FULLERTON, Calif. - George Kuntz, a 26-year head coaching veteran, has been appointed the eighth men's soccer head coach in Cal State Fullerton history, Athletic Director Jim Donovan announced Monday.
Kuntz comes to Cal State Fullerton after serving 19 years as the men's head soccer coach at UC Irvine, turning the Anteaters into a perennial soccer power that have made four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last six years, winning four Big West Tournament championships (2008, 2009,2011, 2013) and three regular season titles (2008, 2010, 2011).Kuntz, a collegiate head coach for 26 years, was named the NSCAA/Adidas Far West Region Coach of the Year in (2006 and 2008) and has seen a number of players jump to the next level including 12 in Major League Soccer (MLS) and three on various U.S. National Teams.
His career record is 319-217-64, ranking second in Big West history with 141 victories as a member of the Big West Conference. In addition, his 62 Big West wins ranks third all-time. The Anteaters earned seven All-American honors under Kuntz, and in addition, the soccer program has earned 15 conference players of the year, 107 all-conference honors, and 15 All-West Region honors.
The Anteaters most recent run to the postseason ended on Dec. 1, in a 1-0 loss to eventual College Cup runner-up and No. 5 seed Maryland in the round of 16. UC Irvine finished up the 2013 season at 15-5-3 on the season, the second-highest win total in program history. The trip to the round of 16 was its second in the program's history.
Prior to 2013, UCI entered the postseason in 2011 after winning the Big West Tournament for a third time earning a No. 8 national seed and finishing the season ranked 13th with a school record 16 wins while going 16-6-1. The 2011 season was another giant leap in the college soccer world being ranked as high as fifth. In 2010, Kuntz led the Anteaters to a 14-3-3 record and a Big West regular season title. In 2009, UCI won the Big West Tournament and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and a first round bye by virtue of a 4-1 win on the road against UC Santa Barbara. UC Irvine was rewarded for a historic 15-win season by receiving the 16th seed for the NCAA Division I Tournament and played host to Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in front of 2,000 fans. The team finished No. 3 in the West region and No. 25 in the nation.
Kuntz led the 2008 Anteaters to their first-ever Big West championship with a 5-1-4 league record, their first Big West Tournament title and first trip to the NCAA Tournament. In the NCAA tournament, he guided the team to the Round of 16 after earning the No. 14 national seed to start the tourney. Kuntz earned his second Big West Conference Coach of the Year honor that season. Four players earn All-American honors, and the Anteaters were ranked as high as seventh nationally.
Kuntz came to UCI from Pepperdine where he was the first women's soccer head coach; recording a 23-11-2 record in the first two seasons (1993 & 1994) of the program's existence including historic wins over UCLA and USC. Kuntz began his collegiate coaching career at California Lutheran University in 1988 and compiled a five-year record of 60-27-10 (.670). The Kingsmen won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) titles in 1991 and 1992 and advanced to the NCAA Far West Regional title game.
In 1989, Kuntz founded the women's soccer program at California Lutheran University and recorded a 51-24-1 (.678) record from 1989-1992. California Lutheran's women's team was ranked No. 1 in the Far West region and No. 3 in the nation in 1992 with a 17-4 record. Kuntz led the team to SCIAC championships in 1991 and 1992. The team went to the NCAA Far West final in 1992.
Kuntz coached four National Championship teams in the Donnelly Cup (Amateur Adult Division National Championships) as the California Soccer Association Head Coach for both the men and women. The California State Select Men's Team won National Championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005. His women's California State Select won the national title in 2006, the regional title in 2004 and, participated in the National Final Four in 2005.
Kuntz is a 1989 graduate of Arizona State University and holds a bachelor's degree in communication arts. He graduated with a master's degree in education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction from California Lutheran University. He holds a United States Soccer Federation "A" license, National Youth License, and the National Soccer Coaches Association Advanced National Diploma.
Kuntz spent a large part of his coaching career studying the development of the youth soccer player and is nationally recognized as the one of the longest serving United States State Association (USYSA) Directors of Coaching in the United States. Kuntz has been the Technical Director and Director of Coaches Education for the Hawaii Youth Soccer Association for 10 years. He served as the Director of Coaching for the California Youth Soccer Association - South for eight years and was the catalyst for mandatory licensing for youth soccer coaches in the United States. He was named 1995 CYSA - South Boy's Coach of the Year. Kuntz was also director of the Olympic Development Program from 1992 - 1996.
In May of 2011, he was appointed the AYSO National Director of Player Development –Technical Advisor. In 1994 Kuntz worked at the Federation International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Pasadena, California as an (FIFA) Assistant Technical Advisor.
Kuntz founded the Team Soccer Direct camp program in 1977, which has evolved into one of the nation's best summer camp programs and has been involved in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) as a player, coach, and administrator for 34 years. Kuntz played at Westmont College, San Diego Mesa College, and Scottsdale College during his collegiate years and was drafted by the Phoenix Fire of the American Professional Soccer League. Kuntz has two children; a son Jordan and daughter Sevilla.
During each of the past six seasons the UC Irvine men's team was ranked in the top 25 in the nation by the NSCAA during the regular season. At UC Irvine, he has produced close to 80 players that have been named all-conference and close to 100 were honored as scholar athletes recognized for their academic achievement. He has had ten players drafted or signed by Major League Soccer. His teams have broken all of the records at UC Irvine for wins.
Kuntz replaces Bob Ammann, whose contract was not renewed following the 2013 season. Ammann served as Cal State Fullerton's head coach for eight years (2006-13).
Press Conference Quotes
Cal State Fullerton Athletic Director Jim Donovan
"George is a very good family man and he comes from a great family. He has been the head coach at UC Irvine for 19 years and he is nationally recognized for his success. What I focus on is his last six years, where he went 80-37-14, had four NCAA tournament appearances, a sweet 16 appearance this season, and 10 times he has been named coach of the year by many different organizations. He also has coached over 80 all-conference players and over 100-scholar athletes, which is what we are all about I can't tell you how happy I am that George is sitting here as our head coach and we're looking ahead to having great moments on this field. We're all ready thinking about how we can bring the national championship home to Cal State Fullerton."
Cal State Fullerton Men's Soccer Coach George Kuntz
"First of all I want to thank everybody here. This was a very difficult decision and is something that took me a long time to think about, but I felt it was right. There are so many people to thank."
"Also, I want to take a moment to thank the administration and student athletes at UC Irvine. My success couldn't have been done without them over the years."
"One thing I can guarantee you is that a championship mentality will be here. When this opportunity presented itself I had to grasp that golden opportunity. Having competed against these guys this season and through the years I know the potential that is here. My goal is that we compete for championships every year and my vision is that 'we're going to play excellent soccer and beautiful soccer,' like my father would say."
On making a coaching move in conference
"This stadium is a gem. I've been to some big stadiums in collegiate athletics and these guys are so close to reaching their goal of becoming nationally recognized and this environment here is very hard to replicate."
On some of his immediate goals for program
"I want this program to have a winning mentality. It's very easy to have doubt, but having confidence is what separate teams. Having a good mentality is key for conference and tournament games and also understanding how we want to play. Were going to bring the flare and the brick and mortar.
On Kuntz's desired style of play
"We're going to have an exciting brand of play. It's going to be quick skillful and possession oriented. The college season is a lot like a tournament, especially only having 20 games and not 40 games so having a small season it's about results and teaching teams how to get those results. Our style of play is also going to put pressure on our opponents."
Big West Tournament Championships
2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
Big West Regular Season Titles
2008, 2010, 2011, 2013
Coach of the Year Honors
2008, 2001, 2000
NCAA Tournament Appearances
2008, 2009, 2011, 2013
The Kuntz File
2008 - National Soccer Coaches Association of America Far West Coach of the Year (NCAA DI Men)
2008 - Big West Conference - Coach of the Year - (NCAA DI Men)
2006 - National Soccer Coaches Association of America Far West Coach of the Year (NCAA DI Men)
2006 - Big West Conference - Coach of the Year - (NCAA DI Men)
2006 - Inducted into the California Lutheran University - Hall of Fame (Men's and Women's Soccer)
2005, 2004, 2003 - Big West Conference (UC Irvine) Sportsmanship Award (team)
2004 - The Outstanding Supporter of Prevention Award, Irvine Prevention Coalition - Community Service
2001 - Big West Conference - Coach of the Year - (NCAA DI Men)
2000 - Mountain Pacific Sports Federation - Pacific Division Coach of the Year - (NCAA DI Men)
1995 - California Youth Soccer Association - South - Coach of the Year (Boy's)
1992 - National Soccer Coaches Association Far West Coach of the Year, (NCAA Women)
1991 - National Soccer Coaches Association Far West Coach of the Year, (NCAA Men)
1988 - NAIA District III Coach of the Year, (Men)
Kuntz Coaching Record
Year School Record
2013 UC Irvine 15-5-3
2012 UC Irvine 5-14-1
2011 UC Irvine 16-6-1
2010 UC Irvine 14-3-3
2009 UC Irvine 15-7-0
2008 UC Irvine 15-2-6
2007 UC Irvine 6-9-5
2006 UC Irvine 13-4-3
2005 UC Irvine 11-6-3
2004 UC Irvine 7-13-0
2003 UC Irvine 6-11-3
2002 UC Irvine 8-8-4
2001 UC Irvine 10-4-6
2000 UC Irvine 12-8-1
1999 UC Irvine 8-11-1
1998 UC Irvine 8-12-0
1997 UC Irvine 6-10-4
1996 UC Irvine 7-7-5
1995 UC Irvine 3-15-2
1994 Pepperdine (W) 10-7-2
1993 Pepperdine (W) 13-4