[UC RIVERSIDE: Women] UC Riverside has signed Nat Gonzalez, the Big West Women's Coach of the Year, to a long-term contract.
Last season, Gonzalez led the Highlanders to a third-place regular season finish and to the finals of the Big West Conference Tournament, where they fell in penalty kicks to Cal State Fullerton. The preseason coaches' poll predicted a ninth-place finish for UC Riverside.
"I am thrilled to sign Coach Gonzalez to a long-term contract," said UCR athletic director Jim Wooldridge. "It is my strong belief that he will be able to build a championship caliber program here at UC Riverside in the coming years."
Gonzalez was the UCR men's coach for three years (2001-03) before moving to women's side, working as an assistant or associate coach at USC, San Diego State and UCLA.
Gonzalez returned to Riverside in 2011 to serve as the goalkeeper coach for the men's program and became the women's interim coach in 2012.