The Cal State Northridge women’s soccer team has a new coach and he is a familiar face.
Interim Athletic Director Janet Lucas announced March 14 that Keith West has been named head women’s soccer coach that will be effective immediately.
“We are extremely excited for Keith and the soccer program,” Lucas said. “We could not ask for a better person to take over the girls soccer team.”
West has been with CSUN soccer for eight seasons. In 1996, he was hired as a graduate assistant before he was hired as an assistant coach for the men’s team in 1999.
In 2004, West was named an assistant for the Matador women’s soccer program.
Discussion took place after the end of the soccer season to name a women’s team head coach separate from the men’s team, Lucas said.
“I was going to be a head coach and I always wanted to do it here,” West said. “It is an unbelievable opportunity for myself and for the school.”
Terry Davila, head coach of the men’s team has been named the director of Men’s and Women’s Soccer and received a contract extension through December 2009.
“When you have a successful program with the same head coach, you want to retain that coach,” Lucas said.
Davila was named the head men’s coach in 1999, and took over the women’s program in 2004.
In the two previous seasons before Davilia and West arrived, the women’s soccer team went 7-25-5 (.257) overall and 4-12-2 (.278) in the Big West.
In the two previous seasons that Davila was the head coach and West was an assistant, the women’s team had a record of 23-14-1 (.618) overall and 9-7 (.563) in the Big West, including qualifying for the Big West Tournament for the first time in 2004.
“I have learned a lot from Terry (Davilia),” West said. “His organization, his ability to communicate with people and how to get the most out of people.”
In 2005, the Matadors won a school-record nine matches in a row, and were 10-1 overall. Injuries, however, to three key players derailed the Matadors’ season and they lost seven of their last eight matches that excluded them from the playoffs.
“(Injuries) was a lot for us to overcome,” West said. “You can only face so much adversity before it starts to affect you.”
West said the women’s team could have won the Big West last season and believes the team has enough talent to win the conference and play in the NCAA tournament.
“We have lost a couple of key players from last season but we have enough talent to win,” West said. “I see no reason why we would not win conference and be in the NCAA’s.”
A replacement has not been named for West as an assistant coach for the men’s team, but someone from the coaching staff will take the opening, Lucas said.
“This is a win-win situation,” Lucas said. “The men’s team benefits with having Terry (Davila) 100 percent of the time and the women’s team benefits because they will have Keith (West) 100 percent of the time.”
Justin Satzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.