Craig Jones Named GW's New Head Men's Soccer Coach
Longtime Assistant to the Retiring George Lidster To Guide A-10 Regular Season Co-Champs
Nov. 17, 2011
WASHINGTON - George Washington University Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero announced today that Craig Jones has been hired as GW's next head men's soccer coach, replacing the retiring George Lidster. Jones has served as the team's top assistant coach for the past three seasons 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 Nero. "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 Coach Jones' duties in training and game management, he played a crucial role under Lidster with recruiting, scheduling, and goalkeeper workouts. Coach Jones also serves as the Boys Development Academy Director for the DC Stoddert Soccer Club in Washington, D.C., where he was named the 2008 Virginia Youth Soccer Association Boys Competitive Coach of the Year after leading his team to the title game of that year's National Championship.
"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."
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 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 daughter Cerys.
In his final season as head coach in 2011, George Lidster engineered a remarkable turnaround as the Colonials overcame their No. 13 ranking in the 14-team preseason A-10 coaches poll to tie for first in the league standings. Lidster was chosen the 2011 A-10 Coach of the Year this fall, his third time receiving the honor following his outright selection in 1989 and shared award in 1992. Lidster retired following the season as the program's all-time winningest head coach with 201 career wins.