April 1, 2010

Taking Care of Business Both On and Off the Pitch

April 1, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - As is the case with his professional colleagues, Cal State Northridge Men's Soccer Assistant Coach Yossi Raz is busy recruiting, organizing practices, and preparing for the upcoming season.

But unlike every other coach, Raz is also wrapping up his other career as a graduate student at CSUN with a graduate GPA of 3.8 as he will earn his Master's Degree in Recreation and Tourism Management (RTM), and was recently named as one of three finalists for Graduate Student of the Year in that program.

A with all previous achievements, both on the field and in the classroom, Raz remains humble; he is quick to remind everyone that "it takes a village to raise a child." But those around him know that the latest recognition is well deserved, and serves as a reminder to both his soccer team and other students about the virtues of hard work and the successes that can potentially follow.

Raz earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business in 2006 with a 3.56, a remarkable accomplishment for any student, even more so for one who also needed to successfully balance his academic responsibilities with the rigors of competing on an intercollegiate athletic team.

Before Raz crossed over to become a member of the coaching staff, he spent four seasons as a member of the men's soccer team.

During his undergraduate tenure, Raz earned Varsity "N" recognition all four years - an honor bestowed upon scholar-athletes who have completed a minimum of one season and accumulated a 3.2 GPA or higher for two semesters - in addition to being named Outstanding Graduating Senior in 2005.

Raz also earned the most prestigious academic honor given by the Big West Conference in 2002 when he was named Scholar Athlete of the Year.

In conjunction with his achievements in the classroom, Raz was equally as successful on the soccer field. He was named Big West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2001, and became the only Matador in the program's history earn All-Big West Conference First Team honors during all four seasons of competition (2001-04).

Additionally, Raz served as the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, a panel responsible for the development and execution of a number of philanthropic events throughout the academic year involving such causes as breast cancer research, disaster relief efforts, tutoring and mentoring of elementary school-aged children.

Outside of campus, Raz has volunteered to assist children of all ages associated with Maccabi Los Angeles Youth Soccer, an organization he first became involved with in 2001 that Raz continues to envelop himself within today.

As demanding as his schedule was during his undergraduate tenure at Cal State Northridge, that experience only further prepared Raz for the rigors of his graduate program. He successfully balances his personal and professional obligations as a mentor, volunteer, and assistant coach.

During his time on-campus Raz has helped CSUN men's soccer create the second-highest winning percentage (.596) of any Big West Conference school, and successfully aided the efforts of head coach Terry Davila during his four seasons on-staff - two of which saw Davila earn Big West Conference Coach of the Year honors.

In conjunction with his time, efforts, and sacrifices attached towards earning a graduate degree in the Recreation and Tourism Management program, he has also helped former USA men's soccer head coach Steve Sampson with the development of a new company called the Global Sport Institute (GSI), with Raz currently directing the branch located in Agoura.

During his tenure at GSI, Raz was provided an opportunity to travel around the world in an effort to further deepen his base of experiences and sharpen his skill set as a coach.

Through his relationships with Sampson, Raz has spent time in Brazil working with the coaching staff of Sao Paulo FC and Palmeiras FC, Austria assisting the staff of Salzburg FC, and Spain working alongside Barcelona FC - one of the most popular and respected organizations in the world of professional sport

This April, Raz will return to Spain to coordinate efforts with the staff of Barcelona's Second Team during their current season as part of his professional internship.

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