2013-14 Men's Basketball
Head Coach Guy Neal
Contact info for Coach Neal
Office phone: 419-358-3222
As head coach Guy Neal enters his 25th 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 276-341 record, Neal looks to build on the success the Beavers have had over the past seven seasons. 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 11 wins in 2012-13, Neal notched his 18th 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 eight of Bluffton's top 12 teams in the 90 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. His 2008-09 seniors posted the most wins ever by a class of men's basketball players at Bluffton.
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.
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 lead 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. 27-year-old daughter Erin served as the graduate assistant volleyball coach at Bluffton University for two years before taking over as the head coach at Bluffton High School, while 22-year-old son Tyler was a four-year member of the men's basketball team at Bluffton University.
Assistant Coach Taylor Roth
Contact info for Coach Roth
Office phone: 419-358-3424
Taylor Roth is entering his first season as an assistant men's basketball coach at Bluffton University after spending the previous season at Alfred University. At Alfred, he worked closely with the post players, handled all film exchange and managed the recruiting database. Roth also played a significant role in practice implementation, individual skill development, recruiting and opponent preparation. Prior to Alfred, Roth spent one year as an assistant men's basketball coach at his alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University.
Roth graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in 2012 with a B.A. in health and physical education. He played four years of varsity basketball for the Yellow Jackets and was a team captain during his senior season. Roth will be living in Bluffton while working towards an M.B.A. in sports management.
Assistant Coach Joe Braidic
Assistant Coach Mark Bollinger
Mark Bollinger joins the Bluffton coaching staff after serving as an assistant coach at Ohio Wesleyan University for almost five seasons. He was also the head coach at Piedmont College for one season. Bollinger helped lead OWU to two NCAA Tournament appearances, coached two All-Americans, two North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year recipients and 13 all-conference selections. The Battling Bishops won the 2013 NCAC Tournament Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to joining the collegiate coaching ranks, Bollinger served as the head boys basketball coach at River Valley High School in Marion. He guided River Valley to the school's only "Sweet 16" appearance in the last 37 seasons. He led the Vikings to a district title, a district runner-up, four sectional crowns, and two league titles during his tenure. Bollinger received multiple honors during his time at River Valley. He was named the Associated Press Ohio Coach of the Year on one occasion and selected as the Associated Press Central District and the Ohio High School Coaches Association District 11 Coach of the Year on two occasions. Bollinger was named the inaugural winner of the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year Award and was also chosen to coach in the Ohio North-South All-Star game.
Bollinger earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo in Communications. He continued his education, receiving a master's degree in education from The Ohio State University. Bollinger and his wife Melissa have three boys - Bryce, Carson, and Weston.