Former Rangers FC player, NASL veteran and United States National Team scout and instructor Billy McNicol is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Cal Poly men’s soccer program.
With more than 30 years of coaching experience at international, professional and youth levels, McNicol joined Cal Poly in 2018 after serving as the director of the Mission Viejo Soccer Club for the past two decades. Alongside that position, McNicol has worked as a scout and instructor at various levels with the United States Soccer Federation. In 2007, he was an assistant coach for the United States Women’s National Team squad that finished third at the FIFA World Cup in China.
“Billy is one of the most experienced coaches in the country and has a pedigree of having played at the highest level in Scotland and for many professional teams in the United States,” fifth-year Cal Poly head coach Steve Sampson said. “Billy is very well known for having developed some of the best young talent that our national teams and MLS clubs have had over the years. I’ve known Billy for many years and have always found him to be a consummate professional. I’m excited to see his contribution both on and off the field.”
A native of Scotland, McNicol began his playing career in 1970 in the Rangers FC youth system. Concurrently, McNicol earned several caps with Scotland’s U-18 Men’s National Team.
After five years with Rangers, McNicol’s contract was sold to the San Antonio Thunder of the North American Soccer League, one of four stops he would make in the NASL. McNicol also played for the Los Angeles Skyhawks of the American Soccer League and the Pittsburgh Spirit of the Major Indoor Soccer League before concluding his playing career with the San Jose Earthquakes (NASL) in 1983.
McNicol has been a coach at various levels since taking over as Director of Coaching for the Utah Youth Soccer Association in 1984. In 1989, he joined the national instructional staff at U.S. Soccer, providing tutelage to several players, including future U.S. internationals Cobi Jones and Jovan Kirovski.
In 1996, McNicol assumed head coaching duties for the United States U-16 National Team, overseeing the development of players such as Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley.
In 1999, he began his role at Mission Viejo Soccer Club and also as technical director for former United Soccer Leagues club Utah Blitzz.