Brian Neal is entering his second season as the head coach of the Xavier University's women's basketball team, and his fifth season overall with the Musketeers.
Neal, who was named interim head coach of the women's basketball team on Oct. 9, 2013, was named the program's seventh head coach by Director of Athletics Greg Christopher on Nov. 7 , 2013.
Neal replaced Amy Waugh, who resigned after a two-year tenure with the Musketeers.
"This transition has made it clear Brian is the right person for Xavier Women's Basketball," said Xavier Director of Athletics Greg Christopher. "Brian is a winner with tremendous success as a head coach and his steady hand has been an important part of the rebuilding process. Our goal is to return Xavier Women's Basketball to national excellence. In conversations with a variety of people throughout women's basketball, it was clear we had the right leader already on staff. We're excited to let Brian and the team run hard toward building a BIG EAST championship caliber program."
Neal, who spent the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as an assistant with Xavier, will be in his first season as a Division I head coach. Prior to joining Xavier, Neal was head coach of Thomas More's women's program for seven years. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Neal has also served as an assistant coach at NKU and Wilmington minor. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in sport administration at Xavier.
Neal posted a 171-31 (.847) overall record in seven seasons at the helm of the Thomas More women's basketball program. He recorded six consecutive 20-win seasons at TMC and guided the Saints to five consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) championships. Neal is a four-time recipient of the PAC Coach of the Year Award (2006, 08, 10, 11) and was twice named the Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year (2008 and 11).
The Saints made five straight NCAA Championship appearances under Neal. During the 2010-11 season TMC earned the school's first-ever No. 1 ranking, posted program's second undefeated regular season in four years and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Division III Championship for the second time in three seasons and fourth overall. In March of 2011 Neal was named the Russell Athletics/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region Six Division III Coach of the Year.
Before taking over the reins at Thomas More, Neal was an assistant coach at Northern Kentucky University, his alma mater, for six seasons under head coach Nancy Winstel. While there, the Norse compiled a six-year win/loss record of 156-36 (.813), advancing to the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship each season with the school's first-ever national championship coming in 2000. NKU also made four appearances in the Elite Eight and two in the national championship game, with the last coming in 2003. In addition, the Norse also won four Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) regular-season titles and two GLVC tournament championships.
Prior to his stint at NKU, Neal began his coaching career with six seasons at the Division III level as an assistant at Wilmington College from 1992-98. With the Quakers, he was an assistant under head coach Jerry Scheve for a team that posted back-to-back 20-win campaigns in his final two seasons.
Neal graduated from Northern Kentucky University in May of 1991 with a bachelor's degree in journalism with an English minor. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in sport administration at Xavier.
Neal and his wife, Amy, reside in Taylor Mill, Ky., with their four children, Allison, Madison, Emma and Maxwell.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT NEAL: "Brian is a winner with tremendous success as a head coach and his steady hand has been an important part of the rebuilding process. In conversations with leaders throughout women's basketball, it was clear we had the right leader already on staff. We're excited to let Brian and the team run hard toward building a BIG EAST championship caliber program." - Greg Christopher, Xavier University Director of Athletics
"Brian is both a student of the game and an excellent teacher. He has been a successful head coach and he will do great things at Xavier." - Karl Smesko, Florida Gulf Coast Women's Basketball Head Coach
"I'm just so happy and proud of Brian. He is definitely one of the good guys. He's put the time and work into this and definitely deserves this great opportunity. I personally think he will do a great job and Xavier is very fortunate to have him." - Nancy Winstel, Former Northern Kentucky Women's Basketball Head Coach
THE NEAL FILE
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE: Assistant Coach at Wilmington College (1992-98); Assistant Coach at Northern Kentucky University (1998-2004); Head Coach at Thomas More College (2004-11); Assistant Coact at Xavier University (2011-13); Head Coach at Xavier University (2013-Present).
COACHING RECORD: 87-61 in six seasons as head coach at Wilmington College (1992-98); 156-36 in six seasons as an assistant at Northern Kentucky University (1998-2004); 171-31 in seven seasons as head coach at Thomas More College (2004-11); 21-36 in two seasons as an assistant at Xavier University (2011-13); 8-23 in one season as head coach at Xavier University (2013-Present).
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in Journalism with an English minor from Northern Kentucky in 1991; currently pursuing a master's degree in Sport Administration from Xavier University.
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: 2007 NCAA Division III Tournament, 2008 NCAA Division III Second Round, 2009 NCAA Division III Sweet 16, 2010 NCAA Division III Second Round, 2011 NCAA Division III Sweet 16.
NEAL'S CAREER HONORS & AWARDS
THOMAS MORE COLLEGE | Division III | Head Coach Four-time President's Athletic Conference (PAC) Coach of the Year (2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) Two-time Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year (2008, 2011) 2011 Russell Athletics/WBCA Region Six Division II Coach of the Year Five Consecutive PAC Championships Five Consecutive NCAA Championship Appearances Five Consecutive Postseason Tournament Appearances Earned the Program's First-Ever No. 1 Ranking in 2010-11 Earned a Appearances in the 2009 and 2011 DIII Sweet 16
NORTHERN KENTUCKY | Division II | Asst. Coach 2000 Division II National Champions; Progam's First Five Consecutive Postseason Tournament Appearances Four Great Lakes Valley Conference Regular Season Titles Two Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Titles