Why play soccer at Grace University? That’s simple, our coaches know the sport. They will help you as an individual player and will be able to coach the team in a way that will help you improve. However, Grace soccer also exists to help you as a person. We strive to use the avenue of soccer to further Grace’s mission. Our goal is to build on the development of character in each of the Christian Men that participate. This means coaching you in how to be a servant leader in: the home, the Church, and the world. At the same time players are able to build relationships, work hard, and have fun. That is why we play soccer at Grace University.
Coach McNeel is starting his seventh year at Grace University as the Dean of Men and his sixth season as head coach for the Royals soccer program. He has been in Higher Education for more than 15 years and before that taught Jr. High history. Coach McNeel has been around soccer for more than 35 years having played soccer from elementary to college, and has coached age groups from 1st grade to U-19 before coming to Grace University and is a member of the Nation Soccer Coaches Association of America. He attended schools in South Carolina and Colorado and earned an undergraduate degree in History and Political Science and a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction from Colorado Christian University.
“Growth as individuals is one of my greatest goals for my student athletes”, says McNeel; "I want each player to develop a commitment to excellence that is expressed in their academics, their ministry, and their community life on campus as well as on the field". Coming off one of the best seasons in recent history at Grace, the Royals have the national tournament as their goal. “Excellence is not just something that happens in a vacuum, it is a commitment to striving for the very best in all we do, not for ourselves but for the honor and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!” As the Royals look to face the challenges before them, Coach McNeel is focused on helping his men prepare for those challenges and work to overcome them. He desires to use the game of soccer to advance the Kingdom of God, and to "use soccer as a way to reach kids for Christ in our community and around the world." Coach McNeel is excited about working with guys who love God with all their heart, have a passion for doing all things well and love to play soccer.
One of McNeel's favorite quotes is from Chuck Swindoll, 'You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.' "May each one of us treat others with the love that Christ shows us," said McNeel. Married 24 years to his wife Jackie, they have four children: Shawnta, Hunter, Trenton, and Colton.
Paul has been a part of Grace University Soccer Program since 2002. He played one year under coach Wehrbein, and 3 years under coach McNeel. This year will mark the 5th year he has helped coach the Grace University Soccer team.
Paul is an Omaha native, who grew up attending Omaha Christian Academy, K-12. He has been around the game of soccer since his earliest memories. In High school he played for both Omaha Christian Academy and in the primer soccer club leagues for West Omaha Gladiators. In college he was captain of his team, and during his senior year received the All-Regional goalie distinction award. Paul graduated from Grace University with a Bachelor Degree in Middle School Education. He currently substitute teaches for different districts in Omaha, allowing him to continue to assist with Grace's soccer program.
In 2011 Paul married Grace Graduate Sarah Osborne. Sarah is currently teaching Middle School math at Millard North Middle school in Omaha, Nebraska. Sarah and Paul both wish to continue to invest in the soccer players lives, through friendship, discipleship, and Sarah's wonderful brownies and frozen fruit cups.
Paul's favorite things about coaching are the friendships developed as the team seeks to honor God both on and off the field.