Neal Hopkins – Head Coach / Programme Leader
Neal Hopkins established Myerscough College Basketball Academy in 2013, where he serves as Programme Director and head coach. During his Myerscough tenure, Hopkins has received Coach of the Year honours four times (National League Division 3 North 2017-18; Elite Academy Basketball League 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18), coached three EABL Players of the Year, two No. 1 rated DENG Camp prospects and helped 11 players receive collegiate scholarships to North American-based institutions. He delivered three of the Academy’s first-ever senior titles during the 2017-18 season and has elevated the programme’s profile across Europe.
Hopkins has a half decade of British Basketball League (BBL) experience as an assistant coach, as well head coaching experience in Basketball England’s National League 1 and with the North West Regional Performance Centre. He was an assistant coach for Great Britain at the U20 European Championships in 2019.
Education: High Performance Coaching, Sport (2008) and UKCC Level 4 Elite Coaching (2016) from University of Central Lancashire
Troy Culley – Academy Coach
Troy Culley is in entering his fourth year at Myerscough College where he coaches the National League Division 3 Men’s team. Culley guided the Under-18 Men’s team to an unbeaten Premier North regular season title, an U18 National Championship and he claimed a third-straight AoC Sport Knockout Cup medal in 2018-19. His duties include being an assistant with the European Youth Basketball League, National League Division 2 teams. During the 2019 summer, he led the England U18 Men’s team to a third place finish at the Future Stars International Tournament.
Before coming to Myerscough, Culley was head coach with the Kent Crusaders U14 Boys, the South East Regional Performance Centre and South West Regional Development Teams (U13s, U15s and U17s). He was also an apprentice with the England Under-16 Men’s National Team.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree of Sports and Exercise Science (2016) from University of Kent; PgDip in Elite Coaching Practice (2018) and Master of Science in Elite Coaching Practice (2019) from University of Central Lancashire
Mike Bernard – Academy Coach
Michael Bernard is entering his fourth season at Myerscough and second as head coach of the women’s programme. Bernard, who was named WEABL Conference Coach of the Year, previously coached the Under-18 Men and Division 4 teams during his tenure at the Academy. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Myerscough in 2015 for his services to British Basketball.
Prior to joining the Myerscough coaching staff, Bernard had a storied professional career that began in 2002 and spanned 12 different clubs across Europe. He played for Seth Greenberg (Long Beach State, USF, Virginia Tech) at the University of South Florida after spending two years at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Bernard learned his trade as a junior with the Manchester Giants — where he returned in 2012 to finish his career — from 1994-98.
Experience: 12 years of professional European basketball (2002-2015); two year member of the University of South Florida; two years at Coffeyville Community College.
Stefan Gill – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Stefan Gill is beginning his first year as the Myerscough Strength and Conditioning Coach after being named to the coaching staff in September 2019. Gill is the owner and founder of the Manchester-based company Enhance Performance, which specialises in athlete development and performance wear.
Gill is former British Basketball League professional with the Milton Keynes Lions and Manchester Giants. The point guard finished his career with the Manchester Magic — where it began with the youth team — in Basketball England’s Division One.