Daniel Fragachan: UST Soccer Player to Coach
Daniel Fragachan Quintero '16 is one of the University of St. Thomas- Houston athletic alumni who turned his playing career into his life. As an international student from Venezuela, he began his college soccer career at UST from 2013 to 2015. Fragachan graduated at Hastings College, where he received a degree in business administration. After playing professional soccer for a few years, Daniel has become an assistant coach for the UST Men's Soccer team.
Daniel's Collegiate Soccer Career
The Venezuelan native left his home for Spain at the age of three. This is where Daniel, the son of a baseball player, discovered soccer, but Spain lacked a program. Through the game, Fragachan found an outlet to engage himself in a new community. His efforts reaped reward when former UST Men's Soccer Head Coach Aaron Champenoy offered Daniel a scholarship to join the team.
Fragachan views Champenoy as a large influence in his life, referring to him as his "white father" as he guided him throughout school, soccer and life. With this scholarship opportunity, Fragachan helped lead the Celts to their first Red River Athletic Conference title in 2013. However, when Coach Champenoy left St. Thomas in 2016, Fragachan went with him to Hastings College. It is there that he won the NAIA national championship. With this accolade, the young player saw the opportunity to make soccer into a career.
Daniel's Professional Soccer Career
After receiving his degree in business administration in 2017, Fragachan began training and played for a semi-pro team in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after the training intensified, Los Yebenes of Third Division Spain called him and extended a tryout. It was through this football club that Fragachan's pro career began. With the success in Los Yebenes, he moved up quickly to the Second Division on U.B. Conquense and ultimately found himself back home in Venezuela. This is where he made it to the First Division team Aragua FC Venezuela, rounding out his professional soccer career until the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Returning to St. Thomas & Houston
Once the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic became widespread, the professional soccer season was cancelled, and he found himself back in Houston. Without guaranteed income, Fragachan turned to coaching at UST. As an assistant to current Head Coach Ian Clerihew, he appreciates that he is given the space to shine as a coach and share his experience as a player. Together they helped our Men's Soccer team claim the 2021 SCAC Championship.
Overall, it's clear to see how UST Men's soccer plays a significant role in Fragachan's life. In addition to settling in as a coach, you can find him continuing to play the game at various weekend leagues across Houston. He also has taken an interest in youth development—he coaches for the "Yes Prep" Program with one of his former Celt teammates, Jorge Contreras '17. In this program, he shares his life experiences and mentors students through the game of soccer and the passion he found through the sport.
Fragachan's advice to UST Student Athletes
Finally, Fragachan's advice to current UST student-athletes is, "Enjoy your time in college as a student, and take care of your classes! As an athlete, appreciate the opportunity that you have because not everyone has it, but most importantly have fun!"