Synonymous with women’s athletics at Cabrini, Jackie Neary begins her 25th season with the Cavaliers’ field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs in 2020-21. The 2013 Cabrini Hall of Fame inductee also starts her 15th year as the athletics department’s student-athlete wellness coordinator and Senior Women's Administrator.
In her role as Student-Athlete Wellness Coordinator, Neary assists in the development, implementation and supervision of the student-athlete academic success program, serves as the Athletic Department's liaison with the University's Counseling and Academic Support Centers, and helps schedule educational seminars and forums for student-athletes that promote a well-balanced lifestyle by encouraging emotional well-being, personal growth and decision making skills.
Neary also researches grants and programs that support student-athlete development and provide reports of activities and functions to the Athletic Director upon request.
Neary started the women’s lacrosse program at Cabrini from scratch in 1997. One year later, the Cavaliers had their first undefeated season, finishing 15-0 overall. Since then, Neary has guided the Blue & White to 18 CSAC and Atlantic East Conference titles, including a run of eight straight crowns from 1998-2005 and each of the last eight (2012-19).
Neary, owner of a 302-136 career record, has mentored the Cavaliers to 15 appearances all-time in the NCAA Tournament, leading Cabrini to the conference’s first five automatic qualifying berths from 2000-05. In 10 of the last 11 years, the Cavaliers hoisted the CSAC hardware and advanced to the national postseason.
Neary is an 13-time CSAC Coach of the Year in women’s lacrosse, last earning the honor in 2018. She also was awarded the accolade in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Neary was also named IWLCA Metro Region Coach of the Year in 2014.
Neary reached rarified air in 2019, as the Cavaliers claimed the program's first-ever ECAC championship. Cabrini's 15-10 victory over Drew in the championship game marked Neary's 300th victory on the Blue and White sideline. Entering the 2019 season, only 13 coaches in th history of Division I, II or III women's lacrosse had reached the plateau.
On the field hockey side, Neary has totaled a 245-212 career mark, guided the Cavaliers to four conference titles, including back to back championships in 2015 and 2016 and is a five-time coach of the year. She garnered the leagues’ top sideline distinction in 2008, coaching the Cavaliers to a perfect 9-0 regular season CSAC record and the No. 1 seed in the postseason tournament.
Cabrini completed its second consecutive championship run in 2016, culminating with a thrilling 2-1 victory at Gwynedd Mercy. Senior Taylor Mack was named to the NFHCA All-South Region Second Team after setting a program record with 14 assists on teh year, while her 50 total points and 18 goals ranked among the best single seasons in program history.
Neary led the Cavaliers to their third CSAC crown in 2015, the program's first title since 2010. Neary claimed her 200th career win with a victory at Drew University early in the campaign, before closing the season with a 12-9 mark. The Cavaliers were powered by two-time CSAC Player of the Year Kerry Anne Farrell, who closed the season as the program's all-time leader in goals, assists and points.
Neary reached the 100-win plateau with the Cabrini field hockey team in 2005. In 2000, she led the Cavaliers to the CSAC championship game despite a bout with cancer, and the effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
In 2005, Neary served as an assistant coach for a team of American college women’s lacrosse student-athletes, including three Cabrini players, in the annual Friendship Games in Tokyo, Japan. In 2006, she took the Cavalier field hockey team on a 9-day trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Neary spent three seasons (1991-94) as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at her alma mater – Temple University. She also served 10 years (1986-95) as an assistant field hockey coach at Ridley High School, also her alma mater.
Neary’s success as a student-athlete at Temple is difficult to quantify in words. She was a part of four teams to reach the NCAA Final Four, helping the Owls to two national championship games and winning the ultimate prize with a 6-4 upset win against the University of Maryland in 1984.
In October 2012, Neary and her rest of the members of the 1984 national championship team were inducted into the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame.
As a junior, Temple ranked No. 1 nationally and boasted a 17-0 mark before a loss in the NCAA semifinals against the University of New Hampshire. Neary graduated from Temple in 1986.
Neary became the first inductee of the Ridley High School Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003. She was named a first-team high school All-American as a senior in 1982. Additionally, Neary was given the Eddie Coyle Award in 2004 for her contributions to Delaware County athletics.
In 2001, Neary received the most coveted of Cabrini Athletics honors – the Denise Edwards Award. Given to an individual who best exemplifies the spirit of Cabrini Athletics, Neary remains the only Cavalier coach to receive the prestigious award.
Neary added the responsibilities of the department’s student-athlete wellness coordinator prior to the field hockey season in 2006. Her position is dedicated to helping the student-athlete adjust to the college environment, specifically in the academic and personal spectrums.
Neary is a long-time resident of Logan Township, N.J. with her husband Joe. She and Joe have four children, Jake, Sean, and Jackie, each Cabrini alums and former athletes, and Shea, who will be a sophomore in 2019-20.