Kevin Argumosa ’22 (M.A.L.T.) has a motto: trust the process. As a history teacher and head football coach at Arlington High School in Riverside, California, it’s a mentality he urges his students to adopt.
“Life throws you curveballs. Sometimes the path you want to take isn’t available. You have to keep working in the right direction to get where you want to go,” he said.
Argumosa uses this approach on the playing field as well, and it has paid off. In 2021, Arlington hired him a mere six weeks before for the first league game of the season. The varsity football team went on to cinch the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) championship titles for Division 13 and South Regional Division 6A and traveled all the way to the state championship finals.
Even though it was his first season at Arlington, Argumosa is a veteran coach who launched his career in 1998 after suffering an athletic injury. Because school and football were always closely tied throughout his life, an interest in teaching naturally blossomed.
“Playing football was always my outlet and it was the reason I continued with school,” he said. “I loved the game because of what it did for me in my life, and I got a glimpse into what it meant to be a good coach and teacher.”
When it came time to earn a graduate degree and teaching credential, Argumosa looked to the University of Redlands School of Education because he had heard about it from former players and teammates. When he learned that he could take classes in person at the Rancho Cucamonga campus, he applied to the Learning and Teaching Program.
Much like players on a team, he says his cohort worked together and encouraged each other through tough courses and projects, credential exams, and even life events, like marriages and births. School of Education faculty and staff went with them every step of the way, too. Professors Anne Castagnaro and Santos Campos stand out: Castagnaro for her help, patience, and willingness to ensure he grasped concepts, and Campos for pushing him to think outside the box. Assistant Director of Academic Advising Natalie O’Harra championed Argumosa and his classmates, dedicating her time to answering any questions they had.
His cohort’s spirit of collaboration is Argumosa’s fondest memory of his time at Redlands. “It felt like we were a family; we took care of each other. That’s the feeling that I got from Redlands, and it’s how I still feel, enough to send two of my graduating seniors to play football there,” he said.
Argumosa graduated from the program having fostered a new sense of belief in himself. He is confident in the fact that it’s O.K. to not know everything; he believes in learning from others and their unique experiences. It’s the same outlook he wants his high school students and athletes to cultivate. Having grown up in Los Angeles as the son of immigrants, Argumosa relates to the challenges that they face.
“It’s all about trust,” he said, recalling recent interactions where he helped students identify career options. “Just because you’re from a tough neighborhood or a low-income area doesn’t mean opportunities aren’t available to you. Let’s make opportunities and use the avenues that are available to succeed. Whether it’s through a trade school, college, the military, or another career, it’s all about guiding kids toward a pathway of greatness.”
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