Neil attended Lubbock High School in Texas where he played football, basketball and baseball. He was only 16 years old when he graduated from high school in May 1949. Neil then enrolled at Coffeyville Junior College in 1949 and played football, starting every game for two years except for the season opener in 1949. Coffeyville won the conference championship going 8-3 in 1949 and 9-3 in 1950. Neil was second team All-Conference in 1950.
Neil enrolled at Wichita State University in the spring of 1953 after working for a couple of years. He played on Jack Mitchell’s great teams of 1953 and 1954. They won the Missouri Valley Championship in 1954, and Neil was selected to the first team All-Conference team and received Honorable Mention All-American. In 1954 WSU beat Cincinnati which was ranked in the top 10 in the country and had the longest winning streak. For his outstanding play in that game, Neil was selected to their All-Opponents Defensive Team.
In 1955 Neil coached the freshman while finishing his bachelor’s degree in geology. He worked on a seismic crew in south Texas and Montana for two years. He left the depressed oil business and became a salesman for Kansas Paint and Color Company, before moving to Tulsa in 1958.
In 1960, Neil became an insurance salesman. In 1965, he moved back to Wichita and assisted in the start up of a new life insurance company. The oil business returned to prosperity in 1979, and he went into the field doing geological work. Neil was president of a small oil company, Oil Capital Corporation in Denver, Colorado, until oil prices plummeted. He sold the company in 1986. Neil then started another business - Laster Cartridge Specialists - in 1988. In 1989, Neil sold the company and retired.
Neil married Patricia Scott in 1951 and five children. Now Neil enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family, nine grandchildren and two great grand children.