February 22, 2009

Marwan Ass'ad - 2009 CSUN Hall of Fame Inductee

Feb. 22, 2009

Northridge, Calif. - Marwan Ass'ad simply put Cal State Northridge men's soccer on the collegiate map.

Because of his outstanding exploits as head coach of the men's soccer program at Cal State Northridge, Assa'd is one of two former Cal State Northridge head coaches, four former Matador student-athletes, and one NCAA championship team will be formally inducted into the Matador Hall of Fame on March 1 at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills.

Ass'ad coached the Matadors for 15 seasons (1983-98) and during that time, the Matadors won 192 games, played in the NCAA championship game (1988), competed in the NCAA Regional six times, won six straight league titles from 1984 through 1989, and coached several All-Americans. His teams still hold several school records today.

"I am honored," said Ass'ad. "My years at Northridge were not only for the school, but for the community as well. We helped the community a lot, which is why I did not feel just like an employee of the university, but an employee of the San Fernando Valley. We had great soccer camps during the summer, and we held them at night to have as many kids as possible, up to 3,000 at times. We had a great reception from the community, great reception from the local media, and they embraced us. It was like we were part of the community.

"...When I became head coach at Cal State Northridge, that was my dream to help the community identify itself through us, and for us to identify ourselves through our outreach with the community. We had a lot of fun throughout the process."

Ass'ad says there were many great memories during his many years as head coach at Cal State Northridge. One stands out in particular.

"I was proud to have 20 out of 21 players (1988 team) on my most successful squad to have come directly from the San Fernando Valley. When we hosted the Final Four in 1988, we had more than 5,000 people both Saturday and Sunday in attendance. We outdrew the Division I Final Four which was held at the University of Indiana that year. That was a special weekend."

Current Matador head men's soccer coach Terry Davila played for Ass'ad.

"Marwan is the only coach I know that can make every player, both technically and tactically better," said Davila. "He was great at refining a player's strengths, while improving their weaknesses in the process. He is one of the best coaches I have ever met.

"He taught me to break down the game from a coach's perspective. I learned how to find the most effective way to attack and defend against any opponent by dissecting their play on the field. This man is flat out the most successful coach in our program. This coach knew how to win.

"I had a chance to play for him when I was a freshman. He believed in me and my ability to play the game of soccer. I will forever be grateful to him for that."

Beth Onestinghel-Woll (1985-88, softball) will join Marcus Brady (1998-01, football), Brian Heinle (1997-01, basketball) and Jeff Kubiak (1985-87, swimming) into this year's class of Hall of Fame inductees.

The two former head coaches are Marwan Ass'ad (men's soccer, 1983-98) and Dr. Barbara Swerkes (track & field, 1972-80).

The 1970 Matador baseball team, which captured the NCAA Division II national title, will also be inducted into the CSUN Hall of Fame, the first time in school history that a team will be honored in such a manner.

The 2009 inductees join 99 other distinguished members of the Cal State Northridge Athletic Hall of Fame.

On Monday, Dr. Barbara Swerkes (women's track & field, 1972-80) will be profiled.

Matador Memo
If you would like more information on the Hall of Fame luncheon on March 1, please contact Megan Norman at 818-677-3208 or at megan.norman@ csun.edu

Marwan Ass'ad - Men's Soccer (Head Coach, 1983-98)
*** Chalked up a 192-102-26 (.641) record his tenure (1983-98) as men's head soccer coach at Cal State Northridge
*** In conference play, the Matadors were 73-29-12 (.693) with six straight league titles from 1984 through 1989 ... Also recorded one second place finish (1993) and two third-place finishes (1983, 1995)
*** Coached CSUN to the NCAA national championship game in 1988
*** Coached the Matadors to the NCAA Regionals in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
*** CCAA Coach of the Year four times (1983, 1984, 1985, 1988) and MPSF Pacific Division Coach of the Year in 1993
*** In 1986, named NCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year
*** His teams still hold school records for season wins (19, 1987), fewest losses in a season (2, 1987), most goals scored in a season (80, 1987), fewest goals allowed in a season (17, 1985), most shutouts in a season (12, 1985), consecutive wins (8, 1987), consecutive matches without a loss (14, 1987), consecutive conference wins (9, 1986 to 1987)
*** Coached five first team All-Americans (Rick Iversen, Joey Kirk, Steve Lazarus, Thor Lee, John Tronson) and numerous All-Region and All-Conference selections.

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