“I am excited to take on the responsibilities as head coach of the Chargers." Neal said. "I believe a coach’s highest priority should be the success of their Student-Athletes on the court, in the classroom, and especially in the game of life after they obtain their degrees.
“Since 1966, the Charger basketball team has been developing young men to be successful both on and off the basketball court," Neal continued. "I have been blessed with the opportunity to play for and learn from successful head coaches which has prepared me to continue to build on the Charger’s legacy of developing successful Student-Athletes. Thanks to my experience as both a former student athlete and Division I coach, I feel as though I could not be more prepared to take on this position."
Neal spent nine years as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the men’s basketball program at Jacksonville University in Florida. While at Jacksonville, Neal recruited the key players who led the Dolphins to back-to-back Atlantic Sun regular season conference titles in 2009 and 2010, 3 consecutive postseason births, and posted upsets over nationally ranked Florida, Auburn, and Arizona State. He also recruited four of the Top 20 scorers in the history of Jacksonville basketball including 3-time Atlantic Sun All-Conference Selection, Ben Smith and 2-time Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year, Ayron Hardy. Neal’s influence is still felt on the Jacksonville roster having recruited 3 of their current starters, Jairus Holder, Marcel White, and 2015 Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Selection, Antwon Clayton.
Preceding his time at Jacksonville, Neal also coached at the University of Southern California and Loyola Marymount University in California. During his time at USC, Neal helped develop All-Pac-10 First Team Selections and future NBA Draft Picks, Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt. Among the players he coached at Loyola Marymount were 2003 West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Sherman Gay, guard Charles Brown, who led the WCC in steals in 2003 and 2004, 2-time First Team All-WCC Power Forward Matthew Knight, 2004 WCC All-Freshmen Selection Damian Martin, and forward Brandon Worthy, a 2003 WCC honorable mention All-WCC performer.
The Greenville, GA, native was a four-year letter winner in basketball at Georgia Tech from 1999-2002, where he earned a reputation as a hard-working student-athlete. He was named team co-captain for his senior season in 2002 and earned Georgia Tech basketball's Iron Athlete Award in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Neal was also an ACC Academic Honor Roll selection in 2000 and 2001 and capped his four-year career by earning the Georgia Tech’s Mr. Hustle Award.
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