Meet the Pac: Cobi Jones
Pac-12 Networks soccer analyst, Cobi Jones, was named to the Pac-12 Men's Soccer All-Century team earlier this week.
Jones, a walk-on who later earned a scholarship, played with the Bruins from 1988-91. He was an NSCAA 2nd-team All-American in 1991 and a three-time All-Far West selection. He holds the school record with 18 single-season assists, and ranks second in career assists (37). Additionally, he was a member of 1994, 1998 and 2002 US World Cup teams.
To celebrate his addition to the all-century team, Pac-12 Networks PR sat down with Cobi to reflect on his collegiate career.
Takeaway from his time at UCLA…
“It was a great time being at UCLA. For any college student when you first start out, it’s a different world than being at home with your parents than being out on your own. With soccer, it’s a little bit different as far as you go in before school starts and you have an opportunity to meet the players and establish a bond. It was great. My career there, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I was fortunate enough to be around a host of talented players and coaches.”
Being named to All-Century team…
“It’s absolutely fabulous, especially since I have some type of connection to each one of those guys on the list. It shows that during that era, there were a lot of quality players, especially around UCLA, but for me, it’s an honor that all of the people who made the choice put me on the list. There’s a lot of talented people who went on to have successful careers within the sport. It’s an honor, and it’s something you don’t fully appreciate until after the fact.’
Playing in the college soccer heyday at UCLA…
“Winning the national championship was one of the top moments for me at UCLA because people have to remember that I was the walk-on kid. It was something special. I never expected it. I never even expected to play college soccer. For that to happen, that was a pinnacle.”
What makes the Pac-12 so special…
“There’s a very good balance when you talk about the Pac-12. It’s about the sports, but it’s also about the education. I think that’s one thing that the Pac-12 makes sure to not forget or leave behind. It’s about being a good student- athlete. That’s important because that’s what it is all about. It makes for a well-rounded individual, and that’s what’s special about the Pac-12.”
How did UCLA prepare you for your career…
“I think UCLA prepared me because like I said, I was the walk-on so I had to fight for my position. It was an obstacle, and I had to overcome it. I had to depend upon myself within the group dynamics to find a way to succeed. Also, being a teammate. How to work with people to get the job done as a group. You’re working with people--not necessarily everyone you like--just like every job in the world. UCLA was a great campus, great atmosphere and great student body. Even to this day when I walk on campus, I’m just so amazed that I was able to participate at such a prestigious institution. It has changed a lot since I was there, but I still look back at it with fond memories because I did a lot of growing up at that time being on my own for the first time.”
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