The University of Cincinnati baseball team hosted its sixth-annual First Pitch Reception on Feb. 11, 2016.
Ty Neal, who was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in college baseball, was named the University of Cincinnati's 27th baseball head coach on June 7, 2013.
Neal, a native of Southwest Ohio, spent the previous eight seasons at Indiana University as the program's top assistant and recruiting coordinator. Neal helped direct the Hoosiers to their first appearance at the College World Series in 2013.
He was previously an assistant for the Bearcats in 2004 and both played and coached at Miami (Ohio).
During his first two seasons at Cincinnati, Neal guided outfielder Ian Happ, arguably one of the best players in UC baseball history. After the 2015 season, Happ was drafted as the ninth-overall selection in the MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs, making him the highest draft pick in Cincinnati history. He was a seven-time All-America recipient as well as a Capital One First Team Academic All-American. Happ was named the 2015 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, the first UC player to earn the honor since 2008.
In 2015, the Bearcats upset No. 6 UCF twice, winning the series 2-1 on April 2-4, 2015 at Marge Schott Stadium. It marked the highest-ranked opponent UC has beaten on record and was the first series victory over a ranked opponent in program history.
The Bearcats finished with a 22-31 overall record in Neal’s first season at the helm of the Bearcats, including a 13-9 mark in games played at Marge Schott Stadium. He coached the Bearcats to a championship victory at the sixth annual Joe Nuxhall Classic, the first for UC since 2010.
During his first year, he coached three All-Conference selections, including first team All-American Athletic Conference pick Ian Happ and two third team picks in Justin Glass and Matt Williams.
Neal also tutored RHP Connor Walsh who was selected in the 12th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball first-year player draft by the Chicago White Sox.
In addition to the accomplishments on the field, the team earned high academic praise under Neal's tutelage. The Bearcats won the 2014 and 2015 American Athletic Conference Team Excellence Awards as the league team with the highest GPA, making UC the only school to ever win the honor.
Prior to Cincinnati, during Neal's eight seasons with the Hoosiers, he became known as one of the best teachers and recruiters in the game. He spent two years as the team's infield and third-base coach and oversaw all development of position players from 2009-10. In 2011, he returned to his duties as the team's pitching coach, a position he held from 2006-08. He was also IU's recruiting coordinator, and helped recruit 16 undrafted players out of high school that turned into Major League Baseball Draft Picks from 2008-10.
During his time at IU, the Hoosiers won a pair of Big Ten Conference Tournament titles, IU's first regular-season conference championship since 1949 and the first outright league title in 81 years. During Neal's tenure, Indiana advanced to a pair of NCAA Regionals, one NCAA Super Regional and a College World Series in 2013, the first in program history. Fifteen players earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors, eight were All-America selections, eight were freshmen All-America honorees, two were named league player of the year and one earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Year accolades.
During his coaching career at Indiana, Neal mentored 18 pitchers who were drafted in the first 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft.
Neal joined the Hoosiers after serving as the pitching coach under IU head coach Tracy Smith at Miami in 2005. That season, Neal guided Miami's staff to a 3.33 ERA, the 16th-best mark in the nation, as the team earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament and matched a school record with 45 victories (45-18 overall). The team's top three starters compiled a 26-3 mark, including a sparkling 2.77 ERA.
Prior to his stint at UC in 2004, Neal coached at Southern Illinois from 2001-03 and started his coaching career at Miami in 2000, when the RedHawks went 40-23 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
At Southern Illinois, Neal helped guide the Salukis to a pair of 30-win seasons in 2001 and 2002. The 2001 campaign marked the first time SIU had won 30 or more in a single season since 1990. He also helped the Salukis improve from eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2001 to third in 2003, including a runner-up finish in the MVC Tournament.
During the summer of 2002, Neal served as pitching coach for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Neal wrapped up his playing career at Miami as a four-year letterwinner, earning 19 career victories. As a senior, he served as a team captain and was presented with the RedHawk Award. He was also named an All-American by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Neal, a native of West Elkton, Ohio, graduated from Miami in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in health and sport studies. He and his wife, Christine, have two sons, Silas and Beckett and one daughter Paisley.