Former Xavier Head Coach Neal takes over at NAIA SEU

Southeastern University Director of Athletics Drew Watson has announced the hiring of Brian Neal as the next head coach of the Fire women’s basketball team.
The 30-year veteran coach comes to Lakeland with an impressive resume that includes time as a NCAA Division I head coach, multiple stops as a Division I assistant coach, NCAA III head coach. He was also on the bench during last year’s NAIA National Championship game as an assistant coach.
“Brian Neal is a proven winner,” said Watson. “More importantly, he is a man of faith who has a strong record of investing in student-athletes and building positive and productive team culture. He will be a great fit at Southeastern and is the right man to return our program to national prominence, the right way.”
Neal comes to SEU after serving as an assistant at Thomas More last season, helping the Saints to a 31-4 season. He spent the two prior seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Butler and spent a season at Eastern Illinois as an assistant coach.
“Southeastern is a special place and I’m humbled to join an institution with such rich academic and athletic traditions,” said Neal. “I want to thank President, Dr. Kent Ingle, Executive Vice President, Dr. Chris Owen, and Director of Athletics, Drew Watson, for their trust and support of me. I’m looking forward to leading the SEU Basketball Program and working to develop our student-athletes to their fullest potential on-and-off the court.”
Neal spent six seasons as the head coach at NCAA Division I Xavier University, taking on a rebuilding project and saw the team make one of the biggest improvements in the country, increasing the win total by 10 in his second season. Neal had spent the prior two seasons on staff as an assistant coach with the Musketeers.
During his first stint at Thomas More, Neal compiled a 171-31 overall record in seven seasons as the head coach, ranking sixth in NCAA Division III among active coaches in win percentage at .846. Six times in seven years, the Saints won 20 or more games. Additionally, Thomas More won five conference championships, and made two Sweet 16’s.
Neal is a four-time conference coach of the year and is a two-time Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year.  He and his wife, Amy, have been life-long residents of Northern Kentucky and have four children. 
He takes over a program that was 14-15 a year ago and advanced to The Sun Conference Tournament Championship game.

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