Coach Jones on Camps: “The Loyola Soccer Camps are a vital part of our recruiting process. Our camp programs allow each player to come and experience Loyola University Chicago, and get a feel for the Men's Soccer program in it's entirety. We put the players through sessions that mimic the level of college soccer, and give them the opportunity to experience a high intensity soccer environment in which we hope they thrive. For myself and our staff, it also gives us an opportunity to explore each players' personality and character, which are often as important as a players soccer ability. A number of our current players have been through the Loyola Camp program, and we want to continue to find future Ramblers through these camps.”
Neil Jones just completed his first season as Head Coach of the Ramblers. He led the team to an appearance in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in the school’s first season as a member of the conference. He helped mold Brian Bement and Ryan Howe into two of the upcoming players in the Missouri Valley. The Ramblers were also awarded the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) College Team Academic Award for having a team grade point average (GPA) of 3.17, an honor received by only four Valley institutions.
Jones spent three years as head coach Tim Lenahan's right-hand man at Northwestern and helped the Wildcats to a pair of NCAA appearances, including a run to the Sweet Sixteen this fall. During his three seasons on Lenahan's staff at Northwestern, the Wildcats compiled a 32-19-11 (.605) record, posted an Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 1000, and earned a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Team for having a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Prior to his arrival in the Midwest, Jones spent four years as an assistant men's soccer coach at his alma mater, UC Santa Barbara, where he helped the Gauchos win 68 percent (57-23-12) of their matches and advance to four NCAA Tournaments including winning the National Championship in 2006.
As a student-athlete at UCSB, Jones was a four-year starter and two-time team captain for a program that finished as the 2004 NCAA Runner-Up after falling to Indiana University on penalty kicks. A two-time All-Big West Conference selection, the center back/striker, who racked up 28 goals and 16 assists in his career, was a Academic All-American and was tabbed 2003 Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A 2004 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Jones also owns a master's degree from UCSB. He holds an "A" license from the United State Soccer Federation (USSF).
Michael Mauro - Assistant Coach, Loyola University
Michael Mauro, a former goalkeeper at the University of Louisville, begins his first season as an assistant coach for the Loyola University Chicago men's soccer team, and will work primarily as the goalkeeper coach.
Mauro, a member of Louisville's 2010 national runner-up team, arrives to Loyola after a successful two-year stint at Colgate University. During his final season with the Raiders, he helped guide the team to become the Patriot League Regular Season Champions. This group also included the Patriot League Coach of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.
Jeff DeGroot - Assistant Coach, Loyola University
Jeff DeGroot, joins the Loyola University Chicago men's soccer staff in his first year after three successful year at the University of Chicago. While at UChicago, he helped to guide the team to back to back NCAA postseason appearances
DeGroot played collegiate soccer at DePaul University and was part of the 2007 squad that won the Big East Conference and qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament. After college, he played for teams such as the Dayton Dutch Lions, Indiana Invaders, Ela Elite and Bridges FC.