Michael Bonelli returns for his second season as an assistant coach with the Wildcats. He came to Evanston in 2007 after a successful two-year stint at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.
Bonelli is responsible for organizing the scouting, team travel and individual training in addition to assisting with recruiting and camp duties for the program.
"Mike has been a great addition to our staff," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "He has done a tremendous job covering our scouting and video preparation. I believed that we're one of the best teams in terms of preparing for our opponent, and Mike is a big part of that. He is also great at identifying players and has a keen eye when it comes to scouting future potential Wildcats."
A year ago, Bonelli helped Northwestern continue itself as a perennial power on the collegiate soccer scene. The squad jumped out to its best start to a season in program history as it opened the campaign with a 7-0-1 mark en route to a No. 3 national ranking, the school's highest ever. The Wildcats would go on to tie their best Big Ten record in school history (3-2-1) and set another program best with a No. 9 national seed in the NCAA tournament.
At Lafayette, Bonelli served as assistant coach to Dennis Bohn, a former assistant to Lenahan, helping lead the Leopards to a 13-4-2 record, the 2005 Patriot League Championship and NCAA tournament appearance in his first season. In 2006, Lafayette followed up on its championship season with another trip to the Patriot League finals, narrowly missing out on a return trip to the NCAA tournament, falling on penalty kicks in the finals. All told, the Leopards were 24-9-4 the two seasons, which ranks among the best two-year records in school history.
Prior to coaching at Lafayette, Bonelli spent the 2004 season as an assistant coach at Gettysburg College where he helped guide the team to a 9-7-1 overall record. While there, Bonelli spearheaded recruiting efforts and assisted in all aspects of the program.
Before that, Bonelli spent one season as the head coach at McGraw High School in McGraw, N.Y. He led the varsity team to the school's first Central Counties League championship. McGraw posted a 16-2-1 overall mark that year while reeling off an undefeated 11-0-1 conference record.
Bonelli also served as group coordinator of the Cornell Soccer camp in 2004 and trainer of the Gettysburg Youth Soccer Club from 2004-05. He is a 2004 graduate of SUNY-Cortland where he received a bachelor of arts degree in physical education.
Prior to matriculating at Cortland, Bonelli attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. He started 13 of 23 games at outside midfielder and helped lead the team to a Great North Atlantic Conference championship and a berth into the 1999 Division III NCAA Tournament, both firsts for the program.
Bonelli resides in Chicago.