Leonard Griffin, a former MLS player and an assistant coach the past two years at UCLA, was hired as an Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach in March of 2016. Griffin was an All-American defender at UCLA, and he’s also coached at Cal and Saint Mary’s.
Griffin, who originally hails from Palmdale, Calif., comes to The Bluff after two successful years on the UCLA bench. With the Bruins, he contributed to various aspects of the soccer program, including recruiting, the development of players, practice and gameday preparation, camp development, scouting, video breakdown, team academics and day-to-day field training.
UCLA reached a number one national ranking both years, and in 2014 the Bruins advanced to the NCAA College Cup Finals. Griffin also helped Carlin-Voigt build the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class in 2014 and 2015, and he coached nine All-Pac 12 players, including 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Leo Stoltz and 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Jose Hernandez.
Prior to joining the UCLA staff, Griffin spent one season as an assistant coach at California and three seasons as an assistant at Saint Mary's. Griffin joined the California men's soccer staff in May of 2013, helping the Golden Bears to an appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. Cal was the No. 1 team in the nation for six weeks, and they received the No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest seed in school history.
He spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Mary's, helping the Gaels reach the NCAA Elite Eight in 2011. The Gaels also won the West Coast Conference championship that year, and Griffin coached the 2012 WCC Defender of the Year Trevor Newquist.
Additionally, he spent three seasons as an assistant coach for the women’s team at Cal State San Bernardino prior to coaching at Saint Mary's.
Griffin was a four-year standout at UCLA from 2000-2003, leading the Bruins to an NCAA title in 2002 and earning All-America honors in 2003. He was also a First Team All-Pac 10 selection in 2003, while also landing All-Far West Region accolades. Griffin was also a member of the U.S Soccer National Team U-17, U-18 and U-20 player pools.
Following his UCLA career, Griffin spent six seasons in the MLS, playing with the Chicago Fire (2004-06), the Columbus Crew (2007-08) and the Los Angeles Galaxy (2009). Griffin has also played professionally in the USL, which included a stint with the Portland Timbers (2007-08).