June 14, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University has promoted Eric Yamamoto to the position of top assistant for the men's soccer program Director of Athletics and Recreation Cheryl L. Levick announced today.
"I am very pleased we were able to retain Eric at Santa Clara University and have him on staff for the men's soccer program," said head coach Cameron Rast. "No one is more deserving or better suited for this job than Eric. He is an exceptional coach who knows how to win games. He has been a great asset to both the men's and women's soccer program for the last nine years and we look forward to continuing that level of success."
"He is an exceptional coach who knows how to win games."
Yamamoto, who has spent the past 11 years as the goalkeeper coach for both the men's and women's teams, will begin his duties as the top assistant for the men's program immediately. He joins former teammate and first-year head coach Cameron Rast, on a staff that is chalked full of a rare combination of youth and experience. The department's search for the newly added position of a full-time second assistant is currently underway.
"I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity," said Yamamoto. "It is hard for me to express how grateful I am to Cam, the athletic department, and the university to be given the promotion, but also to Mitch Murray for all of the years I was able to work with him. Cam and I both know we have some big shoes to fill following Mitch's departure, but we feel the support of the University, alumni and the talented group of players we have coming back next year will greatly assist us with our challenge."
As a player on the Mission Campus, Yamamoto earned All-America status as a goalkeeper, setting Bronco records with a 0.63 goals-against average and 38 shutouts as Santa Clara charged to the nation's top ranking and the NCAA co-championship during his senior season in 1989. Yamamoto, a four-year starter and three-time Academic All-American, anchored a stingy defense that allowed just 10 goals while posting a 20-0-3 record en route to the nation's No. 1 ranking.
Since his graduation from Santa Clara, Yamamoto has worked with both men's and women's programs as their goalkeeper coach. He has trained such standouts as 1992 West Coast Conference Defensive MVP Sue Wall, 1995 All-America men's goalkeeper Joe Cannon, 1998 WCC Defensive Player of the current U.S. U-20 netminder Steve Cronin. Since the formation of the West Coast Conference for women's soccer, Santa Clara has featured the league's toughest defense in seven of nine seasons, all with Yamamoto coaching the Bronco keepers.
As a member of the U.S. National Team coaching staff, Yamamoto has worked with many of the top U.S. goalkeepers, most recently with the U.S. Women's National Team. He also coaches numerous U.S. National Youth Teams on both the boys and girls sides.