STARKVILLE, Miss. ­ Mississippi State assistant coach Neil MacDonald was named as the Bulldogs third head soccer coach, Mississippi State Director of Athletics Larry Templeton announced Friday morning. The hiring is pending approval by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning."> STARKVILLE, Miss. ­ Mississippi State assistant coach Neil MacDonald was named as the Bulldogs third head soccer coach, Mississippi State Director of Athletics Larry Templeton announced Friday morning. The hiring is pending approval by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning.">

MacDonald Takes Over Reigns of MSU Soccer Program

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/soccer/neilmacdonald.jpg" align="left"> STARKVILLE, Miss. ­ Mississippi State assistant coach Neil MacDonald was named as the Bulldogs third head soccer coach, Mississippi State Director of Athletics Larry Templeton announced Friday morning. The hiring is pending approval by the Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning.

"We are fortunate to have an individual with head coaching experience on our staff ready to accept the challenge of leading our soccer program," Templeton said.

Having joined the Mississippi State Soccer staff as a volunteer assistant coach prior to the 2003 Spring campaign, MacDonald was instrumental in helping to lead the Bulldogs to their fourth winning season in school history this past season. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 9-8-3 clip, including a 6-2-2 mark at home.

"I am both very excited and honored to be named head coach at Mississippi State," MacDonald said. "I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the girls on our team because we have a great core of seniors coming back and others willing to do what it takes to be successful. It is inevitable that we will have a very smooth transition as I am blessed to have such great players, as well as a great staff, to work with.

"We worked very hard in the Spring to get to the position to which we are at right now. We must now work even harder, both on the field and in the classroom, in order to obtain the success that we want to achieve. I am confident that everyone associated with the Mississippi State Soccer program is willing to do that."

Prior to his stint in Starkville, MacDonald skippered both the men's and women's programs at Iowa Central Community College where he led the Lady Tritons to five consecutive regional championships, including an appearance in the Elite Eight in 2002. During his five-year tenure in Fort Dodge, MacDonald collected an impressive 149-34-5 coaching record.

At the conclusion of the 2002 season, he was honored with NJCAA Region Coach of the Year accolades, along with being named one of three finalists for NSCAA Region Coach of the Year. He was also honored with the Who's Who of America's Teachers national award as well.

As a player at Augusta State, MacDonald was a four-year starter with the Jaguars and captained the team during his junior and senior seasons (1996-97). He played and started all but one game during his career in Augusta and left the distinguished University as the career record holder in games started.

Following his collegiate playing career, MacDonald joined the ICCC program where he helped lead both the men's and women's programs to regional championships and national rankings in 1998. MacDonald took over the reigns of the program in 1999.

MacDonald received his Bachelor's degree in history from Augusta State in 1997 and is currently working on his Master's degree in the same subject at MSU. He currently holds his "C" coaching license from the Union of European Football Association.

MacDonald and his wife Jamie, an assistant professor in the Art and Design program at MSU, currently reside in Starkville. The couple just recently welcomed the birth of their first child, Colin Ross, and will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary in August.


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