"I'm excited to welcome Diego to our staff," Fighting Irish head coach Theresa Romagnolo said. "He brings a great coaching and recruiting expertise to Notre Dame. He has great knowledge of the recruiting circuit and his ability to scout the elite student-athlete make him a great fit for our program. On top of this, he brings a demanding enthusiastic personality to the game that our current players will enjoy."
While at Fullerton, Bocanegra helped the Titans to the 2012 Big West Conference regular season title and the 2013 Big West Tournament championship, the latter bringing with it a spot in the NCAA Championship (Fullerton dropped a narrow 1-0 decision at Stanford in the opening round of this past year's tournament).
During his tenure, Bocanegra helped develop four Titans players who earned five NSCAA all-region citations, as well as 16 players combining for 21 all-conference awards, led by 2013 Big West Midfielder of the Year Erica Mazeau. For his efforts, Bocanegra was named the 2012 NSCAA Far West Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time at Fullerton, Bocanegra spent two seasons as head coach at Cal State San Bernardino, leading the NCAA Division II program to 18 wins (including a 10-5-5 record and nearly an NCAA Championship berth in 2008) after the Coyotes had recorded 14 victories combined in the three seasons before his arrival. He also was responsible for mentoring two NSCAA all-region selections and seven all-conference honorees in his two years at CSUSB.
Bocanegra ascended to the top post at San Bernardino after two seasons as an assistant coach with the school's men's and women's programs. He began his coaching career as an assistant men's coach at Pomona-Pitzer (1998-2000) and UC Riverside (2001-04).
In addition to his success on the college level, Bocanegra has an extensive background as a coach at the club level, along with several seasons in the U.S. Youth Soccer/Olympic Development Program (ODP). From 1998-2009, he coached various age-group teams for the Alta Loma (Calif.) Arsenal girls' club program before joining the Fullerton Rangers club in his current role as a coach and college advisor.
In addition, Bocanegra worked with ODP Region IV teams as a staff coach in 2008 (boys), 2010 and 2013 (girls) before being named an assistant with the 2014 ODP Region IV Girls '98 squad. He served as co-head coach of the ODP Cal South Girls '96 team in 2010, and also has spent time coaching at the 2011 U.S. Youth Soccer National Development Camp and as a U.S. Soccer Youth Scout and National Training Center coach in 2012.
Bocanegra enjoyed a successful college playing career in the mid-1990s, beginning with two seasons at Grand Canyon University (1993-94; all-conference in '94) before one season and a redshirt year (1995-96) at UCLA, where he played for Sigi Schmid, currently the coach of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC, and ultimately concluding at Fresno State in 1997.
Bocanegra comes from a family with a rich soccer tradition, led most notably by his younger brother, Carlos, who is a former U.S. Men's National Team captain and two-time FIFA World Cup participant (2006 and 2010). Carlos currently plays in MLS with Los Angeles-based Chivas USA, following a successful decade-long career in Europe, playing in the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and French Ligue 1.
Bocanegra received his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Fresno State in 1998. He also has earned several coaching licenses, including United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "A" License, the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and the NSCAA National Diploma.
A native of Upland, Calif., Bocanegra now makes his home in South Bend with his wife, Kellie and their two children - daughter Isabella and son Luca.