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NCAA Jun 10, 2024

Cal Poly women’s soccer head coach Alex Crozier to retire after over 30 years

(Photo Credit: Cal Poly Athletics)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — After over three decades at the helm, Alex Crozier will be retiring as the Cal Poly women’s soccer head coach following the conclusion of the upcoming 2024 season.

“I never could have imagined a better job,” Crozier said .”I have had the honor and pleasure of working alongside, coaching and meeting so many great people.”

The only head coach in the history of the program, Crozier is currently tied for 23rd nationally in career victories among active Division I head coaches and tied No. 36 all-time with a 319-221-66 overall record.

“I have to thank, first and foremost, my wife, Judy King, who allowed me to pursue my passion when common sense would have dictated otherwise,” Crozier said. “I would also like to thank Wolfgang Gartner, my coach here at Cal Poly, who showed me that soccer is more than a game. There is not enough room on this page nor time in this universe to thank all the others that have had such a profound impact on my career and my life … just know that I am thinking of you.

I never could have imagined a better job. I have had the honor and pleasure of working alongside, coaching and meeting so many great people. I can’t thank Cal Poly and the administration enough for allowing me to be a part of this first-class university.”

Across his illustrious career, Crozier has led the Mustangs to 10 regular season conference championships, six NCAA Tournament appearances and three Big West Tournament titles, and he has the most career victories among Big West coaches all-time, both in conference play (125-65-29) and overall.

“We’ve been preaching to our athletes to leave their jersey in a better place than where they found it, and I honestly believe that I will be leaving this program in the same manner,” Crozier said. “I can’t predict the future, but I see big things ahead for this program, not only this coming fall, but for years to come. Go Mustangs!”

A record six-time Big West Coach of the Year, Crozier has truly seen and done it all through 31 seasons overseeing the program. One of the longest active tenured women’s soccer head coaches in all of Division I, Crozier has coached long enough to mentor the daughters of some of his former players. He is a legend through and through, Cal Poly Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman said.

Alex Crozier Lead Graphic

“Alex Crozier has been our ‘Dean of Coaches’ for many years now, and our entire athletics department will not only miss the knowledge he brings, but also his consistent and calming presence in all matters,” Oberhelman said. “He has been the only Head Coach our women’s soccer program has ever known, navigating the program from club level, into NCAA Division II and ultimately into Division I.

He has served multiple generations of Cal Poly Mustangs, is universally loved by those he has coached, and is respected by those who have competed against him.”

In all, Crozier’s players have earned All-Big West Team honors 140 times and All-West Region honors 41 times. He has overseen six Big West Defensive Player of the Year winners, four Big West Freshman of the Year honorees, and three Big West Goalkeeper of the Year and Big West Midfielder of the Year award recipients.

Crozier got his first taste of coaching in 1979, managing the Cal Poly women’s soccer team from 1979-83 when it was a club sport that played in the California Collegiate Women’s Soccer Conference. Crozier took over leading the team again in 1992 for the program’s inaugural season playing at the intercollegiate level. A year later in 1993 during Cal Poly’s final season at the Division II level before moving to Division I, Crozier guided the Mustangs to the Division II national championship match against Barry in Miami and was named the NSCAA National Coach of the Year.

Crozier’s leadership and coaching prowess has allowed the Cal Poly women’s soccer program to achieve countless monumental feats over the years. Recently, the team has been making plenty of history, including this past season when the Mustangs advanced to their ninth Big West Championship match — tied for the most all-time —, set a program record for players to record a point in a season (21), matched a 27-year-old program record for goal scorers in a season (15) and for the first time in program history finished with six or more wins in Big West play for the third consecutive season. In 2022, Cal Poly captured its first outright Big West regular season title since 2013, recorded the team’s most shutouts in a season (10) since 2009, earned a program-record seven clean sheets in Big West play and ended the regular season on a seven-match unbeaten streak. In 2021, Crozier led the Mustangs to their most victories in a season since 2009.

Our entire athletics department will not only miss the knowledge he brings, but also his consistent and calming presence in all matters, ” said Director of Athletics Don Oberhelman. 

Five players Crozier has coached at Cal Poly have gone on to sign contracts to play professionally, with Camille Lafaix in 2023 being the latest. Off the pitch, Crozier has seen his players earn Big West All-Academic honors 129 times, and he has overseen seven Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year and three Cal Poly Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

From 2012-15, Crozier coached two of the most prolific players in program history in Elise Krieghoff and Alyssa Giannetti. Krieghoff, a Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame inductee in 2022, is the school record holder in goals scored (52), while Giannetti broke program records for saves, starts and minutes played during her Cal Poly career.

In 2003, Crozier guided the Mustangs to arguably their most successful season in program history as Cal Poly set a team record with an 18-2-2 mark, which was No. 2 in the country in winning percentage that season. Cal Poly claimed the Big West regular season and tournament titles and finished the year ranked No. 20 in the Soccer America Poll. The Mustangs won 15 of their 22 matches that season by shutout, an all-time Big West record and No. 4 in the nation in 2003.

Crozier helped Cal Poly crack the top 25 in the Division I national coaches poll for the first time in 1995 and then again in 1997 with Big West Player of the Year Gina Oceguera leading the way. Oceguera played in three matches for Mexico at the 1999 World Cup during the summer prior to her senior year at Cal Poly.

Crozier was a midfielder for the Cal Poly men’s soccer team from 1979-83, serving as a team captain his final two seasons and earning all-conference honors both years. Crozier graduated from Cal Poly in 1984 with a Civil Engineering degree. He was an assistant coach at Santa Clara University in 1991 and led the West Valley FC Premier U-19 girls to the State Cup championship and a third-place national finish that same year.

Crozier currently lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife, Judy. They have two sons, Dan and Bo, and one daughter, Angie, who will graduate from Cal Poly next weekend.

Crozier will open his 32nd and final season at the helm on Thursday, Aug. 15, against Portland at Mustang Memorial Field Presented by French Hospital.

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