Neil McGuire begins his sixth season as California's head coach in 2012 after continuing the women's soccer program's tradition of excellence in his first five years. McGuire now owns a 57-35-12 overall record in five seasons with the Golden Bears.
McGuire has overseen the development of multiple national team players on both the domestic and international levels. Betsy Hassett returns to Berkeley this fall after playing in the London Olympics and the 2011 World Cup with the New Zealand national squad. Also returning for the 2012 season is Thelma Einarsdottir, who plays for the Icelandic National Team. Three current Bears - Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, Emily Kruger and Emi Lawson - are members of the U.S. U-20 National Team player pool. Last winter, Kruger also played on the U-23 National Team.
Four-year Bear Alex Morgan is currently a member of the U.S. National Team and won gold at the London Olympics, where 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. Morgan was the No. 1 draft pick in the 2011 WPS draft, marking the first-ever top draft prospect for the Bears. Additionally, former Bear and Icelandic National Team member Katrin Omarsdottir is currently playing professionally.
This past season, Cal won 12 matches - 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, Betsy Hassett, Lauren Battung and Kaitlyn 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, Fla., 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 (nine). 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 serves 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 eight-and-a-half 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 family with his wife, Jesica, daughter, Kelyn, and sons, Ethan and Owen.