Bob Jones University Bruins Director of Athletics, Dr. Neal Ring, announced today he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the spring semester to accept a position as head of school at Harvest Christian Academy in Barrigada, Guam. Ring has been the only director of athletics at BJU since the program's inception in 2012.
"I am thankful for the privilege of being a part of the team to build the foundation of Bruins athletics," Ring said. "I am grateful for my wife and children who supported me in the role God provided. I am thankful for the exceptional group of operations staff and coaches God brought to lead and spiritually mentor 800+ student-athletes and challenge them to excel on and off the playing surface. I am grateful for the leadership of President Pettit and the executive team who have been key contributors to the success God has given our department. Thank you, Bruin Nation, for your support, I believe the best days are still to come!"
BJU announced the addition of intercollegiate sports in 2011 and Ring was hired to build the program from the start. The program began with just four varsity programs in 2012 and has since expanded to 15 varsity programs and over 250 student-athletes.
During Ring's tenure, the Bruins have won 22 National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) DII National Championships and six-straight Presidential Award for excellence honors as the top NCCAA DII program. The program has produced nearly 100 All-Americans and over 200 Scholar-Athletes in the last 11 years.
Ring began his career with the Bruins as the athletic director and also served as the head coach for the men's basketball team. He helped lead the Bruins basketball program to its first region championship during the 2016-17 season and was named the South Region Coach of the Year.
After that season, Ring stepped down as head coach to focus solely on serving as the athletic director. Ring spearheaded fundraising efforts for the athletics department which has raised over a million dollars. In 2018, Ring was honored with the NCCAA Game Plan 4 Life Award for Division II.
In 2018, the Bruins announced pursuit of affiliation in NCAA Division III. Ring helped guide the athletics department through the provisional period with the Bruins anticipating full membership in September of 2023.
Outside of his role as the director of athletics, Ring has pursued several avenues of missionary work using sports as a platform for Gospel witness. Each year, he would conduct coaching and basketball clinics around the globe serving in Ivory Coast, the Philippines, China and other countries.
Ring grew these camps and helped support missionaries and pastors in those countries establish in-roads in their communities for evangelism. His heart for missions was evident in his leadership of the Bruins program with many teams and coaches pursuing their own opportunities for mission trips and using sport to advance the Gospel.
"Neal has served as a trailblazer and vision setter for Bruins athletics - and has excelled at it," BJU President Steve Pettit said. "His desire and the University's vision to use sports as a platform for the Gospel has provided a proper focus for our teams. While we will miss him here at BJU, we're thankful that God has called him to serve at Harvest Christian Academy. The BJU family wishes him well."
A committee has been formed to begin a nationwide search for the Director of Athletics position. BJU is a member of NCAA DIII and an NCCAA member. The BJU Bruins feature 15 varsity programs and over 250 student-athletes.