Former assistant on two NCAA Division II National Championship teams
Shannon Neely is in her second season as an assistant coach at Northwestern. Neely joined the Wildcats' soccer family in April 2012 after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., where she helped guide the Lakers to two NCAA Division II National Championships.
"We are excited to have Shannon joining our staff," Moynihan said. "She has an infectious positive energy about her and she is a true teacher. To be a good teacher you need to be curious, have a hunger for more knowledge, be a creative problem solver and you also need to care deeply about people. Shannon displays all of these qualities and she also is a winner."
"I am honored to join the Northwestern staff and athletic community," Neely said. "After three fantastic years with Grand Valley State I knew that it would have to be a special set of circumstances to consider leaving. I truly feel that is what I have found at NU. Coach Moynihan and (David) Nikolic have such a high level of respect and history in the soccer community. That combined with the academic profile of Northwestern and the athletic standard that being a member of the Big Ten brings, I am thrilled with the opportunity to be a part of this program."
While at Grand Valley State, Neely helped coach the Lakers to a 64-2-10 overall record and three trips to the Division II National Championship game, which resulted in two titles and a runner-up finish. Neely worked specifically with the goalkeepers at GVSU, coaching two NSCAA All-Americans, an NSCAA Scholar All-American and three Midwest Regional first team honorees.
GVSU had a stellar defense with Neely on staff. In 2010, the Lakers set an NCAA record of 21 shutouts, allowed a meager five goals during the regular season and shut out all of its opponents in the NCAA tournament. Last season, the team allowed just 11 goals and posted 16 shutouts.
Neely also has significant experience in the Big Ten as a former standout at Ohio State. During her time at OSU, the Buckeyes made three NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2004, and won Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2004. Neely earned a number of academic distinctions as she was a five-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
"Shannon has a wealth of experience with her coaching at Grand Valley State and Big Ten experience from her playing days at Ohio State," Moynihan said. "She knows what it takes to be successful, she has experience with high levels of play and she also has high expectations. Shannon will be an excellent addition to our staff as she fits beautifully with our priorities and our vision."
Neely also is active in the community, volunteering at "Care to Cut", an event that benefits Locks of Love, a charity she regularly donates to. While at Ohio State, she helped the team raise more than $13,000 for the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center with the Kicks Against Breast Cancer charity.
After graduating from Ohio State in 2008 with a double-major in art and industrial design, the Dublin, Ohio, native obtained her masters of education from Grand Valley State University in 2011. She is a USSF `D' Licensed coach and has an NSCAA National Goalkeeping Diploma.