No. 32 all-time nationally in coaching victories
8 regular-season conference championships
Two 2016 professional signees
Alex Crozier is in his 28th year as head coach of the Cal Poly women’s soccer program. Crozier, who came into the 2019 season ranked No. 32 all-time nationally in career coaching victories at 287-190-58 overall, also has the most career victories in Big West play among the conference’s coaches (104 over 23 seasons, part of a .624 winning percentage).
In all, Crozier’s players have earned All-Big West honors a combined 132 times, the most of any member school since the formation of the league in 1996. He has also coached four All-Americans at Cal Poly, in addition to 23 student-athletes chosen for all-regional status, including defender Chelsea Barry in 2018.
Two Mustangs signed professional contracts in 2016, as forward Elise Krieghoff inked a deal with the Boston Breakers of the NWSL two months after goalkeeper Alyssa Giannetti joined Arna-Bjørnar FC of the Toppserien league in Norway.
Both Krieghoff and Giannetti finished their careers as two of the most prolific players in program history, with Krieghoff (one of five national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award) scoring a school-record 52 goals and Giannetti (ranked as the No. 3 senior goalkeeper in the country by EverybodySoccer) breaking program records for starts (76), minutes played (7,029) and saves (380).
In 2013, Crozier guided the Mustangs to the regular-season Big West championship with a 7-1-0 record.
Afterward, Krieghoff was invited to attend the U-23 National Team camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista; midfielder Jordyn Zander won Cal Poly’s Sportsmanship Award; and the team as a whole earned an NCAA Public Recognition Award for exceptional academic achievement after compiling a perfect Academic Progress Rate score of 1,000, placing its multi-year APR in the top 10 percent across the country.
In 2014, Krieghoff was chosen as the Disney co-National Player of the Week on Sept. 23, a day after being featured by ESPNW as one of five players to know in college soccer. Then on Oct. 19, she had ESPN’s “SportsCenter” No. 3 Play of the Day with a dramatic game-winning strike at UC Riverside, two weeks before being added to the Hermann Trophy candidate pool.
Also following the 2015 season — which saw Cal Poly earn a scoreless shutout against No. 13 Cal, as well as a 1-1 draw with No. 6 BYU — center back Robin Mertens graduated as the school’s women’s Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year. As one of 18 individuals honored among 2,500 student-athletes throughout the conference, Mertens became the program’s fourth player to receive the distinction.
Off the pitch, Crozier has seen his players earn all-academic honors from the conference 81 times. The program has also had four Academic All-Americans, two Cal Poly Scholar-Athletes of the Year and four NCAA Leadership Conference nominees.
Crozier, a four-time Big West Coach of the Year, also led Cal Poly to the conference title in 2009 with another 7-1-0 mark (14-5-1 overall).
During that championship run, goalkeeper Coral Hoover finished second in the nation in save percentage at .919, the 23rd-best single-season figure in the 37-year history of Division I. That year also included the Cal Poly debut for Cici Kobinski, who became the league’s midfielder of the year by 2012. After graduating, Kobinski went on to star as a winger for Guam, posting two goals and two assists as the Masakåda advanced to the semifinal stage of the 2014 East Asian Cup (making the sixth-largest jump among all 133 teams in FIFA’s rankings).
The 2009 season also saw the Mustangs earn a memorable 1-0 overtime win over a No. 7-ranked Cal team featuring Alex Morgan.
Putting together challenging schedules has long been a staple of the program, which has hosted the defending College Cup champion in Spanos Stadium on two occasions (losing 1-0 vs. No. 3 Santa Clara in 2002 and No. 1 North Carolina in 2010). Other non-conference fixtures over the years have seen the Mustangs claim tournament titles at venues including Missouri (at the 1998 Nike Tiger Invitational), Montana (the 2003 Diadora Cup), Purdue (the 2005 Boilermaker Challenge Cup), Hawai’i (the 2010 OHANA Resorts No Ka Oi Tournament) and Portland State (the 2011 Viking Classic).
In 2003, the Mustangs set a team record by going 18-2-2, No. 2 in the country for winning percentage. They finished ranked No. 20 in the final Soccer America poll, and of the 22 matches, 15 were won by shutout, a ratio that was No. 4 in the nation and established a still-standing all-time Big West record.
Including six NCAA Tournament appearances, Crozier is the Mustangs’ first and only coach since the school began playing at the intercollegiate level in 1992. Cal Poly first cracked the coaches association Top 25 poll at the Division I level in 1995, before doing so again in 1997, a year in which another Mustang up top, Gina Oceguera, won the overall Big West Player of the Year award. Oceguera went on to play in the 1999 World Cup representing Mexico. The ensuing fall also culminated with a milestone for the Mustangs, who defeated Fresno State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 2-1.
The following winter, Oceguera was drafted by the San Diego Spirit before winning a WUSA title with the Bay Area CyberRays. In 1993, Cal Poly’s final season at the Division II level before moving to Division I, Crozier coached the program to the national championship match in Miami, earning the NSCAA National Coach of the Year award. Despite a loss in the final, Mustang forward Kolleen Kassis was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player on offense.
Crozier, a 1984 Cal Poly graduate with a Civil Engineering degree, was an assistant for Santa Clara in 1991, and prior to that coached the West Valley FC Premier U-19 girls to the State Cup championship and a third-place national finish.
As a midfielder at Cal Poly, Crozier was a team captain in 1982 and 1983, earning all-conference honors both years, as well as All-Far West Region distinction as a junior. He also coached the Cal Poly women’s soccer team from 1979-83 when it played as a club in the California Collegiate Women’s Soccer Conference. Before his Mustang career, Crozier won three consecutive CIF Central Section championships at Bullard High School in Fresno, where he was a captain and earned team MVP and all-league accolades.
Crozier resides in San Luis Obispo with his wife, Judy King, and the couple’s sons, Dan and Bo, and daughter, Angie.