Transcripts from all four schools leading up to the regional this weekend.
Ty Neal is in his eighth season with the Indiana baseball team. Over his time at Indiana, he has shown a strong ability to teach all aspects of 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 is also the team's recruiting coordinator, and has helped recruit 16 undrafted players out of high school that turned into Major League Baseball Draft Picks from 2008-10.
Neal placed two Hoosier hurlers on the All-Big Ten team last season, guiding Jonny Hoffman to first team honors and Joey DeNato (third team) to his second straight all-conference recognition.
His tutelage on the mound flashed in 2011 with freshman Joey DeNato earning First Team All-Big Ten honors, the only freshman in the conference to do so. Other Neal hurlers made big splashes as well, including: closer Ryan Halstead tying the school record for most saves in a season and Blake Monar getting selected in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals.
The 2012 freshman class was yet another talent-laden group brought to Bloomington with the help of Neal's recruitment. The group included 40th round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds, Sam Travis, Illinois High School Athlete of the Year Chris Sujka and a pair of Cincinnati natives which made immediate impacts in Kyle Schwarber and Kyle Hart. Travis earned Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors while Schwarber joined him as Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans. Hart jumped immediately into the weekend rotation from start to finish as a frosh.
The Hoosiers' 2011 recruiting class was one of the best in his tenure, as it included 16 players, including a high school All-American (Joey DeNato) and a 36th round MLB Draft choice (Ryan Halstead).
In 2010, the Hoosiers' recruiting class featured Freshman All-American Micah Johnson, who smashed 11 home runs in his debut season. Johnson gave the Hoosiers three straight years with Freshman All-America selections, joining Alex Dickerson (2009) and Jerrud Sabourin (2008).
The 2009 team saw strong defensive improvement on the infield under Neal's tutelage, as the Hoosiers improved their fielding percentage by eight points from the season before. In conference play the numbers were even more impressive, as IU finished with a .967 fielding percentage in Big Ten games. Indiana followed that up with another .960 overall fielding percentage in 2010, and again improved in conference play with a .962 percentage against Big Ten foes.
In 2009, as Indiana won its first Big Ten Championship since 1996, Neal saw his first class of recruits form the core of IU's NCAA Tournament team. As juniors, the Hoosiers had two of the top pitchers in the conference - Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Year Eric Arnett and Second Team All-Big Ten honoree Matt Bashore - to go along with a talented group of offensive juniors that led the Hoosiers through a magnificent Big Ten Tournament run.
After the 2009 season was completed, that junior class showed its pro potential, as three Hoosiers (Arnett, Bashore and Josh Phegley) were chosen in the first 50 selections of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. IU was the only school in the nation to have three players chosen in the top 50. The Hoosiers went on to have a school-record seven players selected in the draft, all of which Neal played a key role in bringing to Bloomington.
Indiana's incoming freshman class in 2009 was also one of the best in the conference, as Baseball America rated it the top class in the Big Ten. The newcomers lived up to expectations during the season, as Big Ten Freshman of the Year Alex Dickerson and unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection Blake Monar were two of the top freshmen in school history for the Hoosiers. Dickerson, the first IU player to take home Freshman of the Year honors, set a school freshman record with 14 home runs and his 57 RBI were just two off the mark by an IU freshman.
The Hoosiers saw a strong corps commit to Indiana for the 2010 season, as some of the most talented players in the country signed on to join the Hoosier program. Top athletes from California (Jonny Hoffman) and Texas (Trace Knoblauch) joined the IU family in the fall as Indiana now is represented by 10 different states on its 2010 roster. The Hoosiers also kept one of the top in-state athletes at home, as Indianapolis' Micah Johnson spurned Arizona to come to Bloomington.
Neal saw a talent-laden group commit to join the Hoosiers for the 2008 season, as IU had three signee pitchers (Brock Huntzinger, Chris Jones and Kyle Leiendecker) taken in the 2007 MLB Entry Draft, with Leiendecker coming to Bloomington after being a 25th-round selection of the Cleveland Indians. Additionally, freshman Ethan Wilson - a Chicago White Sox draftee in 2010 - had a strong debut season for IU, overcoming a pair of injuries in his senior year and fall ball to hit .292.
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, with Keith Weiser earning a spot on the Mid-American Conference's (MAC) first team, while John Ely and Graham Taylor secured second team selections.
Prior to his stint at Miami, Neal spent the 2004 season at the University of Cincinnati and the previous three seasons at Southern Illinois University. He was a member of the coaching staff at Miami during the 2000 campaign, 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. During his coaching career, Neal has mentored 18 pitchers who have been drafted in the first 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft.
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 graduated from Miami in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in health and sport studies. He and his wife, Christine, live in Bloomington with their two sons, Silas and Beckett.
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