Assistant coach for men’s soccer Leonard Griffin is moving on from the Portland Pilots to be head coach for the University of San Francisco men’s soccer program. Athletics announced Griffin’s departure on April 11. He will assume the position in fall of 2019.
"I'd like to thank Nick Carlin-Voigt, the coaching staff and players for an unforgettable time on the Bluff!" Griffin said in a press release. "My experience here has fully prepared me for the next step in my career....I will miss my time here on The Bluff, but I'm extremely excited to use my experience to help the University of San Francisco men's soccer program reach new heights."
This comes soon after Logan Emory, another former assistant coach for the men’s soccer team, became an assistant coach for the UP women’s team in late March.
"I couldn't be more delighted and proud of USF naming Leonard as their new head coach," said UP’s head coach Carlin-Voigt in a press release. "Working with him closely over the past five years, Leonard and I developed a great relationship both on and off the field to build culture and a family environment. Leonard is a trusted colleague, good coach and even better human being.”
Not everyone is as positive, however. After losing two members of the coaching staff, some of the men’s soccer players feel surprised, especially since both moves have come so quickly after one another.
“Everything happened so fast and out of nowhere,” redshirt freshman Edu Calvo-Salinas said. “Personally, I was recruited by Leonard, so it was hard to see him leave after establishing such a strong relationship with him throughout my time spent here and throughout the recruiting process that brought me here.”
Griffin is leaving after three years coaching the Portland Pilots. He came on in 2016 with Carlin-Voigt, and helped lead the men’s soccer team to a conference championship his first year on staff and the first round of playoffs in the 2018 season. He oversaw the recruitment of the third highest recruiting class in the nation for fall of 2018. In addition, Griffin brought in recruiting classes ranking 17th and fifth in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, respectively.
“Hope to see them accomplish big things in the future,” Calvo-Salinas said of Griffin and Emory. “They have both been great coaches and mentors to me, and I’m very thankful for everything they’ve done for me.”
Ana Clyde is a senior sports reporter and copy editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.