March 22, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The nationally recognized UC Santa Barbara men's soccer program has added Gregory Wilson and Neil Jones to the coaching staff it was announced today. Wilson, currently the head coach at Division I Philadelphia University, replaces Leo Chappel as the top assistant, while Jones returns to UCSB as the second full-time assistant coach.
Wilson comes to Santa Barbara after spending three seasons at the helm of Philadelphia, where he led the Rams to the program's first post-season appearance since 1989 last year, earning a berth in the Atlantic Soccer Conference Tournament. He is also the current head coach and instructor for the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association's ODP Program and guided his squad to the 2005 USYSA Region I Championship. In addition, Wilson spent eight successful seasons at the head coach for the FC Delco Soccer Club, where he won the 2000 USYSA Pennsylvania State Cup.
A former member of the USISL's Philadelphia Freedom, Wilson is certified with a United States Soccer Federation "A" License. He earned his Bachelor's of Science in Marketing from the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science and received a MBA while at Philadelphia University.
Wilson replaces former top assistant Chappel, who was hired as the head coach at Columbia University in February.
"Greg brings a wealth of experience at the Division I, state and club levels," head coach Tim Vom Steeg said. "We are extremely fortunate to have someone with his abilities joining our staff and becoming a part of our local soccer community."
Jones, who recently spent one season playing professionally for the Queensland Roar of the Hyundai A-League, Australian soccer's top division, returns to his alma mater as an assistant. An Academic All-American and two-time All-Big West striker, Jones was also a four-year starter at UCSB, where he amassed 28 goals and 16 assists in his career. He was integral part of the Gauchos' 2004 squad that advanced to the National Championship match only to fall to Indiana in penalty kicks.
"As a player, Neil was the heart and soul of our team for four years and we are very excited to have his energy and passion back in the program," said Vom Steeg.
Both Wilson and Jones are expected to be involved in all aspects of the coaching process, including recruiting, academics, development and administrative duties. They join 2004 NSCAA Division I National Coach of the Year Vom Steeg and goalkeeper coach Ryan Sparre to round out the Gauchos' coaching staff.