Ryan Hopkins had a record of 21-2-1 with Virginia, which lost NCAA final match in 2019.
Ryan Hopkins had a record of 21-2-1 with Virginia, which lost NCAA final match in 2019. Photo via SDSU

San Diego State University will have a new coach patrolling the sidelines for the men’s soccer team, the university announced Tuesday.

Ryan Hopkins, a California native and most recently an assistant coach of the NCAA runner-up Virginia Cavaliers, will take over as the Aztecs’ head coach. He helped lead Virginia to a 21-2-1 record in 2019. The team took eventual champion Georgetown to extra time before losing in penalty kicks.

“I am honored to be named the men’s soccer head coach at San Diego State University,” Hopkins said in a statement. “It is a dream to come home to California and lead a Pac-12 soccer program. San Diego State provides a great platform for our student-athletes to excel in the classroom, on the field and in the community. I look forward to helping them find the best versions of themselves everyday as we continue to push the program to new heights.”

San Diego State plays in the Pac-12 Conference for soccer, unlike most of its other teams which play in the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs went 3-12-2 last year.

Hopkins had previous stints at University of Denver, Cal Poly, Wisconsin and Concordia University — his alma mater.

“I am excited to welcome Ryan to the Aztec Nation,” said San Diego State Athletic Director John David Wicker. “Ryan has great experience building programs into consistent championship contenders. Our student-athletes will benefit from his experiences on and off the field. I look forward to our men’s soccer program consistently competing for championships on the field and in the classroom under Ryan’s tutelage.”

Hopkins was an All-American goalkeeper at Concordia from 2000 to 2004.

He’ll succeed Lev Kirshner, who was fired in early December after 20 years as head coach.

“He had 142 career victories, reached the NCAA Tournament three times, produced several national-team and professional players, shepherded the move to the Pac-12 in men’s soccer and helped bring lights to the SDSU Sports Deck,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

— City News Service