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Phil Jones will enter into his eleventh year at Clemson and his twelfth working with head coach Mike Noonan during the Tigers’ 2020 campaign. After being an assistant coach for the Tigers in 2010 and 2011, Jones was elevated to the role of associate head coach in the spring of 2012.

During his time at Clemson, Jones has firmly established himself as one of the best coaches in the country, as he was named the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NCSAA) South Region Assistant Coach-of-the-Year in 2013, as well as being tabbed one of the Top Assistant Coaches in the NCAA by College Soccer News in 2015.

Jones has played a prominent role in the resurrection and assertion of Clemson men’s soccer as one of the top programs in the nation, contributing to the development of the team’s culture and expectation of excellence since his first days on campus. Since 2010, Clemson has produced 28 All-ACC players and two freshman All-Americans. Three players under Jones’ direction have earned NSCAA Scholar All-America Team honors and one player was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American.

During the 2019 season, Jones helped the members of his squad combine to win the 2019 MAC Hermann Trophy (Robbie Robinson), have two be named MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalists, four earn All-American honors, five earn All-South Region honors, seven earn All-ACC honors, two earn ACC All-Freshman honors and one athlete earn CoSIDA Academic All-Region distinction.

As a result of the program’s success on the field in 2019, Clemson was the first school to have three players drafted during the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, with Robinson being selected first overall by Inter Miami CF. The achievement made Robinson the first player in Clemson men’s soccer history to be selected first overall in the draft. Robinson also signed a Generation adidas contract following the 2019 season.

At Clemson, Jones serves as the primary recruiting coordinator, manager of the team’s budget and helps with administrative duties within the squad.

On the field, Jones plays an integral role in developing the squad’s daily training sessions, analyzing video footage and statistical data, while also developing tailored plans to promote holistic success for each student-athlete. Not only does Jones work diligently on his own team, but he also serves as the lead opposition scout, creating detailed plans to ensure the team’s success against their opponents. This attention to detail has resulted in the Clemson program reaching the ACC Semifinals in seven of the past eight years and the NCAA tournament in six of the past seven seasons.

With Noonan and Jones leading the Clemson program, it has evolved into being one that consistently develops players for the professional level. Since 2014, Clemson has had 14 players drafted during the annual MLS SuperDraft. At the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, a Clemson-record four players were selected. Currently, Clemson has 13 players in the United States professional levels, with six in Major League Soccer (MLS) and seven in the United Soccer League (USL). The Tigers are represented overseas by four alumni who are playing across Spain, England and Norway. Eight alumni of the program have represented their respective countries in World Cup, Olympic Qualifiers and other international tournament qualification matches.

Off the pitch, Jones has overseen the development of his athletes into exemplary student-athletes. The performance of Clemson men’s soccer student-athletes has evolved to one which is full of high-performers in the classroom, with the team consistently setting GPA records. In the Spring of 2020, the squad set a semester record for the program by earning a team GPA of 3.56. The Spring semester was the team’s twelfth-consecutive semester with a GPA above 3.00 and made it the sixteenth time since Noonan and Jones arrived on campus that Clemson has had a 3.00 or above.

The Clemson student-athletes under Jones’ watch have also received national recognition for their excellence, with two players earning the prestigious Weaver-James-Corrigan Scholarship. This award is presented annually by the ACC to student-athletes looking to pursue a post-graduate degree. It rewards high-achieving individuals in the classroom and in their respective sport. The culminating factor for consideration in the recipient’s exemplary conduct in the community. In 2018, the program saw their student-athletes come together to earn a second-place finish on the national stage for community service hours logged by Division I men’s soccer teams.

As a recruiting coordinator for the program, Jones has helped bring the program into the national spotlight and become a force to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail. In 2018, the program recorded the second-best recruiting class in the nation, according to, building off of the ninth-ranked class the program brought in for the 2014 season. Not only has the staff signed phenomenal student-athletes, but they have also seen the progression of the individuals from first-year students to graduates. Academic Progress Report (APR) data – information which shows how well teams keep and advance student-athletes along their path for degree completion – released by the NCAA in the Spring of 2020 pegged Clemson with a new program record.

Prior to his arrival at Clemson, Jones served as an assistant coach under Noonan at Brown University for the 2009 season. With the help of Jones, the Brown program finished runner-up in the Ivy League tournament and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Three players were named to the All-Ivy Team and two were tabbed as NSCAA All-Region recipients.

Jones earned his start in the coaching profession in 2004, where he served as a graduate assistant for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. In his time in Daytona Beach, Florida, Jones helped the team capture five-straight Florida Sun Conference titles and was the top-ranked academic team in 2006.

Jones played at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University from 1999 to 2002, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Communication with a minor in Aviation Business Administration. While serving as a graduate assistant, Jones earned his Master of Science in Human Factors and Systems Engineering. Jones is a member of Embry Riddle’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jones currently holds a UEFA B-License and was the recipient of a Premier Coaching Diploma – Pass with Distinction from the NSCAA in 2007.

He played for Wigan Athletic Football Club, a Premier League team in England, before coming to America to play and study.

Coach Jones happily married Kathryn Jones in 2016 and the couple resides in Pendleton, South Carolina.

*Courtesy Clemson Media Guide


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What college did Phil Jones go to? Phil Jones attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
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