Mark Jones begins his first season as an assistant coach with the Northern Illinois men's soccer program. Jones comes to NIU with six seasons of collegiate coaching experience from Cal Poly, working with the Mustangs from 2006-11. Jones helped guide Cal Poly to 11-win seasons in both 2007 and 2008, including a 2008 NCAA Tournament First Round victory over UCLA as the Mustangs finished the season ranked No. 23 in the country. Jones focused on speed, strength and technical development with the Mustangs while helping to refine the program's offensive-minded approach.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Jones has also worked with the Eagles Soccer Club in Camarillo, Calif., joining the club as Central Coast Director of Operations in 2009. With Eagles SC, Jones worked under former United States men's national team head coach Steve Sampson, the club's executive director and technical director.
Jones has also spent time with Global Sports Institute, coaching for two weeks in Brazil, with Madrid Premier Soccer Club as Director of Coaching and with Catalyst Soccer Clinics. Since 2010, Jones has served as a staff coach for the Region IV Olympic Development Program (ODP).
Jones played collegiately at Cal Poly from 2001-04, leading the team in scoring as a freshman and sophomore before moving into a center back role for his junior season. Jones earned All-Big West first team honors in 2003 and was an honorable mention selection in 2004. As a youth, Jones trained with, and was offered a contract by, Universidad de Catolica in Santiago, Chile.
A native of San Jose, Calif., Jones earned his degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly in 2005.