Head coach Kevin Grimes enters his 15th season as the leader of the California men's soccer program after multiple recent years of great success including an unprecedented five Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (2002, 2005-07 and 2010).
Grimes has a career record of 153-92-35 in 14 seasons at Cal after coaching the Golden Bears to arguably their best season in program history in 2013. The Bears were ranked number one by the NSCAA poll for six consecutive weeks for the first time in program history, finishing the season with a 14-5-2 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. The Bears were the fourth overall seed, also the highest seed ever in school history. Grimes was also named NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year
Four Golden Bears were selected in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, including three first round choices. Defender Steve Birnbaum was selected second overall by D.C. United, defender Christian Dean was the third overall pick by Vancouver Whitecaps FC, midfielder/defender Ryan Neil was the 18th selection by Real Salt Lake and midfielder Alec Sundly was a second round choice by the New England Revolution.
2010 was another banner year for Grimes and the program.. He earned the NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year award and the conference coaching honor after his team produced a 14-2-4 record, a .750 winning percentage, what turned out to be the last Pac-10 championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament elite eight that season.
His 2010 Golden Bears also featured three All-Americans - A.J. Soares, Davis Paul and David Bingham - as well as the Pac-10 Player of the Year (Soares) and six All-Pac-10 players (Soares, Bingham, Paul, Servando Carrasco, Hector Jimenez and Birnbaum).
Six starters moved on to the professional ranks after the 2010 season, with Soares (New England), Paul (Chicago), Bingham (San Jose), Carrasco (Seattle), Jimenez (Los Angeles) and Demitrius Omphroy (Toronto) heading to Major League Soccer.
The Cal coach led the Bears to a 9-8-1 record in 2009. In 2008, Grimes led the Bears to their eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and along the way achieved his 100th career victory. Cal reached the third round of the NCAA College Cup after a stunning double-overtime victory at UC Santa Barbara in the second round. The Bears compiled a final record of 12-4-5 and finished second in the Pac-10 standings.
In 2007, Grimes coached the Bears to their second straight conference title. Collecting a record of 12-6-2 (6-3-1 in the Pac-10), Cal reached the second round of the NCAA College Cup.
Cal reached the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, and the Bears compiled a 13-6-1 overall record and a 7-3-0 conference mark. Among the big wins during the regular season were upsets of ninth-ranked UCLA, 3-1, and of ninth-ranked Washington, 2-0, in Seattle.
Prior to 2010, the 2005 season featured Cal's best postseason campaign in school history and at the time resulted in Cal's best winning percentage (.738, 14-4-3 record) since 1985 (.750, 16-5-1). The Bears reached the elite eight of the NCAA Tournament, surpassing the 2002 and 2006 Grimes-led squads that reached the tournament's sweet 16. Cal played another slate of nationally ranked teams, beating fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara, 2-0, seventh-ranked Santa Clara, 1-0, and 16th-ranked San Diego State, 2-1.
The 2004 season featured an overtime victory over No. 17 Santa Clara to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Cal finished the season at 13-4-3 and tied for second in the Pac-10 at 4-3-1. The Bears matched a program-high nine-game unbeaten streak to start the season. Late in the season Cal had two exciting double-overtime victories, beating Stanford, 3-2, and edging No. 5 Washington, 1-0.
In 2003, Grimes led the Bears to their third consecutive NCAA Tournament, beating San Jose State, 2-0, to advance to the second round of the tournament. Cal finished the season 11-9-2 (5-4-1, tied for 3rd Pac-10). Highlights from the season included a two-game sweep of rival Stanford and a four-game winning streak that included two wins over 2003 WAC champion San Jose State.
Grimes led the Bears squad to a 14-6-2 mark in 2002. He was rewarded by being named the NSCAA/adidas Division I Far West Region Coach of the Year, becoming only the third Bears coach, after DiGrazia (1977) and Bill Coupe (1983), to receive the award. Regular-season highlights in 2002 included a nine-match winning streak and 1-0 regular-season wins over eventual NCAA finalists UCLA and Stanford. More remarkable was Cal's 10-1-0 home record, serving notice to the country that Goldman Field was not a welcome place to play.
Cal's first postseason victory in school history came in 2002 over UC Santa Barbara, 2-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears finished the season ranked No. 14 in the country, and Grimes had Cal on its way to becoming one of the premier programs in the nation.
Grimes had bright moments in his first season as coach, among them leading the Bears to a 1-0 victory over No. 7 UCLA. Grimes guided his team to the biggest win of 2000 when it toppled No. 3 Indiana, 2-1.
Grimes, 45, came to Cal after serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Southern Methodist, for three seasons. During his tenure at SMU, the Mustangs recorded a 50-11-2 record and earned three NCAA tournament bids.
Before joining the SMU coaching staff, Grimes spent three seasons (1995-97) as coach of the Mission Viejo (Calif.) Pateadores Soccer Club, which is one of the nation's premier soccer clubs with numerous players competing at Division I programs across the country. He also coached the Irvine (Calif.) High School girls' varsity team from 1995-97 and the San Juan (Calif.) Soccer Club from 1993-94.
Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Grimes was a stellar high school player. As a member of the Scott Gallagher Soccer Club, he won the 1984 Under-19 McGuire Cup National Championship. In 1986, he was named a Parade All-American and Parade's National Defender of the Year as a senior at Rosary High School.
As a collegiate athlete, Grimes helped build the SMU program into one of the nation's perennial soccer powers from 1986-89. A two-year team captain, he was a two-time NSCAA First-Team All-American and a two-time finalist for the Hermann Award, which is given annually to the best collegiate men's and women's soccer players. Grimes graduated from SMU in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Grimes played with the U.S. National Team from 1988-91, acquiring five full international caps and appearing in more than 30 matches. He went on to play professional soccer for eight years, most recently with the Orange County Zodiac of the A-League in 1997, when he was selected to the A-League All-Star Game in Rochester, N.Y. Grimes spent the early part of 1996 with the former San Jose Clash of Major League Soccer.
Grimes' coaching credentials also include both the U.S. Soccer Federation "A" license and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Advanced National license.
Grimes, his wife, Nori, their son, Emerson, and their daughter, Kenzie, reside in the East Bay.