Last updated on Jan. 21, 2011
Neal spent the 2008 season coaching the hitters, catchers and outfielders at Illinois State.
In 2009, he guided catcher Mark Kelly to All-MVC honorable mention accolades, as Kelley led the team in hitting for the third consecutive season.
Over the course of his tenure at SIU, he helped guide catcher/designated hitter Tyler Bullock to 31 career home runs, which ranks second in school history.
Neal entered the coaching ranks after an impressive collegiate baseball career at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill. He was a four-year starter at catcher, leading the Beavers to 20 or more wins in each of his four seasons.
A two-time first-team All-Conference performer, Neal led Blackburn to no worse than a second-place finish in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Beavers also won a conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2004.
In his final season (2007), Neal hit a team-high .394 with one home run and 25 driven in. He also led the squad in hits (61), runs (36), doubles (14), slugging percentage (.503) and stolen bases (22). In addition to his all-conference accolades, Neal was named to the NCAA Division III All-Central Region second team.
A native of Decatur, Ill., Neal owns the Blackburn College all-time career records in hits (166), runs (120) and batting average (.363).
Neal graduated with a bachelor's degree in sports management from Blackburn in 2007. He is currently working on his master's in kinesiology at SIU.
A 2002 graduate of Decatur Eisenhower High School, Neal (27) resides in Murphysboro.