The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos are excited to announce the appointment of USA Eagle, Kelly Griffin, as the new head coach for the 2019-2020 school year. She will be replacing Zac Winter who will be starting his career as an elementary school teacher this fall.
The Gauchos would like to thank Winter for leading the team to two consecutive appearances at the USA Collegiate Nationals in 2018 and 2019. Winter’s coaching led the team through an undefeated conference season, but the road to a National Championship ended with the team’s loss to Brigham Young University this Spring in the Final Four. The team would also like to thank the head coach of UCSB’s men’s rugby, Tim Lewis, for his contributions to the team’s success.
This is a year of celebration for the women’s team. The program is proud of 2019 Alumna, Lauren Thunen, for competing in this year’s Pan American Games in Lima, Peru with the USA Eagles 7s squad, as well as 2019 Alumna Naomi Carillo being named to the Collegiate All-Americans. The program will also be celebrating 20 years of the team’s re-establishment this fall with an alumnae weekend and other 20-year anniversary commemorative events. The Gauchos are excited to see what their new coach Kelly Griffin will bring to the table.
“UCSB is a strong program that has produced many national team caliber athletes over
the years. I have fond memories of competing against UCSB when I was in college and have
enjoyed working with UCSB athletes through the Santa Barbara Rugby Academy. I am excited to
have the opportunity to become part of the Gaucho tradition and to contribute towards the