Benny Artiaga
Benny Artiaga
Title: Head Coach
Phone: (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2879
Year: 19th (273-70-68)
Previous College: University of Southern California (2003)

For the past six seasons, head coach Benny Artiaga has led his Falcons to the South Coast Conference South Division championship. In 2021, the conference created a postseason tournament, with the Falcons will the championship both years. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak that cost the state the 2020 season, Artiaga had his team competing in the state tournament the previous three seasons (2017-19), while they captured the program’s first-ever National Championship and fourth state title in 2018. During the 2022 season, the Falcons posted a 21-1-2 record, with their lone setback coming in the 4th Round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs, which left them one game away from advancing to the state tournament.

For the second season in a row, Artiaga was named the Southern California Coach of the Year and has now received the award three times during his tenure.

Back in 2018, the Falcons won their fourth state title under Artiaga (2006, 2008, 2014), while they concluded the year by being named the National Champions by United Soccer Coaches for the first time in school history. In the other three state champion seasons, the team finished ranked #2 in the country. The 2018 season saw the team drop their first game of the year and then went 22-0-2 the rest of the way, which culminated in a 2-1 win over Golden West College in the state championship game. That season also saw Artiaga and his staff received the West Region Coaching Staff of the Year award.

The 2019 season also saw Bryan Ortega earn 1st Team All-American honors, while Kevin Diaz was named 2nd Team All-American for the second season in a row. During his tenure, Artiaga has seen 15 of his players earn All-American recognition.

Prior to the 2019 state championship, Artiaga was leading the team on a path to the CCCAA State Championship in 2017. They qualified for the Final Four, but saw their journey come to an end on penalty kicks in a 1-1 decision against Taft College. The Falcons concluded the year with an unbeaten 17-0-7 record and were the first team in the state since 2007 to end their season unbeaten but without a state championship. At the conclusion of the 2014 season, Artiaga was named the National Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. The team finished the season ranked #3 in the country.

Set to begin his 19th season at the helm (22nd season overall), Artiaga has reloaded on talent and have depth at every position. In his time as the Falcon head coach, Artiaga has compiled a 273-70-68 (.747) record, while they have finished either first or second in the South Coast Conference in 15 of the past 16 seasons. Also, in 14 the last 16 seasons, the Falcons have been one game away from the state tournament eight times. After missing the post season in 2015 for the first time in the first 11 seasons as the head coach, Artiaga led the Falcons to the South Coast Conference South Division championship and berth in the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The team was defeated in their first round game, but it has sparked a resurgence with the Cerritos program, who are poised to return as one of the state’s elite programs.

In 2015, the squad suffered through several injuries, and settled for a 7-10-4 record, which included going 3-0-1 in the last four games and did not allow a goal. In 2014, Artiaga’s team finished with a 14-3-8 record and came in second place in the highly competitive South Coast Conference for the sixth year in a row. In fact, it was a 3-1 win over conference rival Mt. San Antonio College that capped off the memorable season and state title.

In 2013, the team was eliminated by a 2-1 score by conference rival Mt. San Antonio College in the third round of the playoffs, ending the season with a 15-5-4 record and were ranked #12 in the country by the NSCAA. In 2012, the squad was defeated by Mt. San Antonio in the third round of the playoffs and concluded the year with a 14-6-3 record. In 2011 and 2010, the team saw their season end with upset playoff losses at home, which remains a rare occurrence. When the new soccer field was opened in 2008, Artiaga’s teams posted a 27-0-6 record until their 2010 playoff loss to College of the Canyons, 2-1. They were defeated by Golden West in 2011, 1-0 in the post-season to see their season end. In 2011, the team also finished the season ranked #10 in the country by the NSCAA and had a 17-3-2 season record.

One of the best traditions that the Falcon program has become known for is moving their players to the four-year level. After a record-setting 11 players signed after the 2009 season, and since 2004, Artiaga has sent 114 players to the four-year level, while he has also led his teams to five state championship games (winning four), and have been nationally ranked each season.

In 2008 and 2009, the Falcons finished the season ranked #2 in the country by the NSCAA Division III (non-scholarship), while they also finished #2 after the 2006 year. In two of those seasons, the team won the state championship (2006 & 2008). In 2009, his team was one game away from advancing to the state tournament, but were defeated in the third round by eventual champion Mt. San Antonio, which was the same team they finished behind in the South Coast Conference standings. At the conclusion of the 2009 season, Artiaga found out that sophomore Luis Gonzalez was named the National Player of the Year, a first for a Cerritos College men’s soccer player.

During the state championship year of 2008, Artiaga led the team to a 22-4-1 campaign, capped by a thrilling 1-0 win over rival Mt. San Antonio College. The win over the Mounties was the fourth of the season for the Falcons, who went on to claim the #2 ranking in the country by the NSCAA Division III. Back in 2006, Artiaga took his second team to the state title game, where they posted a 1-0 win over Taft College to win the school’s first championship. In addition to his team titles, Artiaga was has also been named the Far West Coach of the Year four times, as well as the NSCAA Junior College National Coach of the Year in 2006 and again in 2014. He has also been named the South Coast Conference Coach of the Year six times.

After winning their first state title in 2006, the program produced their first All-American, as Michael Paz was named NSCAA/adidas Community College Men’s Division III 1st Team All-American. Since then, the program has had six other players earn All-American honors. During the 2006 state championship season, the team went 20-3-5 on the year and was ranked #1 in the state and #2 in the nation. Also, in the summer after the 2006 season, Artiaga was also hired as full-time Instructor/Coach at the college.

Artiaga holds a national Class A license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), National Fitness Level 1 diploma, also from USSF, and an advanced diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). He has also been invited to serve on the USSF soccer training staff. After playing for the Falcons on their 2001 team, Artiaga remained with the team in a coaching capacity. Among his qualifications are participating many years of CSL and playing under two soccer programs (Cerritos and Long Beach City College), while during his time enlisted in the military, he captained the United States Navy team to a silver medal in the 1996 RIMPAC Hawaii Tournament against Chile and participated against various select regional teams across the country, including a 1996 Armed Services Cup.

Artiaga graduated from USC in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and an emphasis in Sports Journalism. He completed his Master’s degree in Kinesiology/Sports Management from Long Beach State in 2005.

Professionally, he has worked for the Los Angeles Galaxy and in the USC Sports Information Office under Mike Garrett and Tim Tessalone, while also working as a personal fitness trainer for the USC athletic department for three years training many athletes from various sports. Artiaga also served on the coaching staff with the Los Alamitos High boys’ soccer team with former Falcon assistant Donovan Martinez (Los Alamitos High boy’s head coach) and Raul Avellaneda (JV head coach). During his time there, the Los Alamitos boys captured consecutive conference championships by going undefeated, advanced to the Division I final four and finished ranked seventh in the nation. He currently coaches the U17 Beach FC team that plays Tier 1 and the U12 Beach FC team that plays Tier 2.

2005 Benny Artiaga 12-8-5 3rd Place Lost 2nd Round
2006 Benny Artiaga 20-3-5 2nd Place State Champions
        Ranked #2 Nationally
2007 Benny Artiaga 18-4-4 2nd Place Lost 3rd Round
        Ranked #6 Nationally
2008 Benny Artiaga 22-4-1 1st Place State Champions
        Ranked #2 Nationally
2009 Benny Artiaga 19-3-2 2nd Place Lost 3rd Round
        Ranked #2 Nationally
2010 Benny Artiaga 11-3-9 2nd Place Lost 2nd Round
        Ranked #14 Nationally
2011 Benny Artiaga 17-3-2 2nd Place Lost 2nd Round
        Ranked #10 Nationally
2012 Benny Artiaga 14-6-3 2nd Place Lost 3rd Round
        Ranked #14 Nationally
2013 Benny Artiaga 15-5-4 2nd Place Lost 3rd Round
        Ranked #12 Nationally
2014 Benny Artiaga 14-3-8 2nd Place State Champions
        Ranked #2 Nationally
2015 Benny Artiaga 7-10-4 3rd Place Missed Playoffs
2016 Benny Artiaga 9-8-5 1st Place Lost 1st Round
        South Division Champions
2017 Benny Artiaga 17-0-7 1st Place State Semifinalist
        Ranked #3 Nationally
        South Division Champions
2018 Benny Artiaga 22-1-2 1st Place National Champions
        State Champions
        South Division Champions
2019 Benny Artiaga 18-3-4 1st Place State Semifinalist
        Ranked #5 Nationally
        South Division Champions
2020 Benny Artiaga No Season due to Covid-19  
2021 Benny Artiaga 17-5-1 1st  Place South Division Champions
        SCC Tournament Champions
        Lost 3rd Round
2022 Benny Artiaga 21-1-2 1st Place  South Division Champions 
        SCC Tournament Champions
        Lost 4th Round
  TOTAL 278-70-68