SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB men's soccer head coach Tim Vom Steeg announced a number of personnel changes on Wednesday morning, handing new roles to his two assistants and adding a pair of former Gaucho standouts to round out his coaching staff.
Greg Wilson, entering his ninth season with the Gauchos, will move from first assistant coach to the role of Associate Head Coach effective immediately. Greg Curry will now serve as the team's first assistant coach.
Also joining Vom Steeg on the UCSB touch line will be former stars Fifi Baiden and Ciaran O'Brien, who will serve as the team's secondary assistants.
"Greg Wilson was an integral part of our 2006 National Championship and has been a key component of this program ever since stepping on campus," said Vom Steeg. "This move is both timely and well-deserved. Likewise, Greg Curry has been an important part of our success as a program, particularly on the recruiting side, where he has continually put together top-10 classes. We're also excited to bring back two great players in Fifi and Ciaran. Both excelled at the technical side of soccer during their playing days and their ability to convey that to our current group of student-athletes will be invaluable to our program."
Since joining the coaching staff before the 2006 season, the program has experienced an unprecented run of success under Wilson, including seven trips to the postseason in his eight years.
He has been one of the main figures in UCSB soccer's impressive community involvement, regularly organizing tournaments, camps, and special events such as the popular "AYSO Skills Day" which has consistently drawn over 1,500 local youth players. His management of successful initiatives such as the UCSB Community Coaching Program and ballboy program have helped the Gauchos connect with Santa Barbara and lead the NCAA in attendance for eight consecutive years.
Before coming to UCSB, Wilson made coaching stops at Philadelphia University and Penn. As head coach at Philadelphia University, he ended the program's 16-year postseason drought in 2005. In a two year spell at Penn, he helped the Quakers win the Ivy League title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years.
A member of the 2006 National Championship squad, Curry is entering his fifth year on staff. One of the top recruiters in the country, he has turned in nationally-ranked recruiting classes in every one of his seasons at UCSB, including back-to-back top-five classes in 2013 and 2014.
One former Gaucho who blossomed under Wilson was O'Brien, who was extremely productive in his one year with the team, taking home Big West Midfielder of the Year honors and leading the conference in scoring with 25 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 2007. The College Soccer News All-American and First Team All-Region selection was eventually selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2008 SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, becoming the first Gaucho ever to be selected in the first round. He went on to play seven seasons of professional soccer.
O'Brien will chiefly be tasked with on-field coaching, including coordination of warm-ups and workout plans with the team's goalkeepers.
Baiden, one of the best holding midfielders in UCSB history, returns to UCSB after being drafted No. 42 overall in the 2013 MLS Superdraft by the Columbus Crew. A two-time All-Big West selection, he was known as one of the top defensive players in the country during his time in blue-and-gold. Before his senior season, he was named a Preseason All-American and a Top-10 midfielder nationally by Top Drawer Soccer.
He will assist Wilson with administrative duties and community outreach while also contributing to on-field matters.
Besides those four coaching moves, another pair of staff members were added to the program in athletic trainer Andrew Shibata and Community Outreach Coordinator Kayla Grosset.
UCSB will open the regular season with one of the most exciting games of the year, as they are set to host Pac-12 power Stanford and US Men's National Team star Jordan Morris on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The game is the second half of a doubleheader, with the women's soccer team playing their home-opener at 5:00 p.m.
Season tickets for the 2015 campaign are still available! To purchase season tickets for UCSB men's soccer, or for additional information, please drop by the Athletics Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call (805) 893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.