HEAD MEN’S SOCCER COACH – NEIL JONES
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, who spent three seasons as the associate head coach at Northwestern University, enters his seventh season as the head coach of the Loyola University Chicago men’s soccer program in 2019. Jones was named to his current position on December 20, 2012. In addition to helping the Wildcats to back-to-back Big Ten Conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances during his stay in Evanston, Ill., the Auckland, New Zealand native helped UC Santa Barbara to the 2006 national championship as an assistant coach for the Gauchos.
A 2004 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Jones also owns a master’s degree from UCSB. He holds an “A” license from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
ASSISTANT MEN’S SOCCER COACH – STEVE BODE
Steve Bode enters his first season at Loyola University Chicago in 2019. The 2008 MLS Draftee most recently worked as the head coach for the Chicago FC United of the United Soccer Leagues’ (USL) League Two. In 2018, the team captured the central conference championship and advanced to the league semifinal under his tutelage.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Bode earned his United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Class-A Senior License in September of 2018. In March of this year, he coached the U14 Youth National Team at a camp held in Frisco, Texas.
Bode spent a season at Brown University as an Assistant Coach. During that campaign, he played a key role in the development of six student-athletes that earned All-Ivy League selections.
Prior to Brown, he spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at Marquette, where he was named to the CollegeSoccerNews.com’s Top Assistant Coaches list during his tenure with the Golden Eagles. While there, he coached three MU student-athletes that were drafted to the MLS in 2015, including the program’s highest ever selection at No. 14 overall. Bode assisted in the development of 10 players that signed professional contracts, including four MLS draft selections.
ASSISTANT MEN’S SOCCER COACH – RICARDO PINTO
On February 1, 2019, the Loyola University Chicago men’s soccer program announced Ricardo Pinto to the coaching staff. The newly appointed goalkeeper coach is set to begin his first year on staff in the 2019 season. Pinto most recently served as the assistant coach at University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Pinto joins Loyola fresh off a one-year stint with a UNCW team that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament with a 12-5-3 record. Under his guidance, the Seahawks finished 18th nationally in team goals against per game and 19th nationally in team save percentage. Pinto also coached goalkeeper Ryan Cretens to a Second Team All-CAA honor.
A 2016 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Pinto’s first job out of college was spending the 2017 season at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. He helped the Hatters post a 7-7-2 record and capture the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship. He coached the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year in Joseph Melong and A-Sun Freshman of the Year Deniz Dogan as the Hatters finished conference play unbeaten at a 4-0-2 clip.
A native of Beaverton, Oregon, Pinto earned his ‘D’ license from the United States Soccer Federation in December of 2017. That same year, he earned his Master’s Degree from the University of South Dakota in Sport Management.
HEAD WOMEN’S SOCCER COACH – BARRY BIMBI
Barry Bimbi will enter his eighth year as the women’s soccer head coach at Loyola University Chicago in 2018, and has the Ramblers poised to become a contending team in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Bimbi oversaw one of the nation’s top offenses in 2017 as the Ramblers closed the season with a 13-7-0 record and finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference, going 4-2-0 in league play. Led by United Soccer Coaches Third Team All-Midwest Region honoree Jenna Szczesny, who was also one of five Ramblers to earn All-MVC accolades, the Maroon & Gold finished second nationally in goals scored, finding the back of the net an astonishing 61 times as they easily shattered the previous school record in the category. Bimbi’s team picked up a pair of impressive road wins over power five conference opponents in Iowa and Kentucky, before downing Valparaiso by a final count of 2-1 to earn a fourth consecutive trip to the semifinals of the MVC Women’s Soccer Championship. Loyola also continued its run of impressive work away from the field, earning the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for an eighth-straight season.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Bimbi spent four seasons (2007-2010) as an assistant women’s soccer coach at the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as the program’s recruiting coordinator and was in charge of player development. In each of his last seasons there, the Panthers developed an All-Big East Rookie Team player, marking the only two occasions in program history that accomplishment has occurred.
Bimbi has also coached several Olympic Development teams and earned his USSF “A” license in 2005.
A 1994 graduate of Saint Francis (Pa.), Bimbi earned four All-Northeast Conference honors as a player, including first team recognition as a junior. He led the conference in scoring as a freshman and was a three-time team captain. In February, 2011 Bimbi was inducted into the Saint Francis (Pa.) Athletics Hall of Fame.
Bimbi and his wife, Melissa, are the proud parents of a son, Amedeo, and daughter, Lena.
ASSISTANT WOMEN’S SOCCER COACH – KATIE BERKOPEC
The 2019 season will mark Katie Berkopec’s third season as a member of the coaching staff with the Loyola University Chicago women’s soccer team. Berkopec, a native of Apple Valley, Minn., serves as an assistant coach and works with the team’s goalkeepers.
Berkopec arrives in Rogers Park following a two-year stint at Winona State as a graduate assistant coach. In 2015, she was part of a staff that helped guide the Warriors to a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Central Region Tournament. Berkopec assisted in the development of goalkeeper Rachel Oleson, who posted 11 shutouts and sported a 0.69 goals against average that ranked 26th nationally in 2015.
Prior to a one-year stint at Ripon College as an assistant coach, Berkopec enjoyed a successful stay at UW-Oshkosh as both a player and coach. As a senior, she posted an impressive 1.12 goals against average and held a 0.817 save percentage en route to finishing the year with a 9-6-2 record that included seven shutout performances. Following graduation, Berkopec remained at the school as a goalkeeper trainer during the spring of 2014.
Berkopec earned her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from UW-Oshkosh in 2015 before earning a Master’s degree in Education Leadership at Winona State.