Head Men's Basketball Coach
The 2018-19 season is the sixth for Greg Neeley as the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Piedmont College.
Neeley took over a men’s basketball program coming off a season that saw the Lions compete in just seven games as Piedmont was forced to cancel the remainder of the 2012-13 season following a series of injuries and player dismissals. Despite the unsuccessful end to the season prior to Neeley’s arrival, his turnaround of the men’s basketball program at Piedmont became crystal clear.
The 2017-18 season continued the forward momentum for the program, with the Lions compiling a 15-11 record and a 10-6 mark in league play. This marked Piedmont's third straight season with a winning record while its 10 conference wins were its most in five seasons competing in the USA South.
Neeey helped guide the Lions to a five-game win streak as the calendar turned to 2018 including a thrilling Senior Night win over Covenant. Individually, Justin Vallejo was rewarded for his outstanding season with a spot on the All-USA South First Team.
With the 2016-17 team putting up a 14-12 record and an 8-6 mark in conference play, the Lion made their third straight USA South Tournament trip. Additionally, Justin Vallejo and Chase England would earn USA South All-Conference honors becoming Neeley's fourth and fifth such honoree's.
His team also continued to get it done in the classroom with five players making the NABC Honors Court while the 2016-17 squad earned the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award, a honor that Piedmont has taken home in each of Neeley’s first four seasons at PC.
With his 2014-15 team posting a 13-13 overall record, the Lions pulled off perhaps one of the biggest wins in program history when Piedmont knocked off visiting Emory University at home. The Eagles entered the contest with the nation’s #6 ranking, but left the Cave as the first top ten victim for Piedmont at home in the program’s recorded history. Neeley also demonstrated his ability to recruit top-level players with Justin Vallejo earning USA South Rookie of the Year honors.
The success of Coach Neeley’s head coaching career is clear as he came to Piedmont from Warren Wilson College, a USCAA school located in Asheville, NC, where he spent the 2012-13 season leading the Owls to a 19-10 overall record, their highest win total in at least the previous five seasons.
Despite playing the 5th toughest schedule in the country, Neeley’s Owls won 12 straight games to end the season as one of the hottest teams in the nation capping it all off with an incredible four-day span where they defeated national tournament host Penn-State Fayette 76-68 on March 2nd, 2013 to earn the program’s first-ever United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship.
Prior to taking over at Warren Wilson, Neeley served as the Head Coach at Ancilla College in his home state of Indiana, a member school of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). While heading up the men’s basketball program at Ancilla, Neeley led the Chargers to the NJCAA District 8 Tournament in just his second year at the helm showing marked improvement during his time.
Before making the jump to the head coaching ranks, Neeley was the top Assistant Coach for the Piedmont College Lions working under then-Head Coach Lee Glenn for three of the team’s most successful seasons in the school’s NCAA era to that point. Helping to engineer Glenn’s high octane offense, Neeley’s work on the staff helped the Lions rank in the nation’s top 30 in scoring offense twice in those three seasons accomplishing the feat both in 2007-08 (13th with 83.7 per. per game) and 2009-10 (30th with 79.9 pts. per game) seasons.
Neeley also served as Piedmont's Head Tennis Coach during his final season with PC's basketball program as he guided both the men's and women's tennis programs during the 2010 season. Inheriting a program that won just two matches collectively the year prior, Neeley helped his teams to a six win improvement in just his first year while also helping each team to an appearance in the GSAC championship tournament.
Neeley has also gained experience by working the summer camp circuit as a coach and counselor both at a quartet of NCAA Division I member institutions including the University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, Xaiver University, and Miami University (OH). Additionally, Neeley also served on the camp staff of an NBA franchise in the Philadelphia 76ers during the summer of 2005 when the club had a All-Star laden roster including the big names of Allen Iverson and Andre Iguodala.
With his experience on the camp circuit, Neeley has since helped establish the Piedmont basketball camps since coming back to Demorest serving as the co-director of the summer event along with Piedmont Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jamie Purdy. Along with his camp experience, Neeley is also an active member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Neeley earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ohio Northern University in 2007 where he played one season of men's basketball for the Polar Bears who compete as a NCAA Division III member. A recipient of the school's Presidential Scholarship in his time at ONU, Neeley moved on to earn his Master of Business Administration from the graduate school at Piedmont in 2010.
Head Women's Basketball Coach
Entering her 14th season leading the Piedmont College women's basketball program is Head Coach Jamie Purdy, a former standout student-athlete for the Lady Lions herself and a member of the PC Athletic Hall of Fame. During her more than a decade as the leader of the women’s basketball program at Piedmont, Purdy has established herself as one of the most successful coaches in the South at the Division III level, standing just outside the top 50 in wins among active coaches in the nation.
In now six seasons as a USA South member, Purdy has guided her team to the postseason on five straight occasions with her 2015-16 team posting the best such season since joining the league with a 20-8 overall record and a 13-3 record in conference. This past season (2017-18), her team won the USA South Tournament Championship for the second consecutive season and advanced to the NCAA tournament once again.
During her time in Demorest, Purdy has amassed a 237-115 overall record for an outstanding .673 winning percentage while also mentoring five GSAC All-Freshmen selections, 22 All-Conference honorees, and more than 60 All-Academic award winners. The Piedmont alum has also coached two GSAC Players of the Year (Nikki Sosebee in 2007-08 & Sada Wheeler in 2011-12) as well as a conference Freshman of the Year (Kayla Duncan, 2005-06) while Purdy herself was honored as GSAC Coach of the Year for the 2007-2008 season.
Purdy’s second GSAC Player of the Year, Gainesville native Sada Wheeler, was also was the program’s first WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association) All-American honoree in the school’s NCAA era earning honorable mention during the 2011-12 season. Under Purdy’s guidance for three seasons, Wheeler was also a first-team All-South Region selection by D3hoops.com becoming the first such award winner for Purdy as the leader of Lady Lion basketball.
After being promoted to the top position on July 12th, 2005, Purdy quickly guided the Lady Lions to back-to-back NCAA postseason appearances and GSAC championships during the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons. Adding another NCAA berth and GSAC title in 2011 to bring the head coach’s totals for both categories three a piece in her first six seasons on campus, Purdy experienced a milestone victory during the 2010-2011 season earning her 100th career victory as the leader of the Lady Lions with a February 1st decision over Agnes Scott College in the Cave.
Not more than five years later, Purdy earned her 200th career victory with an 81-60 win over Covenant College at home on January 28, 2015. With 31 of her 224 career victories coming in her junior college coaching career, all 193 of her victories at the NCAA Division III level have come at Piedmont as the leader of the Lady Lions averaging more than 17 wins per season since taking over the program.
Purdy came to Piedmont from Middle Georgia College where she served as the head coach for two seasons. After inheriting the junior college program with no players returning for her first season of play, Purdy led the Warriors to the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association championship game in just her second year at the helm. Overall, the head coach tabulated a 31-21 record in her two seasons in Cochran, GA for a winning percentage just shy of .600.
Purdy earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Piedmont College in 2000 before moving on to Georgia Southern University where she was awarded a Master of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology in 2002.
The PC alum was a familiar face around Lady Lion athletics long before taking the reins of the women’s basketball program. Purdy earned four letters in basketball at Piedmont under legendary former head coach Charles Cooper while also lettering twice in softball under current PC head coach Terry Martin.
In softball, Purdy won a Georgia Athletic Conference championship while also developing her commitment to defense under Cooper as one of basketball’s toughest defensive players. For her efforts in the green and gold as a student-athlete, Purdy was honored as an inductee to the Piedmont Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Prior to her enrollment at Piedmont, Purdy spent her playing days at Statesboro High School in Statesboro, GA where she was a successful multi-sport athlete playing basketball and softball while also competing for the cross country and track teams throughout her high school athletic career.
Assistant Men's Basketball Coach
Jake Brooks joined the Piedmont College men's basketball program as an Assistant Coach in the fall of 2017 working under Head Coach Greg Neeley. Brooks' appointment to assistant coach comes after serving as a volunteer assistant with the Lions for two seasons.
During his time with the Lions, Brooks helped guide the Piedmont program to two of the highest win totals since the 2009-2010 season including going 15-11 in 2015-16. Brooks' primary responsibilities included assisting in managing practices, running drills and individual skill teaching while also preparing scouting reports for upcoming opponents and assisting in all areas of recruiting.
Brooks served as the social media manager for the Lions helping build the online presence of Lions Basketball while also monitoring the success of student-athletes both in the classroom and on the court.
Prior to his time with Piedmont, Brooks worked as a student assistant while in college at Truett McConnell University for the 2014-15 season. While with the Bears, the program had one of its biggest turnarounds going from 4-25 to 17-12 and finishing tied for second in their conference during the regular season.
Brooks also has experience coaching an AAU 10th grade boys team serving as the Head Coach in 2016. He was responsible for offensive and defensive strategies as well as in game adjustments for tournament games.
As a Habersham county local, Brooks has also continued to work within the community with Anderson & Brooks Basketball Academy. Since 2013, Brooks has led individual skill workouts with students in Habersham twice a week and evaluated players to create individualized plans to help them achieve their goals.
Brooks also has camp coaching experience ranging from the Piedmont College Prep Basketball Camp to the Nike Elite Skills Camp and camps at both Emory University and Vanderbilt University.
Brooks is a 2015 graduate of Truett McConnell University with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a 2017 graduate of Piedmont College with a master's in Business Administration. Brooks also served as a graduate assistant in the information technology department at Piedmont.
Brooks is originally from Clarkesville, Georgia and will assist Neeley in all facets of the Lions basketball program.
Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
Brad Cochran enters his fourth season as Assistant Women's Basketball Coach in 2018-19 after helping guide the Lady Lions to back-to-back USA South Tournament Championships in 2016-17 and 2017-18. A local product himself with professional playing experience to his name, Cochran was already a staple of the community having earned coaching stripes at the high school level nearby as well.
The 2018-19 championship saw Piedmont defeat tournament host Greensboro in the semifinals and face Berea in the championship. The Lady Lions outlasted the Mountaineers in a 69-63 win to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. Senior Bridgette Kelly was named Tournament MVP.
The Lady Lions won the 2016-17 championship on the road at Maryville over the home team Scots 58-44 led by tournament MVP Carlie Shields. Shields posted a 21-point performance including 15 points in the second half. Piedmont held Maryville scoreless over the final 4:30 of the contest while making a 13-0 run to close out the championship.
Cochran’s first season on board saw the team post a 20-8 overall record, Piedmont’s fifth 20-win season in the Jamie Purdy era (since 2005-06). The Lady Lions made their third straight trip to the USA South postseason posting a 13-3 mark in conference play. Three players earned All-Conference accolades marking the most in a single season through the program’s first four years of membership in the USA South.
The accolades didn’t stop there as Piedmont posted a 14-game winning streak during the season that tied the NCAA Era record. Piedmont was also named HERO Sports Team of the Month for January of 2016 after a stellar showing that included a win over top-25 Maryville College in a packed Cave Arena.
His role at Piedmont is Cochran's second taste of coaching in college as he spent the 2012-13 season as a Student Assistant with Shorter University working with the men's basketball program at the NCAA Division II member institution.
Cochran was on board for one of the most magical seasons in the Hawks' history as the team would go 21-11 on the way to winning the NCCAA National Championship with a 3-point victory in overtime against #3 Oklahoma Christian.
That National Championship team at Shorter saw five players average double figures on the way to the title as Cochran gained experience within a successful college basketball program as a student assistant working under former Head Coach Chad Warner, the winningest coach in the program's history.
Cochran also brings a wealth of knowledge of the surrounding area's best high school basketball as he spent the two seasons prior to his time in Demorest with Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Georgia working as the Assistant Varsity Girls Coach with the high school program.
The coach also spent time working with the Lakeview Boys Varsity program as well serving on staff as an assistant under Hall of Fame Coach Seth Vining. While working on the boys' coaching staff, Cochran helped the team to a Region Championship and an appearance in the State Tournament in the same season courtesy of a 23-6 overall record. He also mentored one of the Lions' own in current men's basketball player Austin Pearson as well.
Prior to joining the staff at Lakeview, Cochran spent the 2007-08 season with Gainesville High School using his own playing days as a local product in the area to now help develop some of the region's best players.
Before beginning his coaching career, Cochran was a standout player locally having graduated from North Hall High School in 2003. During his senior year, Cochran was named a 1st Team All-Area and All-Region selection after leading his team in field goal percentage and free throw percentage as the squad's MVP.
From North Hall, Cochran gained a variety of experience as a collegiate player spending his first season at Middle Georgia College in 03-04 before moving on to play another season at Wallace State Community College in Alabama. At Wallace State, Cochran was named a 1st Team selection in the Northern League of the Alabama Community College Conference and earned a spot in the 2006 ACCC All-Star Game as well.
Cochran then finished up his collegiate playing career at what is now the University of North Georgia before testing his talent in the professional realm spending 2009 with Torneo Decembrino in Mexico. The coach finished his career as a 39% shooter from three-point land and was 89% from the charity stripe.
Completing his Bachelor of Arts in General Studies from Shorter University in 2013, Cochran assists Head Coach Jamie Purdy in all facets of the Piedmont College women's basketball program.