Year: First season at VCU
Since taking over the reins of the VCU men's soccer program, Dave Giffard has been working to reintroduce the Rams as a player on the national soccer scene.
The newest addition to the Black & Gold coaching staff knows all about being a player on the national soccer scene. Giffard announced the hiring of Josh Tudela, a two-time NCAA national champion and five-year pro, as an assistant with the Rams in 2012.
"Josh emerged from an extremely talented pool of candidates. He is a very driven and hungry competitor who made himself into a successful college player at the highest level as well as a successful pro," Giffard said. "His experiences and background will be a valuable addition to our staff and will be a great resource for our players as they reach toward some of the very same goals that Josh has already achieved. We are excited to add Josh to our soccer family here at VCU as he begins his coaching career, in which I'm sure he will be very successful."
Tudela comes to VCU after spending last year at Loyola Marymount as the Director of Soccer Operations for the Lions.
"It is a great opportunity to be a part of the athletic department here at VCU," Tudela said. "Coach Giffard has been a part of leading two powerhouse programs and knows what it takes to be a champion. I am excited to learn and coach alongside this staff as we create a championship program here. I hope to bring my passion and experience to make an impact on the team and individual players. In just a few days, I can already tell that Coach Giffard and his staff have this program on track to be champions, and I am honored to be a part of the journey."
Tudela won the NCAA College Cup in 2003 and 2004 as a starting midfielder at Indiana. As a freshman, he appeared in 22 matches and started 15 in helping the Hoosiers to a 17-3-5 record and the program's sixth national title. In doing so, he was named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team. Tudela and the Hoosiers made it back-to-back championships the following year, going 19-4-1 as Tudela started all 24 games, notching one goal and five assists.
It was in 2005 when Giffard and Tudela first met with Giffard serving as a volunteer assistant at Indiana during Tudela's junior year with the Hoosiers. During that season, Tudela was a Second Team All-Big Ten honoree. He capped his career in 2006 with the Big Ten Player of the Year award and a place on the NSCAA All-American Third Team. Tudela served as a team captain in 2006.
Following his collegiate career, Tudela was a second round pick of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. He started nine matches for the Galaxy in the 2007 season and would appear in 23 matches over the next three seasons. In 2010, Tudela was invited for a trial with Steaua Bucharest in Romania, followed by a trial with Polish team Cracovia. While working at Loyola Marymount, Tudela also played 19 games with the Los Angeles Blues of the USL.
A native of Evansville, Ind., Tudela scored 31 goals and had 14 assists during his senior year at North High School and finished his career with 80 goals and 63 assists. He was a member of the Indiana State and Regional ODP teams in 1999 and 2000 and the Indiana State ODP team in 2001.