Idaho State assistant football coach arrested in 2017 Arizona murder

DaVonte’ Neal, an assistant football coach at Idaho State University, has been arrested in connection with a 2017 murder in Arizona. Photo: Bannock County Jail/East Idaho News

POCATELLO, Idaho, June 2, 2022 (East Idaho News/Gephardt Daily) — An assistant football coach at Idaho State University has been arrested in connection with a 2017 murder in Arizona.

DaVonte’ Neal, 30, was arrested in the 100 block of South Union Pacific Avenue in Pocatello on May 25 after the Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office requested assistance serving a warrant, police stated in a news release.

Neal was transported to Bannock County Jail, where he is being held without bail while he awaits extradition to Arizona, according to the East Idaho News.

Neal, a former University of Arizona cornerback who was hired as an assistant coach at Idaho State in January, was arrested for investigation of murder, a first-degree felony, as well as potential charges for drive-by shooting and discharging a firearm at a structure, the release states.

Idaho State placed Neal on leave after learning of his arrest, according to a news release from the university. Proceedings to terminate his contract at the university also are underway, the release states. Neal no longer appears on the Bengals’ official website.

“Idaho State takes all allegations involving our employees very seriously, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community,” ISU President Kevin Satterlee said. “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”

University officials say Neal passed a required background check before being hired as Idaho State’s defensive backs coach in January as part of a largely new coaching staff.

A warrant for Neal’s arrest was issued in April.

ISU Athletics Director Pauline Thiros said she’s been in contact with first-year Bengals coach Charlie Ragle, “who has known DaVonte’ for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind.”

“The news of DaVonte’ Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock,” Thiros said in a news release. “Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, safeguard our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work. The news is devastating, and we hope for a resolution for all involved.”

Ragle was named the Idaho State’s head coach in December 2021 after spending five years as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at the University of California, Berkeley.


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