Whittier has named Derek Hanks as its new Women's Soccer Head Coach, Executive Director of Athletics Robert Coleman announced Friday.
The top assistant coach at Cal State Northridge for the last seven years, Hanks now takes over a Poets program who won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament and earned a trip into the NCAA Division III National Championships for the second time in program history.
"We went through an extensive search process and had a very strong pool of candidates. Derek came on campus and already had a plan in place to take Whittier College soccer to the next level," Coleman said. "He was passionate and prepared. It was evident that he was an excellent fit for our head coaching position. We are all excited that Derek and his family will be joining our Whittier College family."
Last season with the Matadors, Hanks completed his third season as an assistant coach since returning to the staff in 2015. He previously served as volunteer coach in 2007, moved to the second assistant position for the 2008 and 2009 seasons and re-assumed the volunteer duties for the 2010 season.
In 2017, Hanks helped coach Cal State Northridge to the Big West Championship game along with nine victories and his defensive unit picked up eight shutouts on the season with six Matadors earned all-conference honors.
In 2016, the Matadors earned their first Big West regular season title in program history and posted numerous defensive records including the most shutouts in team history with 15. The team also registered the most shutouts in a row (6) and the most consecutive conference shutouts (6). CSUN finished the season second in the nation in shutout percentage (.714). Following the regular season, Nicole Thompson earned Big West Defender of the Year honors and Jovani McCakill took home Goalkeeper of the Year accolades. A total of eight Matadors received all-conference selections including five members of the defense.
In his first stint on the sidelines at CSUN, the Matadors' defense was one of the more formidable units in the Big West Conference. In 2009, the squad helped secure eight shutouts and two members of the backline (Katie Fox, Second Team, and Brielle Slepicoff, Honorable Mention) received All-Big West honors. In 2008, then-captain Nalena Betancourt also received All-Big West Honorable Mention accolades.
"I am honored and proud to have the opportunity to be a part of the Whittier College community. I was blown away by the facilities and the family atmosphere during my interview and right away felt at home," Hanks explained. "I am eager to build on the successful culture that coach Gerardo and her staff have created both on the field and in the classroom."
Hanks was also a four-year starter for the Matadors from 2003-2006.The two-time captain started 77 matches over his distinguished career and finished seventh in the all-time ranks after playing in 78 matches. Hanks accumulated five goals over his career, including two scores as a senior, and notched 12 points for his career.
Hanks graduated in 2006 from Cal State Northridge with his B.S. in Kinesiology and recently completed his M.S. in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia (CA) (2016). He and his wife Katie live in Los Angeles.
"I would like to thank my wife Katie who has supported me from the beginning and I know without a doubt I would not be in this position if it was not for her positive outlook on life," Hanks said. "I would also like to thank Keith West, the CSUN athletic department, and the incredible CSUN student athletes for seven memorable seasons. Lastly, I would like to thank Robert Coleman and the search committee for this opportunity and for entrusting me to lead this wonderful group of student athletes. Go Poets!"
-- Courtesy of Whittier Sports Information --