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07/08/2011

Former TCU men's basketball coach Neil Dougherty was, at heart, a really decent guy

Neil_dougherty1 If you want to know the type of person a head coach is ask an office assistant or "one of the little people" that surround and help them. It is not uncommon for a head coach to treat those employees in such a way that it creates zero loyalty.

Whenever the name Neil Dougherty comes up around TCU's athletic department, whether it be a trainer or a lower-level assistant, they nearly all say the same thing - that he was such a good guy. TCU people liked Neil.

In my dealings with him, he was always very professional, polite and kind. He was a good guy. So it was great sadness to learn that Dougherty, only 50, has died after he collapsed while jogging. He had a wife and three children.

Dougherty was hired by Eric Hyman to lead the TCU program after Billy Tubbs left. Dougherty coached TCU from 2002 to '08, and he is the last coach there to lead the program to a winning record. The team went 21-14 in the '04-'05 season when they reached the NIT quarterfinals. In six seasons at TCU, he went 75-108.

People around TCU likely aren't going to remember his record. But they will remember this: He was such a good guy.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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