Goalie van der Merwe Records 10 Saves in Win
Former Team Captain Named Assistant Coach
Colonials Take to the Pitch in Head Coach Craig Jones' Second Season
Colonials to Face American, Howard for District Bragging Rights This Weekend
Colonials Host Montgomery College for Exhibition on Tuesday
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. The appearance in the A-10 title match marked an improbable turnaround for a GW team picked to finish 13th in the 2011 preseason coaches poll.
Coach Jones served as the team'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.
"Through this season's impressive turnaround and our comprehensive national search, Craig emerged from a very strong pool of candidates as the right person to lead our men's soccer program into the future," said GW Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero at the time of Coach Jones' promotion. "He was instrumental to our team's improvement this year and our run to the Atlantic 10 regular season co-championship and into the A-10 Conference Championship game. Craig's mentorship abilities and his vision for the program have our student-athletes poised to continue this season's successes next season and beyond."
In addition to his duties in training and game management, Coach Jones played a crucial role under Lidster with recruiting, scheduling and goalkeeper workouts.
"As an alum and member of George's coaching staff for many years, this truly is a dream job for me," said Coach Jones. "I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity GW is giving me to continue and grow the momentum that our group gained as this season progressed. Our vision for the men's soccer program is to build a team culture that leads to success on the field, in the classroom and in the community."
With Coach Jones at the helm, the Colonials boasted a 3.25 team grade-point average in the 2012-13 academic year, tied for 30th among Division I programs, and senior Tyler Ranalli was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team in the fall of 2013.
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, daughter Cerys and son Dylan.
Colonials Under Jones Year Overall A-10 Note 2012 5-13-0 2-7-0 2013 5-10-2 2-4-2 2 years, 10-23-2 (overall), 4-11-2 (Atlantic 10)