
After spending the past four years as the Bulldogs’ head girls soccer coach, Erwin Equihua announced his resignation at the conclusion of the 2019 school year after accepting a head coaching position at South Gwinnett.
Equihua posted a career 50-22-2 record at Rockdale County, a four-year stretch that featured four winning seasons, four trips to the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs and a 2019 Region 8-AAAAAAA championship. He will replace Mandy Gartman, who coached the Comets to a 6-10 record in her only season at the helm.
The decision to leave a place he has called home for the past four years was made in efforts to advance in his career, both as a coach and as an educator.
“There are new opportunities in Gwinnett County,” Equihua said. “With wanting to raise a family, it’s going to help, a lot. It is hard leaving Rockdale because it’s a program that I started four years ago. But the girls understood that for me to grow my family, I have to make this move.”
Equihua will serve as South Gwinnett’s department chair for Spanish, a position he said he could not turn down.
“South Gwinnett gives me a better opportunity for me to grow as an educator more than just coaching itself,” Equihua said. “On the coaching side, South Gwinnett is excited with all of the accomplishments we were able to have at Rockdale. It’s just a win-win situation.”
South Gwinnett will mark the third high school where Equihua has coached and taught. Prior to Rockdale County, Equihua coached at Redan High School in Stone Mountain.
“It’s always exciting,” Equihua said. “For whatever reason, I like starting and watching a program grow from the bottom to the top. I always put in a vision and have to let the team and the community believe in that vision. From that, you can accomplish a lot. This will be the third school that I have worked at will hopefully be the third school that I can help make history with.”
With a great support system backing him at Rockdale County, he said he hopes to find the same with South Gwinnett.
“It helps a lot when you have support,” Equihua said. “Hopefully I have the same support as I did at Rockdale. This was a great place. From the parents to the athletes and our athletic director Chad Suddeth, they were all supporting us the entire time.”
In Equihua’s tenure, he helped the Bulldogs to their first playoff win since 2006. He reached that feat with a victory over Lakeside-DeKalb in 2018. This past season, Equihua and the Bulldogs won their first region championship since 2004. They also went on to defeat Forsyth Central in the first round of the playoffs.