Neil Jones (footballer)
|Full name||Neil Warren Jones|
|Date of birth||16 February 1982|
|Place of birth||Takapuna, New Zealand|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Westlake Boys High School|
|2001–2004||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos|
|2004||Cape Cod Crusaders||9||(3)|
|2005||Queensland Roar FC||0||(0)|
|2005||East Coast Bays AFC|
|2006||Kuala Lumpur FA|
|1999||New Zealand U17||3||(0)|
|New Zealand U20|
|New Zealand U23|
|2006–2010||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (assistant)|
|2010–2012||Northwestern Wildcats (assistant/associate)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
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.
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. Jones bounced back and eventually signed a contract with Queensland Roar FC of the A-League. 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.
Neil has represented New Zealand at the U17, U20, U23, and Senior International squads. 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.
Neil Jones was added to the UC Santa Barbara coaching staff on 22 March 2006. 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.
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.
- Neil Jones Signs In Australia; Kennedy Continues To Shine From http://ucsbgauchos.cstv.com, Posted 6 July 2005.
- Queensland Roar: Build It And They Will Come From http://www.abc.net.au, Posted 19 August 2005.
- Neil Jones New Zealand Bio From http://www.nzsoccer.com, Retrieved 6 June 2008.
- "A-International Appearances - Overall". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- "A-International Scorers - Overall". The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- UCSB Adds Philadelphia University Head Coach Wilson, UCSB Alum Jones To Coaching Staff From http://ucsbgauchos.cstv.com, Posted 22 March 2006.
- Neil Jones – FIFA competition record
- Loyola coaching profile
- Northwestern coaching profile
- UC Santa Barbara coaching profile
- New Zealand player profile at the Wayback Machine (archived 3 April 2005)