2008-09 Men's Basketball
Head Coach Guy Neal
Contact info for Coach Neal
Office phone: 419-358-3222
As head coach Guy Neal enters his 20th season, the Bluffton University men's basketball
program continues to produce successful student-athletes, both on and off the court.
Neal instills a positive attitude and work ethic that is evident both on game nights
and in the classroom.
Neal is the winningest coach in the history of Bluffton University men's basketball. With a 217-272 record, Neal looks to build on the success of the 2007-08 squad. He surpassed the previous mark of 150 wins held by Glenn Snyder (1967-85) on Dec. 29, 2003, in a 76-70 overtime win against Lake Erie College. With 13 wins last season, Neal notched his 14th season with 10 or more wins.
Neal had coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate level before coming
to Bluffton. He was an assistant coach at Baldwin-Wallace College from 1985 through
1989 before taking over the reigns of the Bluffton program in the fall of 1989. Before
his stint at B-W, Neal served as an assistant coach at Ashland High School and Van
Wert High School.
When Neal arrived at Bluffton University in the fall of 1989, he took over a program that had collected just four winning records in the school's previous 24 seasons. Neal equaled that number is his first nine seasons and has directed seven of Bluffton's top 11 teams in the 89 seasons of basketball in school history.
In 1991-92, Neal's third season at Bluffton, he guided Bluffton to the runner-up spot in the Association of Mideast Colleges and was named the AMC Coach of the Year. Bluffton's 16-10 record that season marked a plus-12 turnaround in wins from the previous season, a mark that drew national recognition as well. Neal took the Beavers back to the AMC championship game three seasons later in 1994-95. He was recognized by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference as the Coach of the Year following the 2000-01 campaign when he guided Bluffton to a 16-9 record and a second place finish in the HCAC.
Following the Beavers' record-breaking 2006-07 campaign, Neal collected his second HCAC Coach of the Year award. For the third consecutive year, the Beavers reached the semi-finals of the Heartland Conference tournament. Bluffton was a perfect 12-0 in Founders Hall on its way to a tie for second place in the HCAC regular season. The Beavers' 18 wins equaled the most ever by a men's basketball team at Bluffton. In addition, Neal directed the HCAC Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons, as Mike Anthony took home the top individual honor in the conference.
Neal is a graduate of Wellington High School, in Ohio, where he earned 10 varsity
letters in football, basketball and baseball from 1973 through 1977. He is the school's
third highest all-time scorer and was the first to score 1,000 points in a career.
Following high school, Neal played his freshman season at the University of North
Carolina-Charlotte before transferring to Bowling Green State University for the final
three seasons of his collegiate career.
Neal lives in Bluffton with his wife, Diane, who serves as an assistant professor of education at Bluffton University. Twenty-two-year-old daughter Erin is a senior volleyball player for Muskingum College, while eighteen-year-old son Tyler attends Bluffton High School.
Assistant Coach Blake Kindle
Contact info for Coach Kindle
Office phone: 419-358-3424
Blake Kindle returns for the 2008-09 basketball season as an assistant coach for the Beavers. He also serves as the head coach for the men's tennis team at Bluffton. Kindle, who spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University, brings with him 19 years of coaching experience, including six at Bluffton University, and a history of rapid improvement by the teams that he has coached.
"When the opportunity opened up here, it was a Godsend," said Kindle. "I had just finished my master's degree, so I was looking to find a full-time position and the doors just opened at the right time."
A graduate of Upper Scioto Valley High School, Kindle earned a bachelor of science in physical education from Ohio State University in 1987. He performed graduate work at Ohio University and the University of Rio Grande before graduating in 2002 from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala., with a master's of sports science.
Kindle had been familiar with the Bluffton program and Coach Neal for some time. "I've known Coach Neal for about 10 years," said Kindle. "He recruited some of my players when I coached high school basketball, so I was familiar with his program. He is highly respected in the profession and I tried to steer my players towards Bluffton."
After stints as an eighth grade coach at Upper Scioto Valley and a junior varsity coach at Alexander High School, Kindle accepted his first varsity head coaching position at Waynesfield-Goshen High School in August of 1994. After a 3-17 record the year before his arrival, Kindle posted an 11-10 record at W-G in his first season. In his second season, he guided the team to a 17-3 finish and a West Central Ohio Conference championship, earning Coach of the Year honors in both the WCOC and District 8. At Waynesfield-Goshen, Kindle coached Lott Carter, who was named the 1996 WCOC Player of the Year and went on to enjoy a successful career at Bluffton in Coach Neal's program.
Kindle then moved on to Division I Anthony Wayne High School for two seasons, where the improvement was even greater. A year before Kindle's arrival the team won just two games, but in his first season he led the Generals to a 12-11 overall record and a sectional title. In his second year he guided Anthony Wayne to an 18-2 record and league championship and was named the Coach of the Year in the Northern Lakes League, District 7 and Northwest Ohio District.
Kindle's ideals match up with those of Coach Neal very well.
"When you think about Coach Neal and the program at Bluffton - disciplined, organized, focused and intense are words that come to mind," said Kindle. "That's the way the game needs to be played."
Kindle lives in Ada with his wife, Lori, and sons Kort, 15, and Konner, 13.
Assistant Coach Jon Cook
|Jon Cook returns for his third season as an assistant coach for the Bluffton University men's basketball team after 13 years as a coach and athletics administrator at the high school level. In 1998 while teaching at Ada, Cook, along with current Bluffton head women's coach Chad Shutler, served as an assistant under Coach Neal at Bluffton University.|
Cook graduated from Upper Scioto Valley High School in 1990, and completed a bachelor of arts in history from Ohio Northern University in 1995. He served as the student assistant coach for four years, during which time ONU won the NCAA Division III national championship in 1993. He earned his master of sport science degree in sport management from the United States Sports Academy (Daphne, Alabama) in 2002.
He began his career in coaching as the junior varsity boys coach at Ada High School during his final year of college, and then at the age of 23 was named varsity head coach for the 1995-96 season. After just four wins in his first year, Ada went 16-7 in 1996-97 and won the first of two consecutive sectional championships. In recognition of the turnaround, Cook was selected to coach the East team in the District 8 All-Star game.
After a two-year stint as the head basketball coach and athletics director at Jackson Center High School, Cook returned to his alma mater, Upper Scioto Valley, where he spent two seasons on the basketball coaching staff and one year as the director of athletics. He is currently in his sixth year as the school's Director of Student Services.
Coach Cook lives outside Kenton with his wife, Alicia, daughter, Marin, 8, and son, Micah, 5.