Aug. 6, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Former Bruin men's soccer player Nat Gonzalez, who was a member of UCLA's 1990 NCAA Championship team, has been brought in as an assistant coach for the UCLA women's soccer program, head coach Jillian Ellis announced on Friday. It actually marks Gonzalez's second stint with the program, as he served as an interim coach while Joy Fawcett was playing with the Olympic team during the spring of 1996.
"I have had the privilege of working with Nat on several occasions with the U.S. National Team," said Ellis, who will be leading the U.S. to the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer. "I have also had the opportunity to coach against him within our conference. His strong personal qualities, along with his expertise and knowledge of the game, will be a valuable asset to our program. I'm thrilled that he will be re-joining the Bruin Family."
Gonzalez comes to UCLA from San Diego State, where he served as an associate head coach for three seasons (2007-09). He recently helped the Aztecs to their first conference championship in 11 years, as the team went on to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to UCLA. SDSU finished the 2009 season with a 15-4-5 overall record.
An associate head coach at USC from 2004-06, Gonzalez worked with the team's goalkeepers while dealing with all aspects of recruiting. Under his tutelage, the 2006 USC squad allowed just 21 goals, a mark which was the fewest in the Pac-10 that year and ranked 15th in the nation. In 2005, the Women of Troy's recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the country.
Prior to joining the Women of Troy, Gonzalez started the men's program at UC Riverside, serving as head coach for three seasons. He has also had assistant coaching stops at Cal Poly Pomona and the University of Washington. During his time in Seattle, Gonzalez helped the Huskies to consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) titles in 1998 and 1999. The team posted a 61-15-5 record over his five years.
"I'm excited about the chance to come back to my alma mater," said Gonzalez. "Jill has given me the opportunity to be a part of a very successful program and I can't wait to get started. I look forward to doing my part in keeping UCLA in the upper echelon of women's collegiate soccer."
Gonzalez, who was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA from 1988-91, graduated in 1995 with a degree in psychology. After finishing up his college eligibility, he played professionally for six seasons, finishing his career in 1997 with the Seattle SeaDogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL).
Gonzalez, who will be a volunteer with the program, replaces Lauren McAdam, who recently accepted an assistant coaching job at the University of Nevada-Reno.
Gonzalez and his wife, Kari, have two daughters Mandi and Mari. He holds a United States Soccer Federation "B" license.