NORTHRIDGE, Calif. –
After putting together one of the most storied playing and coaching careers at Cal State Northridge over the last 12 seasons, men's soccer associate head coach Yossi Raz has accepted the head coaching role at Cal Poly Pomona. Raz, in his eighth season as an assistant to head coach Terry Davila, helped the Matadors compile a 15-7 record and the program's first Big West Conference Tournament Championship in 2012.
"I want to take the opportunity to thank the administration and Coach Davila for the chance to grow within the Matador organization," said Raz. "I am thankful for all that they have done for me and the lessons I have learned in the program and look forward to my future relationship with Northridge as a proud alum."
"I'm humbled and excited for this opportunity," Raz said in a Cal Poly Pomona athletics news release. "I'm joining a great athletic department and I'm looking forward to the elite level of soccer in the highly-competitive California Collegiate Athletic Association. In my time at Cal State Northridge, I've learned that hard work always wins. I know our team at Cal Poly Pomona will represent the university in the finest possible way."
"Yossi has been a big part of our success in returning to our soccer identity at the Division I level," said Davila. "I have seen him mature as both a player, student and coach of the game. He is ready for this opportunity and he deserves it."
As a student-athlete at CSUN, Raz helped build the Matadors into a soccer power in the Big West Conference. He was named the conference's Freshman of the Year in 2001 and became the first player in conference history to be named to the All-Big West First Team after all four seasons. Raz and the Matadors made three NCAA Tournament appearances while he was playing, advancing to the second round after earning a bye in 2003.
He was named Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2002 and received Academic All-Big West Honors in each year he was eligible for the award.
In his eight seasons on the sidelines for Cal State Northridge, the Matadors posted an 82-68-29 record (.539) with Big West Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005 and 2012. The Matadors earned a bye to the second round in 2005 and defeated conference rival UC Santa Barbara 3-2 at Matador Soccer Field in the program's lone NCAA Tournament win at the Division I level.
Raz also served as the Matadors' recruiting coordinator and was in charge of academics for six seasons and has helped develop multiple student-athletes that have gone on to play soccer professionally. This season, seniors Joe Franco and Yuval Barak were named to the NSCAA Academic All-West Region team and Franco was named a Scholar All-American. Franco was also recently drafted by Chivas USA in the MLS Supplemental Draft in January.
At the end of the 2012 season, the Matadors led the conference in goals and had the fewest goals allowed. The team also recorded 10 shutouts, the most in the league, and had the league's top goal scorer (Sagi Lev-Ari), assist man (Carlos Benavides), defender (Franco) and goalkeeper (Michael Abalos). For the team's success, Raz was recognized by College Soccer News as one of the Top 15 Assistant Coaches in the country.
Raz takes over a Cal Poly Pomona program that is looking to rebuild after a 3-11-3 season in 2012. The Broncos had winning seasons from 2009-11 but have not won the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship in conference history (since 1979). The program last competed in the NCAA Division II National Tournament in 1998 after a narrow defeat to then-CCAA member UC Davis in the conference tournament final.
"I look forward to the chance to bring what I have learned to the Broncos' organization," said Raz. "I am lucky to have been able to work closely with Coach Davila here at Northridge to learn every aspect of how a successful program operates and I intend to work with the Cal Poly Pomona staff and student-athletes to build a championship program."
"Coach Raz is prepared for the next step in his career," concluded Davila. "Cal Poly Pomona is getting a great coach and they will see the benefits of hiring him in a quick, quick fashion."