Neal was Alford's top assistant for six seasons at New Mexico and was also on Alford's staff at Iowa.
"Coach Neal understands what being a Lobo is all about," said university President Robert Frank. "He impressed me with his vision, dedication and passion for leading here."
Neal, who was given a five-year contract to remain in Albuquerque, had a good run at New Mexico under Alford. The Lobos won 155 games in six seasons.