Mark Soto hired as new Johnson head football coach

Leaves San Marcos after eight seasons with Rattlers

SAN ANTONIO – After bidding farewell to longtime head football coach Ron Rittimann in February, Johnson High School finally has their next leading man.

Mark Soto, former Athletic Director and head football coach at San Marcos high school, will lead the Jaguars onto the field next season. The hire was made official Monday evening at the North East ISD Board meeting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Soto said goodbye to his team via zoom call today.

“It’s a decision that I’ve thought about long and hard and prayed on long and hard,” Soto said. “It’s just the best decision for me and my family. I think it’s important that as you get a little further along in your career, you start taking jobs that are going to benefit you in multiple ways. This one is such a great place. It’s a unique place that has a lot of energy. It’s got a great community, great kids and a great administration, so it’s going to be fun to go in there and make new relationships.”

Soto spent eight years with the Rattlers and was at the helm for the program’s last District Championship in 2017. He also has prior experience at Judson high school, first suiting up at linebacker from 1988 to 1990, then serving as both assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Rockets before heading to San Marcos. Now, Soto takes over for a powerhouse Johnson program that has compiled an impressive 53-29 record over their last seven seasons.

“Coach Rittimann has left a sustainable program,” Soto explained. “He’s done a great job building that program up. I’m just going to go in there, use what’s great and enhance what needs a little bit of work. We’re going to bring energy to the place, make sure we’re attacking on defense, spreading the ball on offense and being sound on special teams.”

More news from Monday’s meeting, Kelly Parker has been named the new Executive Athletic Director of NEISD. Parker had previously worked for former AD Karen Funk who is retiring at the end of this school year.

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