Northwestern State hires Nei as assistant soccer coach

Northwestern State head coach Ian Brophy has added 15 years of coaching experience to his coaching staff with the hiring of assistant coach Jessica Nei, Brophy announced Wednesday. 

Nei will primarily coach goalkeepers but will be assisting in all aspects of the team. 

“I could not be more excited about adding Jessica to the Demon family,” Brophy said. “During our search it was obvious that we had one candidate who ticked every box we were looking for.  

“She has so much experience coaching at the Division 1 level that I feel truly blessed to have her join our team here and know she will be able to help us accomplish our goals.” 

Nei comes to NSU after two productive years at North Dakota as the associate head coach, where she helped lead the Fighting Hawks to their second conference postseason appearance in the Division I era. 

In her first full season at UND, she contributed to the team that more than doubled its win total in both the overall and conference seasons. 

Prior to UND, she spent one season at Wyoming and prior to that was an assistant coach at Toledo for five seasons, helping lead the Rockets to a MAC conference tournament championship and trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2017. 

While at Toledo, she mentored redshirt freshman goalkeeper Madison Perrin to a MAC All-Freshmen Team honor in 2017, as well as multiple goalkeeper MAC defensive player of the week awards. 

“Her great work ethic, attention to detail, strong recruiting background and ability to help our goalkeepers were clear through the process,” Brophy said. “She will be a huge asset to our goalkeepers which will help us continue the strong tradition that position has always carried here but will be involved in every facet of our program and will clearly be a key part of our success here.” 

She will have a chance to mentor her own goalkeeper to become a part of a line of successful netminders with NSU, as the goalkeepers have earned a spot on the all-conference teams in each of the past three seasons for the Lady Demons. 

Nei was hired at Toledo following a successful stint at Arkansas State from 2011-14. 

While with the RedWolves, she mentored starting goalkeepers to its lowest goals against average in school history (1.19), fewest goals allowed (11) and most wins (8). 

She began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at St. Cloud State (2008-10), where she was a part of a program that posted 28 victories, recording its first winning conference season in school history and first winning record in 13 seasons. 

Nei also has coaching experience at seven non-collegiate stops, most recently with the Central Minnesota Youth Soccer Association in 2023 in her hometown of St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

As a player, Nei was a goalkeeper for North Dakota State (2003-07) and helped the Bison post 46 victories.