Aggies open with defending national champions for second consecutive year
Former Samford standout goalkeeper and assistant joins UC Davis staff
New Jersey's Margot Ridgeway & Live Oak's Leslie Fregoso sign with UC Davis
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native becomes the second Division I transfer to join the Aggie program
Janae Gonzalez will join the UC Davis roster for the 2018 season
Bringing with her high-level experiences as both a player and a coach, Head Coach Twila Kaufman enters her fifth season at the helm of the UC Davis women's soccer program in 2018.
Appointed to the post in January of 2014 after spending the previous 10 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach at Pepperdine, Kaufman has continued to build the Aggie program since taking over as only the second head coach in the program's Division I history, guiding UC Davis steadily up the table in the Big West Conference.
During her tenure, 12 different student-athletes have combined for a total of 14 All-Big West awards, while the Aggies have also had five student-athletes named to the league's all-freshman team -- including one in each of her four previous seasons.
Off the field, her charges have also excelled, earning a total of 32 Big West All-Academic Team awards. Former standout Ana Marija Sola was named to the CoSIDA All-District VIII squad in 2015, and was named the recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship later that school year along with Big West Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year accolades.
In addition, former standout Mari Pastor was one of 200 student-athletes nationwide invited to participate in the 2015 NCAA Career in Sports Forum.
After winning just five matches and finishing seventh in the league in her first year, the long-time coach bounced back in the second season of the Kaufman era, finishing 10-7-2 overall -- the second-highest win total in the program's Division I history -- and moving up one spot in the conference standings to sixth.
The seven non-conference wins that year -- including triumphs over three-time Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State, Saint Mary's, Eastern Washington, and Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State -- were the most in the program's Division I history and matched the team's non-conference win total for the previous two seasons combined.
Out of the 328 Div. I teams across the country, the 2015 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.
In both 2016 and 2017, Kaufman had the Aggies in contention for one of four coveted Big West Tournament berths right up until the final weekend of the regular season, and had UC Davis atop the league standings with its best conference start at the Division I level at 3-0-1 before becoming the final Big West team to suffer a defeat in league play.
Prior to taking over the program at UC Davis, Kaufman helped lead the Waves to four NCAA Tournament berths from 2004-13, including a "Sweet 16" appearance thanks to wins over Mississippi and Samford and a final No. 15 national ranking in 2005.
Elevated to associate head coach in 2008, she then helped lead Pepperdine to a West Coast Conference title, NCAA first-round appearance, and No. 10 national ranking in 2011, finishing the year 15-2-4 overall and 7-1 in the WCC.
During her tenure in Malibu, the Waves were one of the West Coast's most accomplished programs in that span, posting a 108-63-29 (.613) record.
Kaufman was integral in all areas of the Waves' program, including practice planning, academics, conditioning, and game management. She also served as the program's recruiting coordinator, annually bringing freshman classes that were nationally ranked by Soccer Buzz magazine. Kaufman is known for recruiting balanced classes that feature highly touted players as well as hidden gems.
Pepperdine also sent several players to the international stage, including national teams for Iceland, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States Under-23 team.
Outside of her collegiate coaching duties, Kaufman brings with her a wealth of experience at various levels in the sport, including the Los Angeles Legends as the USL's W-League, which featured some of the top women's soccer players in North America.
She was also a volunteer assistant coach at Northern Arizona and 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 as a four-year starter 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.
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.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING...
"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."
Head Women's Soccer Coach
"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."
Head Women's Soccer Coach