Neale Richardson was named Head Coach of Bobcat Baseball in July 2014. Richardson holds a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University and a Bachelors and Masters degree in Education/Physical Education from Missouri State University.
Richardson is well known in the Ozarks area, having served the past 19 years in the Forsyth R-III Public School system as a high school principal, assistant principal, physical education teacher, coach and athletic director. Richardson’s on-field experience includes coaching high school baseball from 1996-2009 in Forsyth and 1985-1995 in Seymour, as well as playing at North Arkansas Community Technical College from 1980-1982. As a high school coach, Richardson compiled a successful overall record of 552-217-1 and was inducted into the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Following his retirement from Forsyth Schools in June 2014, Richardson sought to pursue his dream of coaching college baseball and is excited about leading the Bobcats. He states, “I know College of the Ozarks well and the reputation of Hard Work U. I feel that I am a perfect fit for what College of the Ozarks represents. I have strong Christian values and believe that hard work and character are what define a person. I have based my entire career on these beliefs.”
The College looks forward to a successful year ahead for the Bobcats under Richardson’s leadership.
Steve Lael is the first-year Assistant Baseball Coach at College of the Ozarks. Similar to Head Coach Neale Richardson, Lael brings with him a wealth of experience on the high school diamond.
Lael graduated from Missouri Western State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and has been active in high school baseball ever since. Lael holds a career record of 444-221. While at Branson High School (1987-2011), his teams posted 10 conference and district championships and made four Final Four appearances. Lael was the driving force behind the start-up of the Branson American Legion Baseball Program in 1988 and has been involved as a coach with Pleasant Hope High School, Hillcrest High School, Hillcrest American Legion Baseball, Mickey Owens Baseball Camp, and the Dick Birmingham Baseball School.
His honors and awards include: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame - Hillcrest High School American Legion Program (Inducted 2014); Missouri State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame (Inducted 2002), and Lincoln Land Community College Athletic Hall of Fame (Inducted 1993).
Having once been adversaries on the high school diamond, Coaches Richardson and Lael look to team up this season, combining their talents to continue building the College’s baseball program.