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George Washington v George Mason
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Craig Jones was named head coach of the George Washington men's soccer program on Nov. 17, 2011, just four days after helping lead the Colonials to an appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship title match as an assistant coach under George Lidster.
After taking over the program, Coach Jones oversaw a major rebuilding effort that saw the Colonials win just 16 games in three years. But in 2015, his fourth season at the helm, Jones guided GW to an impressive turnaround. Picked to finish 10th in the A-10 preseason poll, GW posted its first 10-win season since 2011 and went 6-2 in conference play to claim the A-10 regular-season title and top seed in the league championship. The Colonials were also ranked regionally for the first time in four years.
Jones was named the 2015 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, and four Colonials earned spots on the All-Conference First or Second Teams, the most for GW since 2001. Midfielder Garrett Heine ranked among the A-10's leading scorers, and goalkeeper Jack Lopez anchored a defense that allowed just four goals in conference games. In addition, Heine and defender Tobi Adewole became the first Colonials to garner NSCAA All-Region distinction since 2009.
Academically, the Colonials have excelled under Coach Jones. GW has earned three straight NSCAA Team Academic Awards for boasting a team grade-point average of 3.0 or higher during the academic year, including a 3.25 GPA in 2012-13, which tied for 30th among Division I programs. In addition, a pair of Colonials - Tyler Ranalli (2013) and Sam Summerlin (2015) have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, while Matthew Scott became GW's first repeat A-10 All-Academic Team selection since 2001-02, and Jonny Forrest was named the School of Business' 2016 Outstanding Bachelor of Business Administration.
Coach Jones served as GW's top assistant coach for three seasons from 2009-11 after working as the Colonials' volunteer assistant from 2002-08. A GW alumnus, Jones was also a four-year letterwinner for the Colonials on the pitch from 1995-98.
In addition to his duties in training and game management, Coach Jones played a crucial role under Lidster with recruiting, scheduling and goalkeeper workouts.
Coach Jones holds a USSF `A' Coaching License and is a Virginia State Education Instructor, teaching courses to soccer coaches in Virginia and Washington, D.C. He has served as the director of numerous college and residential summer soccer programs in both the U.S. and Europe and is the founder of DC Soccer School, offering soccer services to youth players in the metropolitan area.
Coach Jones played for and captained the Wales National Youth Team prior to his four-year career at GW. He started all but one of his 63 matches played during his four seasons with the Colonials and totaled 28 points on 12 goals and four assists. Following his collegiate career, Coach Jones competed semi-professionally in England and Wales before returning stateside to pursue his coaching licenses.
The Wales native graduated with a bachelor's degree in exercise science from the university in 1999 and currently resides in Arlington, Va., with his wife Liz, and their three children, Cerys, Dylan and Seren.
Colonials Under Coach Jones Year Overall Pct. A-10 Pct. Finish Note 2012 5-13-0 .278 2-7-0 .222 T-14th, 6 pts. 2013 5-10-2 .353 2-4-2 .375 9th, 8 pts. 2014 6-9-2 .412 2-4-2 .375 10th, 8 pts. 2010 10-8-0 .556 6-2-0 .750 1st, 18 pts. A-10 Regular-Season Champions; A-10 Coach of the Year TOTAL (4 Seasons) 26-40-4 .400 12-17-4 .424
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