Camps are led by UNCW coaches and players!
Former UNCW assistant coach Chris Neal completed his third season as the head women's soccer coach at his alma mater in 2020-21.
Neal, who was named as the Seahawks' skipper in July 2018, led the Seahawks to a 7-3-0 record during a challenging 2021 spring season, including a perfect 4-0-0 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play, and a berth in the CAA Championship Game. In addition, a group of four student-athletes were recognized by the CAA's head coaches, including freshman goalkeeper Blair Barefoot, who earned the league's Rookie of the Year and Goalkeeper of the Year honors.
Barefoot was one of four Seahawks named to the CAA's top squad, joining redshirt junior midfielder Morgan Nanni, senior forward Audrey Harding and junior defender Talia Parrous.
Neal guided UNCW to a 10-6-1 record in 2019, including a 6-2-1 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Seahawks earned their first appearance in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship under Neal's tutelage after placing third in the league's 10-team standings.
In addition, the 2019 campaign saw five Seahawks receive recognition by the CAA's head coaches. Junior goalkeeper Sydney Schneider became the first-ever recipient of the CAA's Goalkeeper of the Year award and joined senior defender Baley Edwards on the All-CAA First Team. A pair of UNCW student-athletes - Harding and Nanni - received Second-Team All-CAA distinction while freshman forward Emily Moxley was a member of the All-Rookie Team.
UNCW, which tied with Delaware for the fewest goals conceded in the CAA, set a program record with five consecutive shutouts against league opponents Northeastern, Charleston, Towson, William & Mary and Drexel.
In Neal's first season as the bench boss, the Seahawks posted a 9-6-1 record to finish in a tie for sixth place in the CAA regular season standings. The squad overcame the adversity of dealing with Hurricane Florence to be in contention for a Colonial Athletic Association Tournament berth until the final day of the regular season. Sophomore Marissa Vincent was named to the United Soccer Coaches All-East Region Second Team after headlining a group of three Seahawks to receive All-CAA honors.
Neal, 49, spent five months as an assistant women's soccer coach at Arkansas following a 10-year stint as the head women's soccer coach at fellow CAA member Elon.
"We want to welcome home a native Wilmingtonian, a UNCW graduate and a true Seahawk," said Jimmy Bass, UNCW Director of Athletics. "Chris is a high-caliber head coach with a tremendous commitment to academic excellence. Our student-athletes are going to really enjoy playing for Chris and we're all looking forward to what the future holds."
The experienced Neal is just the third coach in the 26-year history of the UNCW program, following Keith Cammidge and Paul Cairney.
"It is a tremendous honor and privilege to lead this Seahawk team," said Neal. "Based on my experience in the CAA, this is a very talented, passionate, and hard-working group of student-athletes. I am excited to get to know them better and to help them achieve their athletic and academic goals.
"This program has experienced tremendous success, in both the CAA and NCAA, and I am determined to build on that legacy."
Before his brief stopover in Fayetteville, Ark., Neal was the winningest head coach in Elon women's soccer history with a 90-76-31 record. He was named Southern Conference Coach-of-the-Year in 2012 after leading the Phoenix to their first SoCon championship appearance until overseeing Elon's transition to the CAA in 2014.
In Neal's 10-year stint with Elon, the Phoenix posted six winning seasons and 26 student-athletes earned all-conference honors. Elon's women also collected the NSCAA Team Academic Award eight times and 35 players were selected to All-Academic teams by either the Southern Conference or CAA.
Neal became Elon's all-time winningest coach on Aug. 19, 2016, with his 75th victory in a 2-0 home decision over Charleston Southern. He closed with 90 wins at Elon, surpassing the 74 victories by Paul Webster from 1995-2003.
In his final season at Elon in 2017, Neal's club finished with a 9-6-4 record against stiff competition. Four opponents made the NCAA Tournament and five foes reached the finals of their conference championships.
Before arriving at Elon, Neal worked as a volunteer assistant coach and assistant coach at UNCW from 2001-07, helping the Seahawks compile a 70-55-8 record. The Seahawks earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award five straight years during Neal's time with the program.
Neal earlier enjoyed a successful stint as the head men's soccer coach at Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C. In three seasons at Pfeiffer (1998-2000), Neal piloted the Falcons to a 36-22-4 (.613) ledger and their first-ever NCAA Division II ranking (No. 13). In 2000, the squad advanced to the CVAC Tournament Championship match that ended in a 1-1 draw with Longwood advancing in a penalty kick shootout.
Neal also served two campaigns as a graduate assistant men's coach at Augusta State (1996-97) and the Jaguars improved from a 7-8-0 in 1996 to 14-6-0 in 1997.
Neal was as an ODP staff coach and coaching education instructor for the NC Youth Soccer Association during his time at Elon. He also worked with the NSCAA as its state technical director from 2001-08. He was responsible for organizing, advertising and instructing a variety of coaching education courses for thousands of youth, high school and college coaches.
Neal earned his B.A. Degree in Political Science from UNCW in 1995 and M.A. in Education from Augusta State in 1998. He holds the NSCAA "Premier" diploma and a United States Soccer Federation "A" license.
A goalkeeper by trade, Neal played locally for the Wilmington United and Cape Fear SA club teams and was an All-Conference performer at New Hanover High School.
Neal and his wife, Amy, have a daughter, Josi, and son, Rex.
Chris Neal Year-by-Year History
|1995||Student Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||9-10-0||2-5-0 CAA|
|1996||Graduate Assistant Coach (Augusta State Men's Soccer)||7-8-1||2-3-0|
|1997||Graduate Assistant Coach (Augusta State Men's Soccer)||14-6-0||4-3-0|
|1998||Head Coach (Pfeiffer Men's Soccer)||12-7-1||6-4-1|
|1999||Head Coach (Pfeiffer Men's Soccer)||11-9-0||8-3-0|
|2000||Head Coach (Pfeiffer Men's Soccer)||13-6-3||8-2-1|
|2001||Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Men's Soccer)||3-15-0||0-6-0 CAA|
|Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||10-8-1||0-4-1 CAA|
|2002||Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Men's Soccer)||9-9-0||2-7-0 CAA|
|Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||11-8-0||3-6-0 CAA|
|2003||Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Men's Soccer)||10-7-3||4-4-1 CAA|
|Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||9-8-2||3-4-2 CAA|
|2004||Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Men's Soccer)||12-6-2||5-3-1 CAA|
|Volunteer Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||10-7-1||1-7-1 CAA|
|2005||Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||8-10-1||4-6-1 CAA|
|2006||Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||13-6-0||8-3-0 CAA|
|2007||Assistant Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||9-8-2||5-5-1 CAA|
|2008||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||8-8-3||4-6-1 SoCon|
|2009||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||12-5-2||7-3-1 SoCon|
|2010||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||12-8-1||6-5-0 SoCon|
|2011||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||8-8-4||6-3-2 SoCon|
|2012||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||7-9-6||4-3-4 SoCon|
|2013||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||13-3-6||5-1-4 SoCon|
|2014||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||5-12-0||1-8-0 CAA|
|2015||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||9-8-2||1-7-1 CAA|
|2016||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||7-9-3||2-5-2 CAA|
|2017||Head Coach (Elon Women's Soccer)||9-6-4||2-3-4 CAA|
|2018||Head Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||9-6-1||3-5-1 CAA|
|2019||Head Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||10-6-1||6-2-1 CAA|
|2020||Head Coach (UNCW Women's Soccer)||7-3-0||4-0-0 CAA|
Dr. Colin Barnes has completed his first year as a women's soccer assistant coach at UNCW in 2022.
The Seahawks posted a 7-7-3 record in 2022, including a 3-4-2 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Barnes adds over two decades of soccer playing and coaching experience to the Seahawk program. A native of Hoover, Ala., Barnes has coached, taught, or played at the youth, collegiate, professional, and international levels, most recently with U.S. Soccer as a Coach Educator. Barnes has spent the previous four years as a Senior Lecturer of Football Coaching at Solent University in Southampton, England.
“I’m elated to add a professional of Colin’s caliber,” said Neal, who enters his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater. “Colin is a true student of the game that will help improve our student-athletes’ experiences in many ways. I’m very excited for our team as we head into the 2022 season.”
Barnes was a four-year letterwinner at UNC Asheville from 1998 to 2001. He was named to the Big South First-Team as a junior and senior after leading the Bulldogs with 12 assists across two seasons. The Bulldogs increased their win total in each of Barnes’ four seasons, culminating with the program’s first Big South regular season championship in his senior year.
Barnes spent the 2002 season with the Wilmington Hammerheads, where he helped the Port City squad to its first USL D-3 Pro League Finals appearance. While with the Hammerheads, Barnes also began his coaching career with the Cape Fear Youth Association. In 2003, Barnes, along with Neal, co-founded the Port City Soccer Club, where he served as the Director of Coaching, coordinating 240 recreational players and 30 select players.
Following Barnes’ Wilmington beginnings, he became the Academy Director for the Peachtree City FC (2004-06) in Peachtree City, Ga., before briefly joining the Chicago Magic SC in 2006. Barnes returned to the south as a Technical Director for Concorde Fire SC in Atlanta, Ga., in late 2006 and spent the next five years in the Georgia capital.
After a decade in youth soccer, Barnes ventured into collegiate coaching as a graduate assistant at Columbus State in 2011. In 2016, Barnes joined Alabama’s staff as a volunteer assistant coach and spent three seasons under Crimson Tide coach Wes Hart before moving to Southampton in 2019.
Barnes earned his Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Sciences from UNC Asheville in May 2002. In December 2013, he graduated from Columbus with a Master’s in Teaching. Barnes completed his Ph.D. in Sport Pedagogy at Alabama in 2022.
Barnes resides in Wilmington with his wife, Jessica.
Former UNCW men's soccer standout Greg Marinich is in his second season with the Seahawk women's soccer program after returning to his alma to serve as a volunteer operations liaison.
Marinich, a 1984 UNCW graduate, joins the Seahawks after five successful years as the head boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer coach at Ashley High School where he guided the Screaming Eagles to a combined 127-50-16 record.
A native of Columbia, Md., Marinich was a two-year captain for the Seahawks after transferring from Catonsville Community College. He scored three goals with two assists during the 1982 season and added a goal as a senior in 1983 en route to claiming NSCAA All-South honors.
After graduating from UNCW with his degree in management, Marinich served in the United States Army. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2012 following a 27-year career and returned to the Port City where he spent time in the Bladen County and New Hanover County school systems.
Marinich and his wife, Cat, are the owners of Nothing Bundt Cakes in Wilmington and have two sons – Jack (31) and Nicholas (26).