Neil Jones enters third season on Tim Lenahan's staff
Neil Jones is entering his third season as a men's soccer assistant coach at Northwestern University.
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Jones has been an instrumental part of the Wildcats' coaching staff the last two seasons, helping Northwestern win its double Big Ten championship in 2011. Prior to joining NU, Jones spent four years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UC Santa Barbara, including helping the Gauchos to the 2006 national championship.
"Neil brings great experience to Northwestern as a player and as a coach," said Lenahan. "He led UCSB to the national championship game as a player and then helped them to the national championship as a coach. We played them in the quarterfinals in 2006 and I was very impressed with his personality and professionalism.
"He has done an amazing job in helping to market and promote UCSB soccer as they led the nation in attendance last year with close to 5,000 fans per game. We welcome him and his wife, Stephanie, into the Northwestern Soccer family and we are very excited about what he can add to our program."
A four-year starter at UCSB, Jones amassed 28 goals and 16 assists during his career. A two-time All-Big West striker, he was an integral part of the Gauchos' 2004 squad that was ranked No. 1 for most of the season, finished with a school-record 21 wins, and advanced to the national championship match, only to fall to Indiana in penalty kicks.
Jones was also a two-time team captain and helped UCSB to three NCAA tournament appearances and a trio of Big West Conference championships. He also excelled in the classroom, being named an Academic All-American as well as the 2003 Big West Scholar Athlete of the Year.
"I am thankful for the opportunity that Tim, the Northwestern staff and administration has given me to work at such a prestigious university," Jones said. "The men's soccer program in particular has thrived under Coach Lenahan's leadership and I look forward to continuing the upward progress of Wildcat Soccer. I am eager to begin working with the players and coaches in our pursuit of a national championship."
Jones has also spent time competing at the national level as a member of New Zealand's National Team. He earned his first two full international caps playing for New Zealand's World Cup squad and scored two goals in the Kiwi's win over Tahiti during the OFC Nation's Cup. Jones also played in the U-17 World Cup Finals with the national team.
Jones earned a bachelor's degree in geography from UCSB in 2004 and holds a master's degree in educational leadership and organizations, also from UCSB. Jones holds an A license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).