2016-17 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
  • Record: 35-1
  • Home: 17-0
  • Away: 14-0
  • Neutral: 4-1
  • American Midwest: 24-0

Dale Neal begins his 47th year of coaching and his 23rd season at the helm of the Lady Lion basketball program, having compiled a record of 604-171 and a winning percentage of .779 at FHU.

The Lady Lion basketball program has advanced deep into the NAIA National Tournament during the past three seasons. During the 2013-14 season, the Lady Lions compiled a 36-2 record and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament Championship Game. Following up their impressive season in 2013-14, the Lady Lions went 35-2 and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament Fab Four during the 2014-15 season. This past season, the Lady Lions compiled a 27-8 record on the season and 20-4 record in American Midwest Conference Play. The Lady Lions ended the 2015-16 season as the AMC Tournament runner-up and also advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament.

Few programs in the NAIA have seen the levels of success and consistency that Neal has brought to Freed-Hardeman in the last 23 seasons. Over that time frame, the Lady Lions are one of only two programs to have won at least 20 games and competed in the NAIA National Tournament every year. Only three schools can claim each accomplishment by itself.

The Lady Lion basketball program instantly turned around when Neal came to Freed-Hardeman. In his first season in 1995, the Lady Lions finished a then school-record 21-9. Two years later, the team set a new record by winning 26 games and making the school's first ever appearance in the NAIA National Tournament and winning its first game, 76-63 over East Central Oklahoma.   Since that time, Freed-Hardeman has been a fixture in both the NAIA Top 25 and the NAIA National Tournament.  The Lady Lions have made five total appearances in the Fab Four (1999, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014) and one national championship game (2014). They have also advanced to the national quarterfinals three times (2004, 2005, 2006) and won six conference championships (TranSouth: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013; American Midwest: 2014)

After a record-setting season in 2012-13, the Lady Lions topped it in 2013-14 after going 36-2 and advancing to their first-ever NAIA National Championship game where they were edged by seven-time national champion Oklahoma City, 80-76.  FHU was ranked in the top 3 in every national poll except the pre-season poll.  The Lady Lions also captured the regular season and tournament championships in their first year as a member of the American Midwest Conference.

In 2012-13, the Lady Lions went 34-2 and spent much of the year as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation.  They also captured their fifth TranSouth Conference championship, going undefeated in both regular season play and the conference tournament.

During Neal’s tenure, the Lady Lions have boasted six TranSouth Conference Players of the Year and two WBCA/NAIA National Players of the Year (Jana Cross in 2009, Meribeth Boehler in 2011).  FHU has a total of 26 All-American selections since 1999, including 13 first-team honorees.

Neal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harding University ('69) and a Master of Physical Education degree from the University of Nebraska ('80). He coached the men's basketball team at York College in Nebraska for 11 years, where his teams combined record was 234-96 (.709), before coming to FHU. Neal received seven coach of the year awards, including an NJCAA Region IX Coach of the Year award, while at York.

Neal and his wife, Kathy, reside in Henderson and have four children and 13 grandchildren.

2016-17 Women's Basketball Roster
Roster for 2016-17 Women's Basketball Team
#NameCl.Pos.Ht.HometownPrevious School
1Sandrea SylmanSOG5-6Chattanooga, Tenn.Chattanooga Central HS
2Jazmin TaylorFRG5-6San Antonio, TexasJohnson HS
3Rebekah HammondFRG5-5Armuchee, Ga.Armuchee HS
4Taleeah CrossSRG5-6South Fulton, Tenn.South Fulton HS
5Saydee Winfree*FRG5-6McMinnville, Tenn.Warren County HS
10Taylor Ferris*FRF6-1Sydney, AustraliaAndrews Academy
11Gabrielle NicholsonJRG5-6Birmingham, Ala.Shelton State CC
13Kaylie PopeFRG5-7Leoma, Tenn.Lawrence County HS
15Carrie HatchelSOG5-7Dresden, Tenn.Dresden HS
20Haylee CroomFRF5-10Clarksville, Tenn.Rossview HS
21Jamie CrumFRG5-6Byhalia, Miss.Memphis Area Home Education Program
31Tiffany PateJRC6-2Thomson, Ga.Briarwood Academy
33Kim MalloryJRF5-10Nettleton, Miss.Itawamba Agricultural HS
34Morgan WarrenJRG5-6Nashville, Tenn.Goodpasture Christian
41Reagen FloydFRG5-7Linden, Tenn.Perry County HS
* Redshirt
Coaches
Dale Neal Image
Head Coach
23rd season
 
Alissa Hargett Image
Assistant Coach
3rd season
 
Mike Milligan Image
Volunteer Coach
6th season
 
Paige Melville Image
Grad Assistant
2nd season
 
Darby Miskelly Image
Grad Assistant
1st season
 
Student Assistant
3rd season
 
Mady Newby Image
Student Assistant
1st season
 
Student Assistant
2nd season
 
Hannah Harris Image
Student Assistant
1st season