Head Coach Guy Neal
Email Head Coach Guy Neal at: email@example.com
Led by 17-year head coach Guy Neal, the Bluffton University men's basketball program continues to produce successful student-athletes, both on and off the court. Neal installs a positive attitude and work ethic that is evident both on game nights and in the classroom.
Neal is now the winningest coach in the history of Bluffton University men's basketball. With a 169-242 record Neal looks to improve on the win column during the 2005-06 season. He surpassed the previous mark of 150 wins held by Glenn Snyder (1968-75) on December 29th 2003, in a 76-70 overtime win against Lake Erie College. With 14 wins last season Neal notched his 11th season with 10 or more wins. He has now topped Hall of Fame coach Glenn Snyder for the most 10-plus win seasons in the history of Bluffton basketball.
Neal had coaching experience at both the high school and college 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 fall 1989. Before his stint at B-W, Neal served as an assistant coach at Ashland High School (1983-84) and Van Wert High School (1984-85).
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 schools' previous 24 seasons. Neal equaled that number is his first nine seasons and he has directed four of Bluffton's top eight teams in the 87 seasons of basketball in school history.
In 1991-92, Neal's third season at Bluffton, he took 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 championships game three seasons later in 1994-95.
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 season of his collegiate career.
As a player at BGSU, Neal was a member of the 1980-81 squad that won the Mid-American Conference championship. Two seasons later in 1982-83 as a graduate assistant Neal helped coach the Falcons to another MAC title. Neal has made two trips to the National Invitational Tournament during his career-as a player in 1980 and as a graduate assistant in 1983.
Coach Neal is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. He is an assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation at Bluffton and has other coaching experience at Bluffton with the men's tennis and soccer programs.
Neal lives in Bluffton with his wife, Diane, who serves as an assistant professor of education at Bluffton University. 19-year-old daughter Erin is a freshman volleyball player for Muskingum while 15-year-old son Tyler attends Bluffton High School.
Assistant Coach Blake Kindle
Blake Kindle returns for the 2005-06 basketball season as an assistant coach for the Beavers.
Kindle, who spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio Northern University, brings with him 16 years of coaching experience 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 masters of sports science.
Kindle was 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 H.S., Kindle accepted his first varsity head coaching position at Waynesfield-Goshen H.S. 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 H.S. 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 took the team 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 that 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, 12, and Konner, 10.
Assistant Coach Marcus Bixler
Bixler comes to the staff with two years of coaching experience. As a varsity assistant basketball coach at CareyHigh School, Bixler gained valuable knowledge about coaching. He continues to stay involved at Carey as a junior high math teacher while bringing enthusiasm and heart to the Bluffton program.
Becoming acquainted with the Bluffton basketball family did not prove difficult for Bixler who was a standout player for the Beavers from 1999-2003. He was a team captain for two years and was selected to the All-Heartland Conference team as a senior. Bixler holds the Bluffton single-game record for assists with 13.
Bixler attended FranklinMonroeHigh School. He set Ohio high school state records for the most assists in a single game with 21 and average assists per-game at 11.1 for a season.