Former United States and Costa Rica Men's National Team and LA Galaxy goalkeeper coach Ignacio Hernandez is in his fourth season as Cal Poly's assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer.
In three previous seasons under Hernandez, Cal Poly’s goalkeepers have collectively produced a 1.25 goals against average and kept 15 clean sheets. Under Hernandez last year, Simon Boehme earned All-Big West Conference honorable mention recognition after finishing 40th among NCAA Division I goalkeepers with 4.43 saves per match and leading the Big West in save percentage (.775) and fewest goals allowed (18). In 2016, Cal Poly’s goalkeeping unit conceded the fewest goals of any Big West program (21).
During Hernandez's first season with Cal Poly in 2015, Wade Hamilton – who earned his second successive Big West Goalkeeper of the Year honor – was selected 61st overall by Portland Timbers in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. As a team in 2015, Cal Poly shipped the third fewest goals (24) among Big West programs.
Hernandez arrived at Cal Poly in August 2015 having spent the previous two years as the U-16 and U-18 goalkeeper trainer at Real Salt Lake AZ Development Academy. As part of one of U.S. Soccer's Development Academy programs, Hernandez groomed prospective players for both U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake, developing training sessions and organizing film review sessions.
From June-July 2013 and as part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Hernandez served as U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper coach under Jürgen Klinsmann. Working with international standouts such as Tim Howard (Everton F.C., Colorado Rapids) and Brad Guzan (Aston Villa F.C., Middlesbrough F.C., Atlanta United FC), Hernandez helped the U.S. to a fifth Gold Cup championship.
“We’re very privileged to have Ignacio Hernandez working as our goalkeeper coach,” Cal Poly head coach Steve Sampson said. “He brings a wealth of experience having coached collegiately, professionally and internationally. Real Salt Lake were academy finalists for three years and national champions once. In the U.S. National Team's run-up to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, his goalkeepers won every game he coached in.”
Prior to his time with the U.S. National Team, Hernandez worked with UCLA's goalkeepers (2010-11) and was responsible for strengthening technique and optimizing physical and mental performance.
Hernandez's first stop with a national team squad occurred in Costa Rica (2002-03) and under Sampson. Hernandez then served as the El Salvador Men's National Team goalkeeper coach (2006-07).
In between international assignments, Hernandez was LA Galaxy's main goalkeeper trainer from 2003-05. Under Sampson during the 2005 season, Hernandez helped the Galaxy lift both the MLS Cup and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Among other coaching assignments, Hernandez has trained goalkeepers at former Premier Development League club Orange County Zodiacs (1999-2000), Pateadores Soccer Club (1998-05) and Santa Ana College (2001-08).
A native of Mexico, Hernandez played professionally for 15 seasons and kept goal for some of the nation's leading clubs, including Atlante F.C. (1987-89) and Deportivo Toluca F.C. (1989-91).