Summarized by Eileen Bell
LDS Coach Builds Better Lives for His Players
Los Angeles Times 22Jan00 P2
By Agustin Gurza
This article looks at the life of Justo Pastor Frutos, the men's soccer
coach at Santa Ana College in California. Now a 58 year old
grandfather, Brother Frutos has had a positive impact on many lives.
Growing up in Paraguay, young Justo seemed to have the potential
to become a soccer star. Instead, years of smoking and drinking
took that away before he became an adult. Happily, his life changed
course when he began working as a language translator for Halver
Skinner at the U.S. Agency for International Development in
Brother Skinner, from Montana, helped Justo find purpose in his life.
He also introduced him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. Justo was baptized and served a mission in Uruguay.
He moved to the U.S. afterwards, and married Kathryn Skinner, his
He received a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of
Utah, and was hired to teach English and Spanish in Santa Ana. He
has had various teaching jobs there, and has coached soccer for
30 years. Sister Frutos says, "He not only has a winning soccer team,
but he has influenced young men in a way that has caused them to
turn their lives around."
He helps his students learn to value their education, making sure that
on road trips their schoolwork doesn't slip. Brother Frutos tells them,
"I've been there. We have many young men here in this city who have
practically the same situation I did."
He spends time putting together inspirational readings for them.
"The obstacles you will find, whatever they may be--prejudice,
discrimination, difficulty with language--will be things you will have
to get around and solve."
His college team has won three state championships in the past five
years. In 1999, they were the1999 national champs by a vote of
two-year college coaches.