Neil Jones (footballer)

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Neil Jones
Personal information
Full name Neil Warren Jones
Date of birth (1982-02-16) 16 February 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth Takapuna, New Zealand
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Forward/Defender
Club information
Current team
Loyola Ramblers
Youth career
Westlake Boys High School
2001–2004 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004 Cape Cod Crusaders 9 (3)
2005 Queensland Roar FC 0 (0)
2005 East Coast Bays AFC
2006 Kuala Lumpur FA
National team
1999 New Zealand U17 3 (0)
New Zealand U20
New Zealand U23
2004 New Zealand 2 (2)
Teams managed
2006–2010 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (assistant)
2010–2012 Northwestern Wildcats (assistant/associate)
2012– Loyola Ramblers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Neil Warren Jones (born 16 February 1982) is a New Zealander collegiate soccer coach and former player. Jones is the current head coach of the men's soccer team at Loyola University Chicago.[1]

Amateur career[edit]


Neil Jones saw time with many clubs while in New Zealand. Rangitoto (Juniors), East Coast Bays, Dunedin Technical, Waitakere City F.C., and Westlake Boys High School all had Jones as a team member.


Jones transferred to UC Santa Barbara from University of Otago, whereupon he joined the university's men's soccer team in 2001. Jones was an excellent student at UC Santa Barbara, majoring in UCSB's highly regarded Geography program. As a freshman, Jones played on the defensive line with fellow New Zealand freshman Tony Lochhead. He appeared in 14 games, scoring 3 goals. Jones missed the final 5 games due to injury as the Gauchos went on to win their first ever Big West Conference Championship in program history.

As a sophomore, Jones appeared in 15 games, starting 7 of them. Jones was moved to the offensive line by coach Tim Vom Steeg and he responded by scoring 2 goals. UCSB again won the Big West Championship and made the NCAA Soccer Tournament for the first time in school history, advancing to the second round. Jones made an appearance in the first game, but was an unused sub in the second.

In 2003 Jones featured in 21 games, starting 19 and scored 13 goals. Jones missed out on the Big West title for the first time in his career as rivals Cal State Northridge edged out the Gauchos. However, the Gauchos advanced to the 3rd round of the NCAA Tournament, setting a new school record. Jones played in both of UCSB's post season games, having received a First Round bye.

Jones' senior year saw another huge offensive output as the striker netted 10 times in 23 games, starting 22 of them as UCSB won a third Big West Championship and advanced all the way to the Championship game in the 2004 Division I Men's College Cup. Held in Carson, California, Jones and the Gauchos took the Indiana Hoosiers to penalties before finally bowing out. Tragically for Jones, his penalty sailed just high of the crossbar, but the team's showing was the best Gaucho performance in their history to that point.

Professional career[edit]

Neil Jones' professional career was short lived. While on a trial in Norway, Jones broke his leg which delayed his opportunities to show his skill to potential suitors.[2] Jones bounced back and eventually signed a contract with Queensland Roar FC of the A-League.[3] Unfortunately, Jones was unable to find his way on to the opening day roster and never competed in a league game for Queensland.

Jones did not give up though, spending the rest of the 2005 season with New Zealand side East Coast Bays. He spent the next season with Kuala Lumpur FA of the Malaysia Premier League before calling it a career.

International career[edit]

Neil has represented New Zealand at the U17, U20, U23, and Senior International squads.[4] As a member of the New Zealand U17 team, Jones competed in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship held in New Zealand. He appeared in all 3 games Group A games, but New Zealand failed to advance.

As a member of the New Zealand national team, known as the All Whites, Jones collected his only 2 caps (2 goals) in 2004 in New Zealand's 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.[5][6]

Coaching career[edit]

Neil Jones was added to the UC Santa Barbara coaching staff on 22 March 2006.[7] He was given the title of "Second Full Time Assistant Coach", under head coach Tim Vom Steeg and First Assistant Greg Wilson. With Jones as an assistant coach, the Gauchos never failed to win the Big West Championship, went .57-23-12, and made four NCAA tournament appearances. In his first year as assistant coach during the 2006 season, the Gauchos surpassed his 2004 team by winning the NCAA Championship at the 2006 Division I Men's College Cup in St. Louis, Missouri.[8]

After four seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Jones moved on to be associate head coach at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In his three seasons with the Wildcats, the team was 32-19-11, making two NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the 2012 Sweet 16.

On December 20, 2012, Jones was introduced as the new head coach of the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers. In his first season, the Ramblers finished 6–11–2 and in fifth place in the schools' first year as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.[9]


External links[edit]