Among the best in the nation in both basketball and track and field, Michael C. G. Neer, '70, led Washington and Lee to success in two sports while earning a healthy share of accolades for himself, as well.
Neer, a native of Alexandria, Va., transferred to W&L as a sophomore and immediately began making an impact in the University's athletic program. At 6-foot-7, Neer was well-suited to success in basketball, where he was a consistent scorer and an uncanny rebounder, and in track, where he broke his own high jump records time and again.
Neer was part of some of the most successful W&L basketball teams ever. With Neer in the lineup, W&L won College Athletic Conference titles in 1968 and 1970. The Generals' three-year record during Neer's career was 54-19. A three-time All-State selection, Neer finished his career with 1,289 points and 1,003 rebounds, one of only two players in school history to surpass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for his career. He is 11th on the all-time W&L scoring list and third on the all-time W&L rebounding list. Neer owns the W&L records for most rebounds in a season, and his 29 rebounds in a game with Old Dominion in 1970 is still the school standard for single-game rebounds.
Although multi-talented in track, Neer focused his attention on the high jump and he went on to regional and national success. Neer's list of achievements includes CAC high jump titles in 1968, '69, and '70, as well as the National Jr. AAU Meet championship in 1968, the Colonial Relays title in 1969, the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional title in 1969 and NCAA All-America honors in 1969 and 1970. He set the high jump school record of 6 feet, 8 inches in 1969 and it remains in place today. Neer was named W&L's Most Valuable Senior Athlete upon his graduation.
He has since gone on to national success as a college basketball coach, leading his University of Rochester team to the NCAA Division III national championship in 1990. He was selected the 1990 Division III Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.