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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Soccer

Soccer fills coaching vacancy with decorated assistant


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Diego Bocanegra comes to Houston with more than 19 years of soccer coaching experience. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

UH announced Monday that it concluded the search for a new soccer head coach with the hire of a former assistant coach from the University of Notre Dame.

Diego Bocanegra becomes the fifth head coach in UH women’s soccer program history after spending his last three seasons as the Fighting Irish’s lead assistant coach. With Bocanegra’s help, Notre Dame soccer finished at No. 9 in the nation and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

“We had a high level of interest for our position from across the nation, and throughout the process, Diego continually stood out above a strong field of candidates,” said Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek in a press release. “He has been an instrumental factor of a nationally prominent program in Notre Dame.”

Bocanegra helped guide Notre Dame to a 41-14-8 in three seasons, with tournament appearances in each of his years. The California native has 19 years of soccer coaching experience.

Under his guidance, Bocanegra helped 15 players reach All-Atlantic Coast Conference status.

UH soccer showed improvement last season, but still struggled to a 6-7-3 overall record that saw them go just 1-6-2 in conference play. The Cougars have won just one conference game since going the American Athletic Conference.

Bocanegra comes from a pedigree of soccer talent. His younger brother, Carlos, is a former USMNT captain.

“I’m extremely humbled, honored and excited to be taking this position,” Bocanegra said in a press release. “The City of Houston is a soccer hotbed and The American is a great soccer conference. I’m excited to have the opportunity to develop a championship program.”

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