Aug. 2, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern head men’s soccer coach Tim Lenahan announced today that Neil Jones will be promoted to associate head coach for the 2012 campaign. Jones is entering his third season as a member of Lenahan’s staff.
“Neil Jones has quickly become one of the top assistant coaches in the country and I wanted to recognize his growth over the last two years,” Lenahan said. “The last three coaches to become associate head coach here at Northwestern include Andy Fleming (Xavier), Tom Carlin (Villanova) and Erik Ronning (Colgate) all of whom have gone on to become very successful Division I head coaches in the their own right. I have no doubt that one day Neil will be the 15th member of my coaching staff to get a head coaching position, but for now we are happy to have him in Evanston.”
Jones helped lead the ’Cats to a historic 2011 campaign that culminated with the program’s sixth NCAA tournament appearance, as well as the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.
Prior to joining Northwestern in May of 2010, Jones spent four years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UC Santa Barbara. The Auckland, New Zealand native was a four-year starter at UCSB, a two-time All-Big West honoree and named the 2003 Big West Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Norm Hillner joins the Wildcat staff for the 2012 season as the team’s new director of operations. His role will be to coordinate team travel and game day operations, assist with various community relations projects and help with alumni events such as the golf and soccer tournament.
“It’s great to have Norm Hillner as a part of the staff here at Northwestern,” Lenahan said. “He has been a tremendous influence on Chicago area soccer as a high school coach for the last 33 years and I got to know him in his role as the president of the Illinois Soccer High School Soccer Association. The fact that his wife is a Northwestern alum and they have been lifetime Northwestern fans and both football and basketball season ticket holders makes this a great fit. We look forward to him bringing all his experience and community relations skills to help us continue our success at Northwestern.”
Prior to joining Northwestern, Hillner was a teacher at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Ill., from 1980-2012 while serving as head coach of the boys' soccer team for 28 years. He was one of the Illinois High School Association's winningest boys soccer coaches with a career record of 369-211-71. Norm has been an executive board member of the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association (IHSSCA) since 1986, serving as president in 1988 and again from 2003-2008. He was inducted into the IHSSCA Hall of Fame in 2007. He also has been a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) for more than 30 years, serving as the chairman of the NSCAA Midwest High School All-American Committee for the past 15 years.
As a player, Hillner was a four-time All-Midwest Conference honoree, a three-time All-Illinois selection and is still the all-time leading scorer at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. He was inducted into the Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame as a soccer and baseball player in 1998. Hillner graduated from Knox with a degree in economics in 1979 and earned a masters degree in education from the National College of Education in Evanston, Ill., in 1985.
Hillner holds an Advanced National coaching license from the NSCAA and a state D coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). He currently resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., with his wife Kathy (Northwestern, '79) and three children.
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