|Alma Mater:||Anderson, Ind. ('08)|
|Undergraduate Degree:||(B.A.) Secondary Education|
|Postgraduate Degree:||(M.A.) Organizational Leadership|
Neal Young was named the 16th head coach in Covenant men's basketball history in August of 2017. The 2019-20 season will be Young's third at the helm of the Covenant program.
Young came to Covenant after spending four years as head coach at Goshen (Ind.) College. In addition to his head coaching role at Goshen, Young was an associate athletic director for compliance.
"I would like to thank Tim Sceggel, Dr. Brad Voyles, President Dr. J. Derek Halvorson and the Board of Trustees for this incredible opportunity to lead the Covenant College men's basketball program," Young said at the time of his hiring. "I think the program is in a great spot and I know that I will be standing on the shoulders of former coaches Kyle Taylor and Arte Culver who have done a great job in setting our current team up for success."
In year two of the Young era, Covenant raised the bar for the program. Young was named USA South Coach of the Year after leading the Scots to a USA South West Division regular season title, the first conference regular season crown for the program in 55 years. The Scots finished 18-9 overall, setting a program record for winning percentage, and 16-2 in the USA South. The team featured USA South Player of the Year, and NABC All-America selection, Will Crumly.
In his first year at Covenant, Young set a program record for wins by a first-year head coach as he guided the Scots to an 18-10 overall record, tying a program record for winning percentage, and a trip to the USA South Tournament championship game. During the year, the Scots went on an eight-game winning streak, the longest in the NCAA era, and won double-digit conference games for the second time in three seasons.
Young's teams have been voted as the USA South Team Sportsmanship Award recipient in each of his first two seasons.
"I believe that Covenant offers a truly unique opportunity for a prospective recruit who is interested in competing at a high level athletically and receiving a top-notch education all while being pushed and supported to grow spiritually," added Young. "Covenant College is committed to the discipleship of its students at a level that I have yet to encounter anywhere else. I believe some of the great Christian leaders of the next generation are our current and future students."
"Neal's name quickly rose to the top of our search due to his proven ability as a head coach in discipleship, recruiting, and pursuing excellence on the court," Sceggel said. "His advanced experience integrating his faith into his coaching was particularly compelling. As a result, we are thrilled to have Neal lead the men's basketball program."
Young had success leading Goshen, an NAIA Division II member. His 2015-16 team recorded its second double-digit victory season in 46 years of Crossroads League basketball. Goshen went 19-13 overall and 10-8 in league play, hosting a CL tournament game for the first time since 2005, and produced an NAIA All-American in the process. This past year, the Maple Leafs toppled No. 1-ranked University of St. Francis for the program's first-ever win over a top-ranked opponent.
"A thank you is also in order to my former administration, former assistants and former players at Goshen," added Young. "It was their initial belief in me, hard work for me, and buy-in to me that allowed us to have the success we had at Goshen and helped open the door for this opportunity at Covenant."
Continued Young, "I would also like to publicly thank and acknowledge my wife of nine years, Maggie," added Young. "She has been steadfast in her support of my passion to disciple young men through basketball from the time I was coaching freshman boys basketball in empty gyms, to my years as an assistant coach making just enough to get by, to the ups and downs we experienced at Goshen in my first chance to lead a program, to this amazing opportunity to Covenant. She is simultaneously the best recruit I have ever signed as well as the best assistant I have ever had and I would not be able to do what I do without her."
The head coaching position at Goshen was Young's second stint at the institution as he also served as the associate head coach of the program for three seasons from 2008-11. Young also was an assistant coach at Lewis University from 2011-13 where he helped the Flyers to 36 wins in two seasons. He coached a pair of All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selections, while assisting Lewis to the 2012 NCAA Division II Tournament.
Prior to joining the college ranks, Young coached for a season at Anderson Highland High School.
Young earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education from Anderson (Ind.) University in 2008, where he was also a three-year member of the men's basketball program. Young gained a master's degree in organizational leadership from Lewis University in 2013.
Young will take over a Covenant program that has produced consecutive winning seasons for just the second time in team history. The Scots look to return four starters and have brought in a talented recruiting class. Three of those four starters were key contributors on Covenant's NCAA Tournament team in 2016.
"My mission in taking over at Covenant will be the same that it has always been. We will create a culture of selflessness and fearlessness that will attract passionate, competitive, like-minded players who are bought into being pushed in every aspect of who they are," Young said. "I believe this culture is one that will produce teams who win on the court but more importantly men who go on to win as followers of Christ, husbands, dads, professionals, and disciple-makers."
Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education (Anderson, Ind., '08)
Master of Arts, Organizational Leadership (Lewis, '13)
Highland High School - Boys Freshman Head Coach/Varsity Assistant Coach (2007-08)
Goshen College - Associate Head Coach (2008-11)
Lewis University - Assistant Coach (2011-13)
Goshen College - Head Coach (2013-17)
Year-by-Year Coaching Records (2013-17 at Goshen; 2017-present at Covenant):
2013-14: 5-25, 2-16 Crossroads
2014-15: 15-16, 8-10 Crossroads
2015-16: 19-13, 10-8 Crossroads
2016-17: 10-20, 3-15 Crossroads
2017-18: 18-10, 10-6 USA South
2018-19: 18-9, 16-2 USA South (USA South West Division regular season champions; USA South Coach of the Year)
Overall: 85 wins, 93 losses in six seasons (36-19 at Covenant)