Marci Miller Jobson
Now in her third season at the helm of the Northern Illinois women's soccer program, head coach Marci Miller Jobson has been balancing a unique opportunity to build a championship-caliber program while continuing her playing career on the world stage.
In just her second season at NIU, Jobson led the Huskies to their first Mid-American Conference Tournament appearance of the decade, a journey that culminated in a pair of upset victories and a berth in the league's title match. The seventh-seeded Huskies pulled off a victory at second-seeded Ohio in the MAC quarterfinal and knocked off sixth-seeded Kent State in the semis to earn their first trip to the MAC Tournament Championship since 1998.
The run by Jobson's squad was even more amazing when considering it was done with a young squad that featured just one senior and was dominated with underclassmen, including several freshmen in key roles.
While continuing to make steps toward bringing a MAC title to DeKalb, Jobson is continuing her playing career at the highest level of competition as a member of the United States Women's National Team. In July, Jobson was one of the first 18 players named to the 2007 U.S. World Cup team that will compete in China in September. For Jobson, it was the pinnacle of her playing career and an addition to her already illustrious playing resume, which includes previous competition in China for the U.S. team in the 2006 Four Nation's Cup.
Having a perspective as both a player and coaching a team of her own has helped Jobson mentor her players and has provided the Huskies squad with opportunities to meet and interact with the U.S. team. In August 2006, Jobson invited her squad to meet U.S. team members and train at their site in Chicago.
When hired as the Huskies head coach prior to the 2005 season, Jobson's passion for the game and deep Chicagoland roots made her the perfect fit for the program.
Jobson's coaching style is a direct reflection of her playing style. A player with a reputation as gritty and hard-nosed, U.S. National teammate Shannon Boxx called Jobson "One of the toughest players I've ever played against."
A native of nearby St. Charles, Jobson was a four-time all-state honoree at St. Charles High School where she helped the Saints claim Illinois High School Association titles in 1992 and 1994 with a third-place finish in 1993. At that time, Jobson began her national playing career with various under 17, 18, 19 and 20 teams.
As a member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team, Jobson was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America prep All-America and a member of Soccer America's Super 11 Region II recruits as a senior. Jobson earned a selection to the Chicago Tribune's 1991 All-Freshmen team, was a four-time All-Upstate Eight Conference pick and earned all-area, all academic and all-state honors while at SCHS.
Not surprisingly, she became an inductee into the St. Charles (East) High School Hall of Fame in December of 2005. Making the occasion even more memorable, she was named a recipient of the Jodie Harrison Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jobson earned All-Freshman honors from both Soccer America and Soccer News in 1994 at the University of Wisconsin, the first of two seasons with the Badgers where she was a first team All-Big Ten performer. She was a second team All-Central Region and Big Ten Player of the Week selection during her initial collegiate campaign while helping lead the Badgers to a 16-6 overall record along with a share of the conference regular season title, the league's postseason tournament crown and a NCAA Tournament berth.
In 1995, Jobson earned All-Midwest, All-Sophomore, and Elite 11 Midfielder accolades from Soccer News and was a first team All-West Region honoree as a key member of UW's NCAA Tournament team that earned second-place spots during the Big Ten's regular season and conference tournament.
Jobson finished each of her two seasons in Madison as the nation's No. 2 point producer with 16 points on five goals and six assists as a freshman and 20 points on five goals and a team-best 10 assists in 1995.
After transferring to Southern Methodist, Jobson added two more first team NSCAA All-Central Region honors to her resume. In both seasons with the Mustangs, Jobson was the Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division Player of the Year while claiming first team All-WAC accolades. Jobson helped SMU reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament while posting a 17-5-1 record in 1997, her final season on the Dallas campus.
Jobson was a midfield starter in all 44 games for the Mustangs and totaled 51 points on 21 goals and nine assists during her two seasons at SMU. Overall during her collegiate career, Jobson scored 87 points with 31 goals and 25 assists, paving the way for her to play professionally both domestically and internationally.
A member of the gold-medal winning North Squad in the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival, Jobson earned U.S. Olympic Festival All-Tournament acclaim prior to beginning an impressive four-year run as captain of the Chicago Cobras, a member of the semi-pro W-League. In addition to claiming a league scoring title, Jobson's team won the 2000 league championship. Jobson then moved overseas and spent one season playing for Turbine Potsdam, one of the top teams in the German Women's Bundesliga, and competing against some of the top players in the world.
With the formation of the WUSA league, Jobson returned stateside to continue her pro career. The Atlanta Beat selected Jobson in the fourth round of the initial WUSA draft, where she faced stiff competition from players such as Abby Wambach, whom she would later room with during her U.S. national training days.
After four seasons with the WUSA, Jobson and many of the league's top players returned to W-League competition. Jobson played one year for the Charlotte Eagles before joining the Atlanta Silverbacks, a move that enabled her to begin her coaching career. In Atlanta, Jobson served as one of the top four staff coaches for the Atlanta United Soccer Association, a role that included being the primary coach for Atlanta United's U-15, U-16 and U-17 programs.
Jobson has learned from and worked with the best coaches in the U.S. After having benefited from their tutelage as a player, Jobson has coached alongside two of the game's best in Greg Ryan and Brett Hall. Ryan, now the boss of the U.S. Women's National Team, added Jobson to his staff at SMU. After having helped Hall with Chicago Socker club programs, Miller enlisted the U.S. Women's National Team assistant as a volunteer aide for NIU during the 2006 campaign.
Soccer and family are part of Jobson's own coaching staff at NIU. Associate head coach and husband, Paul Jobson, serves as the Huskies coach while the head coach trains and competes for the U.S. National Team, enabling consistent leadership within the program.
A 1996 graduate of SMU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Jobson's parents, Barbara and Walter, still reside in St. Charles while her three brothers - Mark, Mike and Marty - and four sisters - Monica, Mary, Mindy (who played for University of Central Florida) and Maggie (who played for George Washington University) - are spread around the country.