Neill R. McGeachy, Jr.
Director of IntercollegiateAthletics/PEF Bears Club Executive Director
Under the enthusiastic leadership of Neill McGeachy, the intercollegiate athletics program at Lenoir-Rhyne has enjoyed tremendous growth and new energy. He is foremost known for his creative promotions and marketing expertise; however, the skills he brings to the college and intercollegiate athletics are much broader.
He adroitly serves in a unique blending of two roles, as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and as Executive Director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club, the official fundraising arm of the L-R Department of Athletics.
According to McGeachy, “We celebrate our athletic history of Lenoir-Rhyne, we compete in today and we look to the future.”
His involvement of all constituents –students, alumni, corporate, Hickory metro community, public school systems, emergency services, civic organizations, YMCA, Frye Regional Medical Center and Catawba Valley Medical Center – in a collaborative effort with athletics has enhanced the college’s overall growth and retention efforts. In the process, new streams of revenue have been identified and introduced. They include the following: expanded radio broadcast sponsorships, Affinity and Corporate partnerships, the PEF Bears Club Gala, the LR/Moretz Sports Championship Series, and now with the scheduling of Appalachian State University in football.
In his first year in 2002, he was instrumental in helping increase football season attendance two-fold (13,958 to 28,625) which led the NCAA Division II nationally in percentage of improvement that year. In addition, the college has led the South Atlantic Conference the last six years in attendance numbers.
Since his arrival and his decision to return to night football games, a pre-game festival environment has included sponsored corporate tents, college or community recognition events, entertainment groups, visiting marching bands, mystical bonfires, pep rallies and bagpipes.
At Lenoir-Rhyne, McGeachy was a three-sport standout for the Bears in football, basketball and track. In 1987, he was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame. McGeachy was also inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999. “For the excellence of his activities in and connected with North Carolina Tennis which have brought substantial recognition and esteem to himself and to the state.” Born in Charlotte, N.C., McGeachy grew up in Statesville N.C. He is also the proud father of Roderick (Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill and MBA graduate of Harvard’s Business School) and Ashley (14-year sports writer/columnist for publications such as Sports Illustrated, Louisville’s Courier-Journal and currently the Philadelphia Inquirer.)