March 2, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Chris Fernandez, the Director of Coaching for the Arizona Rush Soccer Club and the head coach of its Women's Premier Soccer League team, has been selected as assistant coach for the UC Santa Barbara women's soccer program, head coach Paul Stumpf announced Thursday. Fernandez replaces Kai Edwards who was recently named head women's coach at St. Mary's College.
"While I was sad to see Kai go, I am very excited to add Chris to our coaching staff," Stumpf said. "Among other things, what Kai did for me was clarify exactly what type of assistant I need to be successful. With that in mind, Chris's experiences moved his resumé to the top of the pile."
Fernandez has been the Director of Coaching for the Arizona Rush Soccer Club in Tucson since 2004. In 2008, he became head coach and general manager of the Rush's entry in the Women's Premier Soccer League, guiding the team to the divisional co-championship and the national finals in its inaugural season. Overall, he has been a head coach at the club level since 1996, coaching seven different organizations. In addition, Fernandez has coached high school soccer at South Torrance High School (2000-01) and Sonora High School (Girls from 1996-1997 and Boys from 1997-1999). In 1998, he guided the Sonora High boys team to the CIF Semifinals. Also, from 2002-2007, he was the head coach of the Arizona State Olympic Development Program.
"Chris will be our offensive coordinator," stated Stumpf. "He will oversee the movement of our attack, set pieces, how we maximize our crosses and finishing opportunities, and all of the technical aspects of creating scoring opportunities."
Stumpf said that Fernandez will also be UCSB's recruiting coordinator.
"He has a reputation for connecting with people and great contacts - on the West Coast and nationally - because of his time with the (Arizona) Rush," assured Stumpf. "Chris is the right person tot bring in players that will keep us winning the Big West and take us deeper into the NCAA Tournament."
Fernandez played college soccer at San Jose Stae and Cal State Dominguez Hills. He also played semi-professionally for Doxa Italia in 2000 and he was a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy's 22-man roster in 1996.
"I am excited to work for Paul. He will be a great mentor for me," said Fernandez. "The Big West is a very competitive conference I look forward to helping the Gauchos stay at the top and move up nationally. I am also excited about the number of players and returnees UCSB has. Things should be exciting from the start."
Fernandez believes that his experience makes him a perfect fit for the Gaucho program.
"I feel that I've done the things on the youth club level to prepare me for this," he said. "I am ready to pass on my experiences and knowledge to the student-athletes."
Fernandez played on the college level at San Jose State and Cal State Dominguez Hills.