University of Wisconsin hires Neil Jones as men’s football head coach

MADISON, Wisconsin. – The world’s most popular sport will be led at the University of Wisconsin by Neil jones, who has spent the past nine seasons leading the men’s soccer program at Loyola University in Chicago. It ushers in a new era of men’s football for Wisconsin, one of 11 current UW sports to own a national title.

“We are delighted to welcome Neil Jones as the next head coach of men’s football,” Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh noted. “He has a proven track record of improving the lives of the student-athletes he works with as individuals and collectively turning that into team success on and off the field of play. We look forward to seeing that. ‘he’s building on that record for accomplishments here in Wisconsin. “

Jones comes to Madison with a diverse list of successes ranging from an NCAA title and appearances in NCAA tournaments to conference championships.

These accomplishments include two Missouri Valley Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances at Loyola, including the first NCAA victory in program history. His teams played three consecutive 2018 MVC Championship games in the spring of 2021. He also led the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year teams in 2014 and 2016.

Jones finished 81-54-24 (0.585) in his nine years leading the Ramblers, with his teams also maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA in every campaign.

“Thank’s for Chris McIntosh, Marija Pientka and the search committee for entrusting me as Wisconsin’s next men’s soccer coach, ”Jones said. “It was evident throughout my time on campus that with world class education, great facilities, a beautiful campus and the thriving city of Madison, people truly are Wisconsin’s greatest asset.

“I look forward to meeting the team and working with them on the pitch. The opportunity to work with the group throughout the spring season will help lay the groundwork for our first season together this fall. get in touch with our former Badger men’s soccer students, who have their fingerprints all over the rich tradition and history of this program’s championships.

“My wife Stephanie and our sons Finn and Ford are delighted to call Madison our new home. We look forward to meeting the Badger fans, students and alumni. Come on, Wisconsin!”

Prior to Loyola, Jones was associate head coach at Northwestern for three seasons, helping the Wildcats win the 2011 and 2012 Big Ten regular season titles and the 2011 Big Ten tournament championship. The 2012 squad reached the eighth place. NCAA Finals. The team went 32-19-11 while at Evanston.

As the assistant coach of his alma mater, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Jones’ teams played four NCAA tournaments (2006-09) in his day, culminating in the 2006 NCAA Championship. The team also won the Big West Conference championships in 2006, 2007 and 2009. The Gauchos finished 57-23-12 during his tenure as coach.

Two-year-old captain, two-time All-Big West selection, varsity athlete of the year, All-American and Big West Scholar, Jones played for a UCSB team that reached the NCAA final in 2004 and competed in NCAA tournaments in 2002 and 2003.. The team has achieved an outstanding 66-15-7 in their four years on the pitch.

“I am delighted that Neil, his wife Stephanie and the children Finn and Ford are joining the Badger family,” said Marija Pientka, Senior Associate Sports Director for Sports Administration. “Neil has a solid background in recruiting and developing players.

“As a successful coach and accomplished former student-athlete, Neil understands what it takes to create championship experiences for our student-athletes on and off the court. I am delighted that our male soccer student-athletes have the opportunity to learn and excel under Neil’s leadership.

Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Jones has represented his country on the international stage, playing at the Under-17, Under-20, Under-23 and Full International levels.

In addition to his college coaching experience, Jones has had time since 2016 as a United States National Team recruiter at the regional and national levels for the U-15, U-16, U-17 and U boys. -18. He also spent from 2012 to 2020 as a Professional Match Evaluator for MLS.

He holds a BA and MA from UC Santa Barbara and an “A” Coaching License from the United States Football Federation.


• Head Coach, Loyola Chicago – 2013-2021 (record: 81-54-24)
• Associate Head Coach, Northwestern – 2010-2012 (record: 32-19-11)
• Assistant Coach, UC Santa Barbara – 2006-2009 (record: 57-23-12)

NCAA Tournament Appearances (8)
• Loyola Chicago (head coach) – 2016, 2019
• Northwestern (associate head coach) – 2011, 2012
• UC Santa Barbara (assistant coach) – 2006 *, 2007, 2008, 2009
* NCAA Champion

Conference Championships (7)
• Missouri Valley (head coach) – 2016, 2019
• Big Ten (associate head coach) – 2011, 2012
• Big West (assistant coach) – 2006, 2007, 2009


• Three NCAA tournament appearances as a player at UC Santa Barbara (record: 66-15-7)
• 2004 NCAA Finalist at UC Santa Barbara as a player
• Double team captain
• Two All-Big West selections
• Academic All-American
• Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year
• New Zealand National Team (U17, U20, U23, Full International)


• Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year (2014, 2016)
• Four MVC players of the year
• Three Loyola players chosen in MLS SuperDraft
• Training of 10 Loyola players who switched to professional soccer

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