VSU community mourns death of ‘Coach Neal,’ 30-year member of Trojan family

VSU community mourns death of ‘Coach Neal,’ 30-year member of Trojan family
DeAndrea Neal, known as "Coach Neal" passed on Friday, April 9, according to a post from Virginia State University. (Source: Virginia State University)

ETTRICK, Va. (WWBT) - Members of the Virginia State University community are mourning the loss of DeAndrea Neal, also known as “Coach Neal.”

The university announced his death via Facebook post on Saturday. Neal passed on Friday, April 9.

A tribute and balloon release is planned for the “Trojan Giant” on Monday, April 12 at 10:30 a.m. in the Foster Hall back lawn.

Tribute & Balloon Release 🧡💙 A Trojan Giant! A VSU Legend! Mr. Neal! Neal! Coach Neal! Rev. Neal!DeAndrea Neal! CELEBRATE YOU! THANK YOU COACH NEAL FOR EVERYTHING‼️ Face Coverings are Required.

Posted by The Virginia State University Gospel Chorale on Sunday, April 11, 2021

The post described Neal as “a valued member of our family.” Throughout a 30-year span, Neal held the titles of alumnus, athlete, football coach and advisor to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.

Neal worked in several administrator roles, including assistant director of Student Activities, director of Student Conduct and Greek Life, and evening supervisor of the Student Union.

In response to the death, grief counselors were made available to students on Saturday.

“We recognize that death can be difficult to understand, especially when it is sudden,” the post stated. “We will often feel a variety of emotions, which might include shock, sadness, and confusion. We want to assure you that we care about you and the feelings you may be experiencing in light of this tragic news.”

This is a developing story.

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