Former SGTC Jets basketball player distinguishing himself as associate head coach of Texas A & M
Jamie McNeilly, the starting point guard for the South Georgia Technical College 2003 – 2004 Jets basketball team, continues to make a name for himself in collegiate basketball as he enters his second year as the associate head coach for the NCAA Division I Texas A & M Aggies. He has been a part of Coach Buzz Williams coaching staff for the past 12 seasons including his time at Texas A & M as well as coaching stints at Marquette and Virginia Tech.
Texas A & M finished the 2019 – 2020 season with a 16 – 14 overall record and was 10 – 8 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They were scheduled to meet Missouri in the second round of the SEC tournament in Nashville, TN but the tournament was cancelled.
The Junior College Advocate spotlighted Texas A & M Associate Head Coach Jamie McNeilly as a top prospect for a Division 1 head coach job. They touted McNeilly as one of the most respected coaches in the game. “Exceptional coach and person.” He helped lead Virginia Tech to back to back tournaments for the first time in school history.
From 2013 – 2018, McNeilly was an assistant coach throughout his five-year tenure at Virginia Tech and added the responsibilities of director of student-athlete development in his last season. He had worked the previous six seasons at Marquette with Coach Williams.
McNeilly played for head coach Buzz Williams at the University of New Orleans where he earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies in 2007. The Toronto native averaged 16.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in conference play. He earned Sun Belt all-conference recognition as a junior and made the league’s academic honor roll following his senior year. He averaged 38.4 minutes playing time as a senior for Williams.
After his senior season at the University of New Orleans, McNeilly played professionally in Germany in 2007 – 2008. He joined USC Heidelberg of the Pro A League, where he averaged 10.9 points, 3 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. McNeilly also played for Team Canada in two consecutive World Championships in Praque, Czech Republic, as the team finished in sixth place in the 16-team tournament. In the summer of 2015, McNeilly was an assistant for Canada at the FIBA U19 World championship in Herkalion, Greece, before coaching at the FIBA U18 America Championship in Valdivia, Chile. He helped lead the gold medal-winning Canadian team in the 2017 U19 Basketball World Cup held in Cairo, Egypt.
Coach Williams named McNeilly as a graduate manager for the Marquette University 2008 – 2010 basketball seasons while he earned his master’s degree in leadership studies and was also an adjunct professor in the college of professional studies, teaching classes for three years in Marquette’s Graduate Sports Leadership program. He spent the 2010 – 2011 season as Marquette’s video coordinator.
“As I have said from the beginning, our program will always be about the players,” said Buzz Williams when he was the head coach at Marquette. “I have an extremely strong loyalty to the players I have coached and believe it is my responsibility to help them grow in their career once they have finished playing.
“Jamie was one of my favorite players I have had the opportunity to coach during my career,” Williams added. “More than any other player I have coached; he was passionate on a daily basis and gave everything he was able to give, without fail.”
Williams lived up to his word about being loyal to players as he encouraged McNeilly in his professional coaching career and has continued to mentor and promote him over the past 12 years at different collegiate programs. Williams also believed early on that McNeilly had a very bright future in the coaching profession.
McNeilly earned three letters with the New Orleans Privateers after one season at South Georgia Technical College, where he was an all-conference performer as well.
McNeilly helped lead the 2003 – 2004 South Georgia Technical College Jets to a 26 – 6 record under then head coach Chris Wade. That year, the Jets finished second in the GJCAA conference tournament after losing 57 – 56 to Georgia Perimeter in Atlanta on Georgia Perimeter’s home court.
During the 2003 – 2004 season, the Jets cracked the Top 20 NJCAA poll for 11 consecutive weeks and were ranked as high as 14th in the nation. The Jets also won 12 straight games including historic wins on the road over Chipola (ranked 18th in the nation at the time) and Okaloosa-Walton (stopping their 68-game home winning streak).
McNeilly, who was enrolled in South Georgia Technical College’s marketing management program, played high school basketball at Mother Teresa High School in Toronto, Canada. He and his wife, Shola, were married on July 31, 2014 and have two sons.
Eight members of the 2003 – 2004 South Georgia Technical College Jets basketball team went on to continue their education and basketball careers at four-year universities.