Neil McGuire

Head Women's Soccer Coach, University of California, Berkeley

About this speaker

In 13 seasons in Berkeley, head coach Neil McGuire has led the California women's soccer team to unprecedented success. The program's all-time wins leader with 155 career victories, McGuire has an overall record of 155-86-31 during his tenure at Cal, good for a .627 winning percentage. McGuire has led the Bears to the NCAA Tournament in 12 of his 13 seasons in Berkeley, helping Cal to a streak of 14 consecutive tournament appearances from 2004-17 and a return to the postseason in 2019. In addition to their team success, the Bears have also produced five All-Americans, 21 All-Region, and 26 All-Conference selections in McGuire’s tenure. Cal's on-field success has been matched with excellence in the classroom, capturing the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award 10 times in the last 13 seasons and producing 17 Academic All-District and 64 Pac-12 All-Academic honorees.

The Golden Bears got off to a historic start to the 2019 season, winning their first eight matches of the year. Cal’s 8-0 start matched the Bears' 2000 squad for the second-best start to a season in program history and the Bears quickly established themselves as one of the top defenses in the nation. Cal was the last team in Division I soccer to allow a goal in 2019 and recorded six consecutive shutouts to start the season, tied for the second-longest shutout streak in program history and the program’s longest shutout streak to begin a season. Cal went on to post an overall record of 13-5-3 on the year, including a 5-3-3 mark in Pac-12 play to finish fifth in the conference standings. The Bears registered a pair of Top-10 wins over No. 4 USC (3-0 on October 18) and No. 7 UCLA (2-1 on September 27), sweeping their LA rivals for the first time since 1996. With its 11th 10-win season in the last 13 years, Cal earned an at-large berth to the 2019 NCAA Tournament, making the 26th postseason appearance in program history. Four players earned All-Pac-12 recognition at the conclusion of the 2019 season, headlined by Angelina Anderson, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year, becoming the first player in conference history to collect both honors in the same season. A Division I best eight Golden Bears was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team for their efforts in the classroom.

The 2018 season saw a youthful Bears squad finish 5-12-2, but showed continued development throughout the course of the season despite untimely injuries. Striker Abi Kim, who missed most of preseason while competing for the United States at the Under-20 FIFA Women's World Cup in France, earned All-Pac-12 (Third Team) and All-Region (Third Team) recognition after leading the Bears in scoring for the second consecutive season. The Bears continued to excel in the classroom, collecting the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the sixth year in a row and posting the team's highest cumulative GPA in over a decade.

The 2017 campaign saw the Golden Bears earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and the opportunity to host in the opening round, wrapping up the year with a record of 13-6-1, including a 6-4-1 mark in Pac-12 play. This was Cal's fourth consecutive season with at least 13 wins and the Bears' tenth season 10-win season in 11 years under McGuire. Ranked in the Top 20 nationally for the majority of the season, the Golden Bears rank among the top defensive teams in the nation in 2017. Six Cal players were recognized by the conference for their play this season, including a pair of First Team All-Pac-12 Selections in defender Indigo Gibson and goalkeeper Emily Boyd. Boyd was also named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year, the first player in program history to earn that distinction. Gibson was later named a 2017 First Team All-American while Boyd earned Second Team All-America recognition. McGuire has now coached five players to All-America seasons in his tenure at Cal, including a pair of First-Team All-Americans in Gibson and Alex Morgan '10. Gibson went on to be named a semifinalist for the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy, Cal's first since Morgan was a Hermann Trophy finalist in 2010. Eight Golden Bears earned Pac-12 All-Academic recognition and Cal earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the fifth consecutive season.

The 2016 season saw the Golden Bears record their sixth straight 10-win season during McGuire's tenure and ninth in 10 years. Cal ascended to as high as No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) national rankings while producing three positive results against ranked teams - a 1-1 draw against No. 10 UCLA, a 4-0 win at No. 15 Texas Tech and a 1-0 victory over eventual national champion USC.

On both the domestic and international levels, McGuire has overseen the development of multiple national team players, including US Women’s National Team superstar Alex Morgan, New Zealand Football Ferns’ starter Betsy Hassett and Icelandic National Team member Katrin Omarsdottir. A four-year Bear, Morgan is currently a member of the U.S. National Team, captured the 2015 Women's World Cup title and won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, in which she scored three goals, including one game-winner. Morgan - one of most decorated Cal women's soccer player in history - also won silver at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. She was the No. 1 draft pick in the 2011 WPS draft, marking the first-ever top draft prospect for the Bears.

A number of McGuire's players have inked professional soccer contracts across the globe. Entering the 2014 season, four members of the 2013 graduating senior class had signed professional contracts - Rachel Mercik (FFC Turbine Potsdam), Nina Pedersen (Liverpool LFC), Emily Kruger (KR Reykjavik) and Genessee Daughetee (Montpellier Herault). Additionally, former Bear Samantha Witteman was selected as the No. 10 pick in the 2016 NWSL Draft by the Orlando Pride.

Cal ended the 2015 season with a 13-6-3 record finishing fourth in the Pac-12 conference and produced some electrifying soccer. The season started with a bang with Cal winning the Duke Nike Invitational with a win over nationally-ranked Duke, and a tie against 22-time national champion North Carolina. Cal’s signature win on the season was a 7-0 victory over perennial national power UCLA. Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Boyd tied a school record of 11 shutouts on the season and Arielle Ship was named Cal’s first-ever Pac-12 Player of the Year. Samantha Witteman and Ari Ship were named First-team All-Pac-12, Celeste Bourielle and Emily Boyd were named to the All Pac-12 Second team and Emma Fletcher was an honorable mention for Pac-12 honors.

In 2014, Cal wrapped up a 14-6-2 season under McGuire with a 5-4-2 record in the Pac-12 to finish tied for fifth in the league. After hauling in one of the nation's top-five recruiting classes, McGuire directed his 12 new freshmen and a young Cal squad to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The 2014 team averaged 2.14 goals per game, turning in 47 goals from 15 different players, and shut out seven opponents. Three Golden Bears were named to All-Pac-12 teams, adding to 10 Pac-12 All-Academic honors, and received an NSCAA team academic award for yet another strong season both in the classroom and on the field.

In 2013, Cal went 11-5-5 in its best start in 20 years. The Golden Bears went unbeaten through 13 games before eventually dropping a game to eventual National and Pac-12 champions UCLA. Cal clinched a 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, losing in the first round to Santa Clara. Following the season, three Bears earned All-Pac-12 and NSCAA All-Pacific Region honors. Cal was just as strong in the classroom, with 11 Pac-12 All-Academic selections and an NSCAA team academic award.

The 2012 Bears went 16-6, finishing third in the Pac-12 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to San Diego State 2-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Four Bears earned All-Pac-12 and NSCAA All-Region nods – Hassett, Onumonu, Emi Lawson and Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick as Cal took home its first-ever Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award for Onumonu.

Cal won 12 matches in 2011 - its most since 2007 - and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship. The Bears, who climbed as high as No. 11 in the national rankings during the year, knocked off Santa Clara on the road in the opening round of NCAAs and nearly advanced to the third round of the tournament, falling to No. 16 Boston College in penalty kicks. Four Bears earned All-Pac-12 honors - Danielle Brunache, Hassett, Lauren Battung and Fitzpatrick - and a record 13 individuals were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, with Hassett also gaining NSCAA Scholar All-American recognition.

In 2010, Cal produced its seventh consecutive winning season and 24th in school history, going 9-6-5 overall and 4-4-1 to finish fourth in the competitive Pac-10 Conference. Cal advanced to its seventh straight bid to the NCAA Tournament and third consecutive trip to the state of Florida for postseason play. In Gainesville, Fla., the Bears lost, 2-1, to No. 2-seeded Duke.

McGuire guided Cal to finish the 2009 season at an 11-9-1 clip for the program's sixth-consecutive winning record and the 23rd in school history. The Bears went 4-5-0 in the Pac-10 to finish tied for sixth in the conference. With an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the year's selection marked Cal's 17th playoff bid in program history, the 11th in the last 12 years and the sixth straight. Thanks to a 2-1 overtime win over Auburn in the opening round, the Bears advanced to the second round, in which they lost, 3-0, to host and No. 1-seeded Florida State.

Under McGuire's direction, the 2008 squad recorded the program's 23rd winning season, finishing 10-9-1 overall and going 3-5-1 in Pac-10 play to finish sixth in the competitive league. The 2008 campaign also saw Cal earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for its fifth consecutive and 16th overall trip to the postseason. The Bears fell, 2-1, to No. 7 Florida in Gainesville, Florida, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Morgan, who scored the eventual game-winner to lead the U.S. to a gold medal in the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in December, led Cal in points (23) and goals (9). The team had nine players named to the Pac-10's All-Academic team.

In 2007, after spending two seasons as head coach at Texas Tech, McGuire directed Cal to a 15-5-1 overall record, to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and to a No. 11 national ranking. Cal finished in a tie for third place in the Pac-10 with a 6-3 mark, including a six-game winning streak to close the conference schedule. Overall, the Bears went 7-0-1 over their final eight games and carried that momentum into the 2008 season.

After the season, Morgan, Cal's top goal scorer, trained with the U.S. U-20 national team in preparation for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Nov. 19-Dec. 7, 2008, in Chile. Morgan was one of six Cal players to earn postseason Pac-10 honors, including first-team selection Courtney Hooker, who was also a second-team Soccer Buzz All-American. Morgan and Megan Jesolva garnered second-team Freshman All-America accolades from Soccer Buzz.

In addition to his responsibilities at Cal, McGuire served as one of the head coaches on the Region 4 Olympic Development Program staff, on which he has led the 1995 and 1994 age groups. In 2010 and 2011, he coached the Mustang Blast to back-to-back Northern California State Championships, winning the Far West Regional Championships in 2011 before finishing tied for third in points at the USYSA National Championships.

McGuire arrived in Berkeley with a proven track record of vast improvement at his two previous Division I stops.

He served as head coach at Mississippi State from 2000-03, taking over a program that was just 4-16 the year before his arrival and, within two years, improved the Bulldogs' record by 8.5 games.

McGuire averaged nine wins per season at MSU and established school records for overall wins and conference victories during the 2001 season. He was tabbed as the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year when he guided the Bulldogs to the first-ever women's conference title in Mississippi State athletics, leading his team to a share of the 2001 SEC Western Division championship. McGuire then spent the 2004 season as an assistant at Texas, during which the Longhorns finished with a 15-7-2 overall record, placed third in the Big 12 Conference and notched a No. 16 national ranking.

In 2005, McGuire moved to Texas Tech as head coach and quickly proved his rebuilding skills again. The Red Raiders went from one-game winners in his first season to notch seven wins in 2006 - most for the program in seven years. In addition to his collegiate experience, McGuire served as head coach of the Region 3 Under-19 team in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

McGuire began his head coaching career at Iowa Central Community College from 1996-97. He also served as an assistant at Iowa State (1998) and Arizona State (1999).

A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, McGuire earned his associate's degree in physical education with an emphasis on coaching from Telford College in Edinburgh before relocating to the United States. Upon his arrival, McGuire attended Augusta State University (Ga.), at which, while earning a bachelor's degree in psychology, he was named first-team All-Peach-Belt Athletic Conference four consecutive years. He was also a three-time NSCAA all-region selection. McGuire earned his master's of education degree with an emphasis in sports administration in 2003 from Mississippi State.

McGuire's professional career includes time with the Falkirk Football Club in Scotland, the Des Moines Menace Professional Soccer Club, and the Arizona Sahuaros Professional Soccer Club.

McGuire holds a United States Soccer Federation Class A license. He joined the University of California's family with his wife, Jesica, daughter, Kelyn, and sons, Ethan and Owen.

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The Art of Goal Scoring

April 24, 2020, 09:00 PM
Neil McGuire