Three SEU coaches earn 2019 Heartland Conference Hall of Fame selection


Courtesy of Heartland Conference

Three of the 10 inductees in this year’s Hall of Fame class will be from St. Edward’s athletics.

As St. Edward’s transitions to the Lone Star Conference, women’s soccer coach, Nick Cowell, men’s soccer coach, Brian Young, and women’s golf coach, Jennifer McNeil, will be inducted into the Heartland Conference Hall of Fame; a conference that after this year will be disbanded.  they it will be a fairytale ending as they have been selected for the Heartland Conference Hall of Fame.

With impressive career accolades, the three coaches have combined to coach over 50 All-Americans and close to 200 All-Heartland Conference Players.

Cowell, an English native, has been at the helm of the women’s soccer team for 13 seasons and has transformed the program into a powerhouse that has yet to have a losing season.With 198 career wins (and counting), Cowell has built the program to be one that is reliant on passion, unity and personal development.

“I don’t know what being in the Hall of Fame really means. I guess it means you’ve been around for a long time and you’ve won a few games, but it is recognition for all the people that have played in the program. Without them, none of this would happen,” Cowell said.

Cowell has won seven regular season conference titles, three conference tournament titles and has made several appearances in both the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. Cowell describes his program as one that is built on teamwork and strong leadership.

“We like practice to be very competitive. We ask for total team commitment, and being comfortable being the difference maker, to step forward and not be afraid of failing,” Cowell said.

Entering his 15th season with the program, Young has accomplished: five regular-season conference championships, made four NCAA Tournament appearances and led SEU to two back-to-back undefeated seasons (2014 and 2015).

Young expresses that much of his success comes from the mentorship so, naturally, he has taken the same approach with his players. Young has coached 14 All-Americans, 64 All-Region players and 83 All-Heartland honorees during his time at SEU and attributes his Hall of Fame selection to them.  

“I think it’s exciting for my family but I think it’s a reflection of all the assistant coaches I’ve had and what the team has done over the past 15 years,” Young said.  “We treat each other with respect and like family … we’re there for each other and I think that’s really helped the program grow.”

McNeil has accumulated seven Heartland Conference titles, a 2013 NCAA West Region Championship, 14 consecutive appearances in the NCAA West Regional Championship and four NCAA National Tournament appearances.

Coming to SEU to lead the women’s golf program in the early 2000s, the young coach has become one of the most decorated coaches at both SEU and the conference. Giving much credit to her players, she reminisces about her time coaching as a fun challenge.

“I never imagined that this was ever possible, its closing a chapter on a great deal of success and memories but I’m excited to be a part of the Lone Star Conference,” McNeil said.  “We set really high standards and the fun challenge of each year is trying to be better than last.”

The coaches will be honored in Tulsa, Okla. March 10.