Twila Kaufman, associate head coach for the Pepperdine women's soccer team that advanced to four NCAA Tournaments including a Sweet 16 appearance during her 10-year tenure, enters her third season as the head coach of UC Davis women's soccer.
In the second season of the Kaufman era, the Aggies ended their 2015 campaign with a 10-7-2 overall record — the second-highest win total since the program began competing at the Division I level. When compared to last year’s results, Kaufman’s first at UC Davis, this year’s squad collected twice as many overall victories.
Out of the 328 Div. I teams across the country, this year’s team also recorded its highest Ratings Percentage Index in school history. Commonly known as the RPI, this figure is a quantity used to rank sports teams based upon its wins, losses and strength of schedule.
Including key victories against San Diego State, the Mountain West Conference’s reigning three-time regular season and tournament champion, Saint Mary’s, Eastern Washington and Sacramento State — the team’s seventh Causeway Cup win in the last nine head-to-head matches (the other two were draws) — UC Davis’ seven non-conference victories are the most recorded by any squad in the program’s D-I history.
By comparison, the Aggies won seven non-conference matches in the previous two seasons combined.
Kaufman brings extensive high-level experience as both a player and coach to the Aggies. Besides valuable experience with the Pepperdine Waves, she was also head coach of the Los Angeles Legends women' soccer team and was a team captain during her four-year career as a starter at the University of Arizona.
Kaufman joined Pepperdine as an assistant coach in 2004 before being elevated to associate head coach in 2008. The Waves have been one of the west coast's most accomplished programs in that span, posting a 108-63-29 (.613) record while advancing four timesto the NCAA Tournament, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005. Pepperdine made back-to-back appearances in 2011 and 2012.
"I'm looking forward to further develop and lead the group of young women who are currently in the program, as well recruiting the bright stars of the future," Kaufman said. "I have a strong vision for the future of UC Davis soccer and can't wait to live it.
"The university's academic reputation is impressive," she added. "I believe the women's soccer players who graduate from UC Davis leave fully equipped to make their mark in the world."
Kaufman was integral in all areas of the Waves' program, including practice planning, academics, conditioning and game management. She also served as recruiting coordinator,annually bringing freshman classes that were nationally ranked by Soccer Buzz. Kaufman is known for recruiting balanced classes that feature highly touted players as well as hidden gems.
Pepperdine has also sent several players to the international stage, including national teams for Iceland, Italy, Mexico, South Africa and the United States Under-23 team.
"Twila is an excellent hire for UC Davis," said Amanda Crowell, head coach for 2013 NCAA champion UCLA. "Her ability to recruit and get commitments from the elite student-athletes is undeniable.Twila's players are well led, coached and cared for, and she is an amazing communicator and student of the game. I know her soccer brain is one which I don't want to coach against."
Kaufman's coaching experience covers various levels in the sport. The L.A. Legends were members of the USL W-League which featured some of the top women's soccer in North America. She was also a volunteer assistant coach at Northern Arizona, was co-director at the Northern Arizona Training Academy. Kaufman has also been involved long term with Region IV Olympic Development Program and has been involved with the United States Soccer Federation national training centers, most recently as a director for the Los Angeles Training Center of Southern California.
Kaufman is a 2003 graduate of Arizona where she earned her undergraduate degree in secondary education. That followed an outstanding playing career in which she started all four seasons and ended her career having played more matches than any Wildcat in team history, Kaufman etched her name on several top-10 lists, was a two-time honoree on the Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic team and was the team's Rookie of the Year in 1998.
She continued her playing career with the Arizona Heatwave of the W-1 League.
"I think UC Davis is hiring not only a gem of a soccer coach, but more importantly, a gem of a human being," said Pepperdine head coach Tim Ward. "I have no doubt that Twila Kaufman will do wonderful and amazing things with the UC Davis women's soccer program."
Kaufman added a master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University in 2009 and earned her USSF National "A" license in 2010.