One day after announcing its 2016 recruiting class, the Cal Poly football team welcomed another new member to the program Thursday morning.
Payam Saadat was hired to coach the Mustangs’ defensive line next season, according to a release put out by the school. He replaces Eti Ena, who left Cal Poly in January to coach at his alma mater and Big Sky Conference rival Eastern Washington.
This will be Saadat’s third stint coaching the Mustangs. Since leaving Cal Poly following the 2008 season, Saadat spent five years as the co-defensive coordinator at Army under former Mustangs head coach Rich Ellerson. He worked the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Central Washington.
A 43-year-old Washington State alumnus, Sadaat coached inside linebackers at Cal Poly in 1996 and 1997. He returned as a linebackers assistant ahead of the 2004 season, and was promoted to a full-time assistant position the following year. Sadaat took over as defensive coordinator in March 2006.
Sadaat was on staff during a dominant stretch for the Mustangs defense in the mid-2000s. He helped coach three consecutive Buck Buchanan Award winners in linebacker Jordan Beck (2004), defensive end Chris Gocong (2005) and linebacker Kyle Shotwell (2006).
Cal Poly women’s soccer team signs eight recruits
The Cal Poly women’s soccer team released its 2016 recruiting class Thursday afternoon, and the Mustangs plan to welcome eight new recruits next fall, including seven National Letter of Intent signees.
This year’s group includes five forwards/midfielders, two goalkeepers and one defender. They will join an established group of 23 Mustang returners from the 2015 team that finished 6-8-5 overall and 2-6 in the Big West Conference.
“We have a very dynamic class coming in,” head coach Alex Crozier said in the release. “It’s kind of a mix. We’re bringing in two goalkeepers we think will both compete for a starting spot right away along with our returning keeper, and some attacking players that are very skillful and play with a lot of pace.”
The five forward/midfielder group includes Megan Demijohn (Thousand Oaks), Jessica Johnson (St. Joseph), Jordan Patane (Point Loma), Georgina Stiegeler (St. Ignatius College Prep) and Kate Summers (Dana Hills).
The lone defender among the 2016 recruits is Téa Carrillo, a 5-foot-7 standout from San Diego’s Poway High.
Incoming goalkeepers Sophia Brown (Foothill) and Rachael Haaland (Valley Christian) will join returning third-year sophomore Brittney Viboch in the competition to replace graduated senior Alyssa Giannetti.
Giannetti signed a professional contract Wednesday to play for the Norwegian club Arna-Bjørnar of Toppserien, the country’s premier soccer league. She holds the Cal Poly records for starts (76) and saves (380) and is expected to begin training camp in Spain before division play starts in late March.
Mustang softball picked sixth in preseason poll
With nine starters returning from last year’s team that finished 22-33 overall, Cal Poly was selected to finish sixth in the Big West Conference softball standings this spring, according to a preseason poll of conference coaches.
The Mustangs received 26 total points in the poll to finish six votes behind fifth-place UC Riverside. Long Beach State, last year’s runner-up, garnered six first-place votes for 62 points. Cal State Fullerton (52 points) and Hawaii (46) rounded out the top three.
Defending Big West champion Cal State Northridge was fourth with 40 points, followed by Cal State Fullerton (32), Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara (19) and UC Davis (11).
The Mustangs begin the season Feb. 12 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.