Neal is an exercise physiologist and elite coach with experience applying both the art and science to sport and exercise. He was inspired to enter the field of sport science by a visit to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as a teenager.
Neal also sought to improve his own athletic experiences by applying science to the sports in which he competed. Neal earned his bachelor's of science degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University. After graduation, he began working as a strength and conditioning coach for the Colorado Avalanche's AHL affiliate - the Hershey Bears.
Neal came to Boulder to continue his studies at the University of Colorado. He earned his master's of science degree in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology and worked in CU's Human Performance Laboratory.
While at CU, Neal coached the University of Colorado Triathlon Team to two consecutive USA Triathlon National Collegiate Championships and in 1999 was selected to coach the USAT Collegiate National Team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Since 2006, he coached the USAT elite winter triathlon team at the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships.
A competitive athlete since a young age, Neal has experience in many sports. He grew up playing soccer and baseball, but moved on to track and field and swimming in high school. He competed in an Olympic Developmental decathlon his freshman year at Penn State before switching to triathlon. He has raced in hundreds of endurance contests from cyclocross and snowshoe races, to marathons and Ironman triathlons.
Neal competed internationally as a professional triathlete for four years, and was the top American finisher at the 2002 and 2003 ITU Winter Triathlon (run, mountain bike, cross-country ski) World Championships. He is an accomplished XTERRA triathlete and won the silver medal in his age-group at the 1998 XTERRA World Championship and was the overall amateur champion at the 1999 Keystone XTERRA triathlon prior to turning pro in 2000. He is also a competitive road and mountain bike racer, placing 3rd among Cat 3 racers at the 2005 Colorado State Time Trial. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters when not training and racing.
- Master of Science - Kinesiology & Applied Physiology - University of Colorado, 1999
- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist - National Strength and Conditioning Association, 1997
- Bachelor of Science - Exercise & Sport Science - Penn State University, 1995
- National Strength and Conditioning Association - CSCS
- American College of Sports Medicine
- Past-President - Rocky Mountain Regional Chapter, 2005-2006
- USA Triathlon – Elite Certified Coach
- Member - National Coaching Commission
- USA Cycling - Level 3 Coach
"Physiologic Responses to Cycling in Biomechanically Adapted Versus Traditional Cycling Shoes", NA Henderson, T Hilden, JF Hurley, PM Kammermeier. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2003 Vol. 35, Number 5; Supplement1; S16.
"Fruit consumption, fitness, and cardiovascular health in female adolescents: the Penn State Young Women's Health Study" T Lloyd, VM Chinchilli, N Rollings, K Kieselhorst, DF Tregea, NA Henderson, and LI Sinoway. Am J Clin Nutr 1998: 67:624-630.
- Taylor Phinney - 2009 UCI 4K IP World Champion, 2008 Olympian (7th in 4K Individual Pursuit), 2008 UCI Junior 3K IP World Champion, 2007 UCI Junior Time Trial World Champion, 2007 & 2008 Elite 4K Pursuit National Champion
- Trish Downing - Paralympic Developmental Triathlete; 2005 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year - Triathlon, first handcyclist to finish and Ironman-distance triathlon (Redman Triathlon 2005)
- Jane Finsterwald - 2006 UCI World Champion - Cross Country MTB, 40+ yrs; 4-time NORBA National Champion Cross Country Mountain Biking
- Curtis Leschyshyn - 16 year NHL Veteran; 2005 Colorado State Time Trial Champion - Cat 4; Winner Roubaix Road Race and North Boulder Criterium - 2005 Boulder Stage Race, Cat 4
- Jason Hodgson - Winner 2005 Super Bowl 5K - Denver, CO; 27th Place 2005 USATF 10K Road Racing Championships (31:03)