San Diego State first-year women’s soccer head coach Mike Friesen announced Monday the hiring of Nat Gonzalez as an assistant coach at SDSU. Gonzalez has been the associate head coach at USC the past three seasons after coaching the UC Riverside men’s soccer program the previous three years. Gonzalez is also currently an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team in their preparation for the 2008 World Championships.
As an associate head coach for the Women of Troy, Gonzalez coached the goalkeepers and dealt with all aspects of recruiting. Last year’s USC squad allowed just 21 goals, a mark which was the fewest in the Pac-10 and ranked 15th in the nation. In 2005, the Women of Troy’s recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the nation according to Soccer Buzz.
“I am extremely excited to have an assistant coach like Nat Gonzalez,” Friesen said. “Nat’s experience in recruiting will be a tremendous help to the program and will help us get closer to our goals of competing at the highest level nationally. Above and beyond Nat’s experience is the fact that he is a quality person.”
“I’m excited to be at San Diego State,” Gonzalez said. “I am looking forward to working with Mike and building this program to where we know it can go. I’m excited and can’t wait to get this season underway.”
Gonzalez helped USC improve from 9-9-1 in his first year in 2004 to a 24-11-7 combined record over the past two seasons, including back-to-back trips to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Prior to joining the Women of Troy, Gonzalez started the men’s soccer program at UC Riverside, where he went 12-36-8 over three seasons.
Before UC Riverside, Gonzalez spent five years as a men’s assistant and goalkeep-ing coach at Washington, helping the Huskies to consecutive MPSF Championships in 1998 and 1999, and a 61-15-5 record during his tenure.
Gonzalez has also been an assistant men’s coach at Cal Poly Pomona (1995-96) and was the interim women’s soccer head coach at UCLA in the spring of 1995, after serving as the goalkeeper coach for the Bruins from 1994-95.
Gonzalez was a four-year goalkeeper at UCLA from 1988-91 and was a member of the 1990 Bruins’ national championship squad. He graduated from UCLA in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and possesses a United States Soccer Federation “B” license.
Gonzalez played professionally for six seasons, finishing his career in 1997 with the Seattle SeaDogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL).