New JSU soccer coach addresses Kiwanians
Jacksonville State University’s new girls’ soccer coach Neil Macdonald spoke last week at the Kiwanis Club meeting.

Macdonald, a native of Scotland, came to the United States 20 years ago on a soccer scholarship. He played for Augusta State University, graduating with a BA in history.

His first college coaching job was at Iowa Central Community College. He comes to JSU from Mississippi State University, where he coached for nine seasons. He served as director of coaching for the Mississippi Olympic Development Program.

“I’m very happy to be here in Jacksonville,” said Macdonald. “I’ve been so impressed with the university, the athletic program and everybody I’ve met. My goal for the JSU soccer program is to build a team that consistently competes for OVC championships.”

Macdonald said three things are important to him – education, community and competition on the field.

“I create competition in the classroom,” he said. “The girls are to maintain a 3.0 GPA as a team, and we will seek to graduate all of our student athletes.

He said one of his goals is to build great relationships with the community. He plans to run clinics, both for kids and coaches.

“I want to help give direction to the local kids so they too one day can become college athletes,” he said. “I will have one major community project each semester. For example, Habitat for Humanity or reading to local kids.”

Macdonald said he will introduce a charter of champions for the team “and we will seek to live our lives like champions. The charter is something that the players will develop, and I hope that each player will take ownership in their program and also their lives.”

Macdonald went on to say that he wants to create an environment of competition everyday at practice. He wants the players to live like champions with a smile and good attitude.

Practice will start the first week in August.

Macdonald and his wife Jamie have three sons. Colin is 8, Liam is 4 and Finn is 15 months.

Jacksonville High School Key Club advisor Beth King was recognized as Outstanding Educator King is collaborative teacher for the ninth grade.

JHS student Kyle Bacchus spoke briefly. Bacchus is lieutenant governor of District 9, Great Alabama District of Key Club International.
© 2013