April 10, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -- Former UC Davis letter winner Christopher Leer has been hired as an assistant coach, while current assistant Jason Hotaling has been elevated to the position of Assistant Head Coach to round out the staff for the 2014 season, Aggies Head Coach Dwayne Shaffer announced.
"I am happy to bring Chris back into our program," Shaffer said. "He has always expressed a desire to be a college soccer coach and, being a former Aggie, he should transition into our team very easily. Chris had an excellent work ethic as a player and I'm sure that will translate well into his duties as a coach here at UC Davis."
Leer returns to his alma mater after spending the last two seasons as an assistant with the women's soccer program at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn., aiding in the Auggies' recruiting efforts while helping the NCAA Division III program to a 10-3-5 overall record and a No. 25 national ranking, at one point, in 2013.
The year prior, Leer helped guide Augsburg to a 12-5-3 record, a second-place finish in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and a No. 5 regional ranking. While in Minnesota, three of his players were selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Division II All-North Region Team and seven more were chosen to the MIAC all-conference squads, while Augsburg was also a two-time recipient of the NSCAA's Team Academic Award.
"I want to thank Dwayne for giving me the opportunity to come back to UC Davis," Leer said. "It was an opportunity that I could not pass up and one that I feel very honored to have. This program helped me grow tremendously as both a player and a person during my time as a student-athlete and I am looking forward to giving back and helping the program continue its success."
As a player, Leer was a four-year letter winner for the Aggies from 2006-09, helping UC Davis to a pair of NCAA Division I Tournament berths in 2007 (First Round) and 2008 (Second Round) while earning All-Big West Honorable Mention honors as a senior. He finished his Aggies career with 13 goals and seven assists (33 points), tying for second on the team in goals (5) as a sophomore and finishing second on the team in both goals (4) and points (12) as a senior, starting all 19 matches.
His coaching career also includes positions with the Minnesota State and Region II Olympic Development Program, the Minneapolis United Soccer Club, and the Tonka United Soccer Club, as well as stops as the head boys junior varsity coach at San Ramon Valley High School in his hometown of Danville, Calif., and the Walnut Creek Soccer Club.
Leer graduated from UC Davis with a degree in communications and sociology in 2011, earning his master's degree in kinesiology/sports and exercise science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2013.
Hotaling completed his ninth season as an assistant coach on the sidelines for UC Davis in 2013, managing the Aggies' recruiting efforts and training the team's goalkeepers. He joined the program in 2005, reunited with his former coach in Shaffer, whom he played for at Santa Rosa JC from 1991-92.
He helped lead UC Davis to a 9-9-3 overall record and a 4-4-2 mark in Big West Conference play in 2013 as the Aggies gained the semifinals of the conference tournament before falling to eventually champion and NCAA "Sweet 16" participant UC Irvine.
"Jason has been on my staff for many years, working his way up from a volunteer assistant to his new position as the assistant head coach," Shaffer said. "He has been instrumental in the development of our outstanding goalkeepers throughout the years and will now assume more responsibility in helping take our program to the next level."