Athletics News

Derek Neal
Derek Neal

Pekin, Ill.

High School:
Pekin Community

Assoc. Dir. of Communications / Dir. of Social Media

Alma Mater:
Augustana College (Ill.) '02

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Derek Neal is in his 11th season as a full-time member of the Illinois sports information office and 13th year overall in 2014-15. He was named an assistant director of athletic communications in July of 2004 after serving as a sports information intern for two years. He was promoted to associate director in 2013 and added the title of Director of Social Media in 2014.

Neal handles publicity efforts and serves as a media liaison for the Fighting Illini football program and assists with publicity for the men's basketball team. He also served as social media coordinator for the athletic department for four years before being elevated to Director of Social Media in 2014. Neal manages the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for Fighting Illini Athletics, and Facebook and Twitter pages for Fighting Illini Football and men's basketball, while overseeing the social media pages for all 19 sports. Neal coordinates photography and archiving for the DIA as well.

Neal is in his 10th season working with the football team and his fourth with men's basketball. During his time in intercollegiate athletics, Neal has assisted with publicity efforts for the 2008 Rose Bowl, 2010 Texas Bowl and 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl football teams and the 2005 Final Four basketball team. He also coordinated media efforts for the 2005 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, the 2004 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships and the 2001 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.

Neal previously served as the sports information contact for Fighting Illini women's basketball (2004-11), baseball (2004-05), soccer (2002-04) and men's and women's gymnastics (2002-04).

A native of Pekin, Ill., Neal earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., in 2002. While at Augie, Neal was a four-year letterwinner for the Viking track and field team and worked as an assistant in the sports information office. Neal is a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).

Derek and his wife, Emily, were married in June 2014 and reside in Savoy, Ill.

Updated September 2014