May 5, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame women’s soccer head coach Theresa Romagnolo announced Monday that she has finalized her coaching staff for the 2014 season, retaining longtime Fighting Irish assistant coach Dawn Greathouse and adding former Cal State Fullerton associate head coach Diego Bocanegra as Romagnolo (pronounced row-mah-KNOW-low) prepares for her inaugural campaign at the helm in South Bend.
“Dawn has been a staple of the Notre Dame program the last 11 years and I am excited to work with her as we head into the 2014 season,” Romagnolo said. “She has been a part of building two national championship teams and she knows what it takes to achieve this level of success. She holds the highest level of expectation for our players and her knowledge of the game is invaluable. She will be integral to the development of our goalkeepers and the team as a whole.
“I’m also excited to welcome Diego to our staff,” Romagnolo added. “He brings a great coaching and recruiting expertise to Notre Dame. He has great knowledge of the recruiting circuit and his ability to scout the elite student-athlete make him a great fit for our program. On top of this, he brings a demanding enthusiastic personality to the game that our current players will enjoy.”
Greathouse joined the Notre Dame women’s soccer staff in 2003 as an assistant coach, working closely with the Fighting Irish goalkeepers and the program’s nationally-ranked recruiting efforts throughout her tenure. What’s more, she has helped Notre Dame earn two of its three NCAA national championships (2004 and 2010), as well as six NCAA Women’s College Cup berths, nine conference regular season titles and four conference tournament championships during her 11 seasons under the Golden Dome.
Greathouse has been instrumental in molding some of the top goalkeepers in program history, with her pupils registering six of the top 10 single-season goals-against average (GAA) marks in the Notre Dame record book, including five seasons when Greathouse tutored Fighting Irish goalkeepers to a 0.49 GAA or better. In addition, Notre Dame has recorded double-digit shutouts in nine of 11 years on her watch, including a school-record 19 clean sheets in 2006 (tied for seventh-most in one season in NCAA history).
The NCAA statistical rankings also remain littered with marks set by Fighting Irish goalkeepers who sharpened their craft under Greathouse’s watchful eye. In 2003, Notre Dame finished fifth in the nation with a 0.49 GAA, and was fourth with 15 shutouts, while compiling a 956-minute shutout streak that ranks fifth in NCAA history (longest since 1999). The 2004 national championship season then saw the Fighting Irish lead the nation with 18 shutouts while nearly reclaiming the GAA title (4th, 0.51). During that 25-1-1 season, the fighting Irish played from behind for a total of just 108 minutes, limiting 24 of the 27 opponents to one goal or fewer (including just one in the final 23 outings).
A former All-America netminder at Baylor, Greathouse played a key role in the development of 2006 graduate Erika Bohn (who went on to be one of two goalkeepers on the U.S. U-21 National Team at the 2005 Nordic Cup) and 2008 graduate Lauren Karas. Bohn – a rare three-time Academic All-American and the 2004 NCAA College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player – earned NSCAA all-region honors in 2003 and then was an all-BIG EAST Conference selection in 2005. To this day, she ranks fourth in the Notre Dame record book with a 0.69 career GAA and is third in Fighting Irish women’s soccer history with 6,788 career minutes played. While under the tutelage of Greathouse, Karas posted the second highest career winning-percentage among Notre Dame goalkeepers (.902) and the third-best GAA (0.65).
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Greathouse graduated from Baylor in 2001 with a degree in health fitness. She also holds a Premier Diploma coaching license from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Greathouse is engaged to Notre Dame coordinator of hockey operations Nick Siergiej (pronounced SIR-gay), with the couple to marry this summer.
Bocanegra (pronounced boh-kuh-NEG-ruh) brings 16 seasons of coaching experience to the Fighting Irish staff, including the past five (2009-13) as assistant and associate head coach/recruiting coordinator at Cal State Fullerton. While there, he helped the Titans to the 2012 Big West Conference regular season title and the 2013 Big West Tournament championship, the latter bringing with it a spot in the NCAA Championship (Fullerton dropped a narrow 1-0 decision at Stanford in the opening round of this past year’s tournament).
During his tenure, Bocanegra helped develop four Titans players who earned five NSCAA all-region citations, as well as 16 players combining for 21 all-conference awards, led by 2013 Big West Midfielder of the Year Erica Mazeau. For his efforts, Bocanegra was named the 2012 NSCAA Far West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time at Fullerton, Bocanegra spent two seasons as head coach at Cal State San Bernardino, leading the NCAA Division II program to 18 wins (including a 10-5-5 record and nearly an NCAA Championship berth in 2008) after the Coyotes had recorded 14 victories combined in the three seasons before his arrival. He also was responsible for mentoring two NSCAA all-region selections and seven all-conference honorees in his two years at CSUSB.
Bocanegra ascended to the top post at San Bernardino after two seasons as an assistant coach with the school’s men’s and women’s programs. He began his coaching career as an assistant men’s coach at Pomona-Pitzer (1998-2000) and UC Riverside (2001-04).
In addition to his success on the college level, Bocanegra has an extensive background as a coach at the club level, along with several seasons in the U.S. Youth Soccer/Olympic Development Program (ODP). From 1998-2009, he coached various age-group teams for the Alta Loma (Calif.) Arsenal girls’ club program before joining the Fullerton Rangers club in his current role as a coach and college advisor.
What’s more, Bocanegra worked with ODP Region IV teams as a staff coach in 2008 (boys), 2010 and 2013 (girls) before being named an assistant with the 2014 ODP Region IV Girls ’98 squad. He served as co-head coach of the ODP Cal South Girls ’96 team in 2010, and also has spent time coaching at the 2011 U.S. Youth Soccer National Development Camp and as a U.S. Soccer Youth Scout and National Training Center coach in 2012.
Bocanegra enjoyed a successful college playing career in the mid-1990s, beginning with two seasons at Grand Canyon University (1993-94; all-conference in ’94) before one season and a redshirt year (1995-96) at UCLA, where he played for Sigi Schmid, currently the coach of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC, and ultimately concluding at Fresno State in 1997.
Bocanegra comes from a family with a rich soccer tradition, led most notably by his younger brother, Carlos, who is a former U.S. Men’s National Team captain and two-time FIFA World Cup participant (2006 and 2010). Carlos currently plays in MLS with Los Angeles-based Chivas USA, following a successful decade-long career in Europe, playing in the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and French Ligue 1.
Bocanegra received his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Fresno State in 1998. He also has earned several coaching licenses, including United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National “A” License, the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and the NSCAA National Diploma.
A native of Upland, Calif., Bocanegra soon will be joined in South Bend by his wife, Kellie and their two children – daughter Isabella and son Luca.
Notre Dame is expected to have seven starters and 22 players returning next season, following a 13-8-1 record and a run to the third round of the NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish, who were ranked 14th in the final NSCAA poll and 19th in the final Soccer America poll, also will welcome a highly-talented 11-player incoming freshman class that has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s soccer program, follow the Fighting Irish on Twitter (@NDsoccernews and @NDSoccer), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director