May 31, 2007

BERT O'NEAL RESIGNS AS ASSOCIATE FOOTBALL COACH AT W&L

LEXINGTON, Va. -- Bert O'Neal has resigned the position of associate football coach at Washington and Lee University effective June 30 to continue his education.

O'Neal will pursue an M.B.A. at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia this fall. It is a two-year program that includes an internship and exchange program, which may bring him back to the United States.

"I will always be thankful for the opportunity Washington and Lee and Coach (Frank) Miriello gave me three years ago," said O'Neal. "It has been a tremendous experience growing personally and professionally. Leaving these players and coaches was an extremely difficult move, but a decision that is necessary in accomplishing future goals for myself and my family. I have no doubts that the future of W&L football is a bright one and I look forward to watching these players and coaches continue to succeed."

A 2002 Washington and Lee graduate, O'Neal returned to Lexington prior to the 2004 season following two seasons as a graduate assistant football coach at Auburn University. During his three seasons with the team, W&L has set 25 individual and team offensive records, while going 20-11 overall and 13-5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. This all culminated during the 2006 season when W&L won its first ODAC title since 1985 and advanced to its first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament. O'Neal, who worked with the quarterbacks and receivers, was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2006 season.

"Bert arrived three years ago with limited coaching experience, but with a wealth of knowledge about offensive strategy and philosopy," said Head Coach Frank Miriello. "The Generals offense has been very productive during his short tenure, which is a testament to his coaching ability. Bert is definitely going to be missed and I wish him all the best, but I am confident that our returning offensive players are well-prepared and hopefully the productivity will continue."

As a player for the Generals, O'Neal was a three-year letterwinner and a team captain as a senior. He played quarterback as a freshman and wide receiver as a sophomore when he caught 14 passes for 151 yards. After injuries ended his playing career, O'Neal spent his final two seasons assisting the Generals' coaching staff as a student assistant coach.

"We thank Bert for his contributions to Washington and Lee as a student-athlete and most recently as a coach," said Interim Athletic Director Chuck O'Connell. "He has left an indeliable mark on the Generals' football program and he will be greatly missed. I wish him well as he continues his education."

A national search for a new offensive coordinator is already underway with hopes of having the coach in place in early July.

-- GENERALS --