UCLA alum Leonard Griffin, who spent last season as an assistant coach at California and three seasons as an assistant at Saint Mary's, has been named the new assistant coach for the Bruin men's soccer program. Griffin takes over for former UCLA assistant Eddie Soto, who was named the head coach at the University of San Francisco back in January.
Griffin joined the California men's soccer staff as an assistant in May of 2013, helping the Golden Bears to an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. He spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Mary's under head coach and fellow UCLA alum Adam Cooper, helping the Gaels reach the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2011. At Saint Mary's, Griffin worked in all aspects of the soccer program including recruiting, camp development, fundraising, team academics and day-to-day field training. Additionally, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Cal State San Bernardino prior to coaching at Saint Mary's.
Griffin was a four-year standout at UCLA from 2000-2003, leading the Bruins to their fourth NCAA title in program history in 2002 and earning All-America honors in 2003. In his collegiate career, Griffin played in 89 matches, scoring two goals and recording seven assists (11 points). He played under current head coach Jorge Salcedo in from 2001-2003 when Salcedo was an assistant coach for the Bruins.
Following his UCLA career, Griffin was drafted in the second round of the 2004 MLS Draft by the Chicago Fire. He spent six seasons in MLS, playing with Chicago (2004-06), the Columbus Crew (2007-08) and the Los Angeles Galaxy (2009). Griffin has also played professionally with the Los Angeles Blues, a USL professional team, as well as the Portland Timbers when they were a part of the USL.
"We are very pleased to have Leonard Griffin join our staff," Salcedo said. "As a player at UCLA he was integral in helping the program win its fourth National Championship and his pedigree as a professional player and his highly successful collegiate years were the perfect platform for him to begin his coaching career. He has had great mentors in Adam Cooper of Saint Mary's and Kevin Grimes of California, both of whom have been invaluable to him. Overall, we are excited to have Leonard back in Westwood with our UCLA soccer family."