Dan Macaya is coming full circle as a soccer coach.
After scoring 69 goals for the Papermakers and helping them get to the state title game in 2003 — which was played at Doc Harris Stadium — Macaya is taking over for his mentor, Roland Minder.
On Friday, the 32-year-old was named the new head coach of the Camas High School boys soccer program. Since Macaya graduated in 2003, the Papermakers have been to state 19 years in a row and have won three championships.
“Surreal would be the word,” Macaya said of the opportunity. He has been an assistant to Minder since 2011.
“He asked me if I wanted to take over the program,” Macaya said. “Any time you have a coach who has been around as long as he has, and has been as successful as he has, give you his blessing, it’s a huge honor.”
Macaya and Minder’s relationship has changed dramatically in the last seven years. He went from being told what to do as a player to becoming one of Minder’s close confidants.
The two have enjoyed conversations about soccer and life during their road trips across the state to play opposing teams. Macaya learned about Minder’s coaching philosophy and almost obsessive attention to detail.
“He’s successful because of his organization and love for the program and his players,” Macaya said. “You’re playing for the badge. You’re playing for the city, the school and the community. It’s more than just about you.”
Macaya wants to carry on those traditions and add his own flavor.
He would love to see standing room only soccer crowds at Doc Harris Stadium again, just like when Camas hosted the state championship tournaments.
“Support from our fans is important. People who didn’t even know about soccer; they still came because it was in our hometown,” Macaya said. “I really want to instill the pride part of it. This is high school soccer. You’re playing with all your best buds. Why not give it your all?”
“You’re only here for four years,” he added. “Might as well learn all you can and go as far as you can.”