VanWart, who graduated from Cal in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in education, was in her second stint with Cal when the Otters came calling. It was another impressive point in an already extensive résumé that has her ready to lead the NCAA Division II program.
"I want to thank Dr. (Ronnie) Higgs, Kirby Garry and the entire search committee for trusting me with the leadership of the CSUMB Women's Soccer team," says VanWart. "They have shown me what it means to be a part of the Otter family and I am excited to get started. After meeting with many of the players during the interview process, it is clear that they are a spirited group who are eager to get back out on the field and compete."
"We are excited to announce the addition of Laura VanWart as the head coach of our women's soccer program," says CSUMB Director of Athletics Kirby Garry. "Her ability to recruit, develop and coach has been proven at multiple levels of college soccer. We are committed to building a winning women's soccer program here at CSUMB. We believe that Laura has the right combination of leadership, experience and a proven track record of success to build the program into a contender in the competitive CCAA."
Between her stops at Cal, VanWart got her first taste of collegiate head coaching experience at Mills College, where she served in the top spot for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. While at Mills she mentored several All–Great South Athletic Conference team members.
VanWart first joined the Cal soccer coaching staff July of 2013. She served in a variety of roles for the Bears in both technical, on–field training and scouting as well as in auxiliary roles such as recruiting, marketing and alumni outreach.
She got her first taste of NCAA coaching at St. Mary's College, where she was an assistant coach in 2009 and again for the 2011–12 seasons. She helped the Gaels earn their first (and still only) 10–win season since 2001 when they earned 10 victories during the 2011 season.
VanWart made a stop in the Big West Conference via a season at Long Beach State. She helped guide the 49ers to an NCAA Tournament bid in her only season with the program. Long Beach State tied its school record with 14 wins and won the Big West Conference Tournament after being picked to finish sixth in the preseason coaches poll.
Her first collegiate position came at Contra Costa College, where she joined as an assistant in 2004 before ascending to the head coaching role in 2006. She earned Bay Valley Conference Coach of the Year in her first year as head coach and served as the Comets' head coach until 2009.
VanWart's experience also includes high school and club coaching. She currently coaches club at Mustang Soccer Club, and was a coach and an assistant director of the Bay Oaks Soccer Club in Oakland from 2011-2015. She has also coached at both Beach FC and the Mavericks Soccer club and worked with the Cal North Olympic Development Program.
VanWart will reside in Marina with her husband, Erick, and their daughter, Maya.