Page 1


Get to know the football mascots that the Golden Eagles will face in 2013


A visit with Jamie Ruehling, who played a role in the Jackie Robinson movie 42


Golden Eagle radio play-by-play announcer Roger Ealey receives OVC Media Award


DIVING RIGHT IN First-year volleyball head coach Dave Zelenock has jumped right into his new role with the Golden Eagles


* Tech Talk * Fresh Faces * This Day in Tech History * By The Numbers ...and lots and lots of photos


September / October 2013

Volume 2, Issue 1

photo by Ben Corda


Awesome power...

The 2013 Golden Eagle volleyball team gathered for a team photo at the base of Burgess Falls during preseason camp.



photo by Rob Schabert



Fare thee well... Senior Greg Kitts tees off at the 2013 OVC Golf Championships at GreyStone Golf Course in Dickson, Tenn., the final round of his career on the Golden Eagle golf team.


photo by Ben Corda


Top Tacklers... The top four returning tacklers on the Golden Eagle football team clown around during the team’s preseason Photo Day. From left, they include Blake Adams (53 tackles in 2012), Tra’Darius Goff (team-high 101 tackles), Austin Tallant (94 tackles), and Bill Dillard (73 tackles).



SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER Volume 2, Issue 1


12 Tech Talk We randomly stopped students on campus and asked them why they are excited about Tech Athletics

18 Diving Right In Our cover story: Volleyball coach



Dave Zelenock wastes no time in setting into his new position

24 On the Set Former Golden Eagle Jamie

Ruehling earns a role in “42�

30 Where you Wear it Golden Eagle fans submitted photos showing themselves around the globe wearing their Tech gear







41 The Golden Voice Roger Ealey, the radio voice of the Golden Eagles, received the 2013 OVC Media Award

48 Mascots 101 Learn the history of the mascots that the Golden Eagle football team is facing in 2013

66 This Day in History Looking back at some historic days in the Golden Eagle soccer and volleyball programs

93 Remembering Tech Athletics remembers three

people who were important to the program who passed away in 2013

100 Bulletin Board

Catch up on some important events around the region during the coming two months

Departments From the Editor / 6 Reaching Out Fresh Faces / 8 Meet 15 more newcomers Playlist / 20 Golfer Mason Griffin Chatter / 43 Punter Chad Zinchini By The Numbers / 60 Random tidbits


Connect with us online Twitter - @TTUGoldenEagles Facebook - TTU Sports Internet -


{ } Stuff You Oughta Know


...The first Faith, Family and Youth Night will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 28, when the Golden Eagle football team hosts Indiana State. The culmination of the evening will be a free concert in the stadium by Judah and the Lion, an up-and-coming band from Nashville. It’s Family Weekend on campus, with plenty of activities scheduled. It’s also Take A Kid To The Game Night, with a free youth ticket available for each adult ticket purchased. Call the Ticket Office (931-3723940) for more details. ...Former Golden Eagle football, volleyball, and tennis players are invited back to campus in the next couple of weeks as Tech hosts alumni activities for each of those sports. The first is Football Legends night, on Saturday, Sept. 21. The 1953 and 1958 championship teams will be the special guests during on-field recognition, along with all former players. The second event on the calendar is the Volleyball Legends Weekend, which is set for Sept. 27-28, during Tech’s first home matches of the season. And,on Saturday, Oct. 26 during Homecomig, it is Tennis Legends Night. Former players will be recognized, and the Heath Dwenger Endowed Scholarship will be introduced. Interested players can contact Kevin Bostian (931-372-3929) in Athletics Development. ...SAVE THE DATE: The 2014 Pepsi Bobby Nichols Golden Eagle Scramble presented by Budweiser will be held June 6-7-8 on three Cookeville-area courses. Registration will begin on Tuesday, March 11.

continued on page 11

Dylan Vazzano, a die-hard Red Sox fan, joined the Tennessee Tech staff in August. For this issue of unlimited magazine, he compiled the “Mascots 101” piece found on pages 46-50. He also wrote This Day in (Tech Soccer) History. Dylan can be heard on the Golden Eagle Sports Network doing sideline reports during Tech’s football games, and all the webstream play-by-play of several other sports. Okay, truth be told, he hates the Red Sox. Loves the Yankees. Boo.

Jocelyn VerVelde wrote “Diving Right In” about volleyball coach Dave Zelenock. A native of Oostburg, Wis., VerVelde joined the Tech staff in July after graduating from Central Michigan where she played volleyball (with Zelenock as an assistant coach). She also produced several of the ads in this edition, and did Chatter, Tech Talk and This Day in (Tech Volleyball) History.

When Northern Illinois reached the Orange Bowl (seriously, the Orange Bowl?), NIU graduate Mike Lehman was insufferable! Imagine how he would be if the Cubs won the World Series....oh, yeah, never mind. More recently, he’s come back down to earth, and for this issue he compiled Playlist, By The Numbers, and Community Calendar. He was also the primary proooof reader.

Jim Dillon works hard during the day in his position for the Tennessee Tech Facilities Dept., and just as hard during his free time when one of his activities is taking hundreds and hundreds of photos. He provides Athletics with many of his photos, some of which are included in this edition of unlimited magazine.

Ben Corda joined the Tennessee Tech Photo Services staff last year as a photographer/cinematographer, and has been busy ever since, including shooting many of the team and individual photos for Athletics. Ben came to Cookeville from a position as a newspaper photographer in Louisiana. Not afraid to get his feet wet, he shot our cover photo and several other shots.

Tony Marable continues to contribute a variety of photos to Tech Athletics,including several featured in this edition of unlimited. An Austin Peay graduate (which we certainly don’t hold against him - but we did burn his red tie),Tony is the Director of the Minority Engineering Program at TTU, as well as a volunteer amateur photographer.


reaching out From the editor Support for Tennessee Tech Athletics has been growing slowly over the past few years and gaining momentum, and this year all the behind-the-scenes hard work might be paying off! If you were at Tucker Stadium for the football season opener against Cumberland on Thursday, Aug. 29, you not only saw it, but you were a part of it. Thank you! There was the all-new Golden Eagle Walk through the 98.5 Kiss FM Tailgate Park at 4:45, with hundreds of fans on hand to greet the team on its trek to the stadium. It was the largest crowd we’ve seen in the Tailgate Park so early before a game. Then there was the start of another new tradition, the Running of the Freshmen, led by President Philip Oldham. Freshmen kept coming and coming from the sidelines, with an estimated 500-600 taking part. The stands were literally packed on one side of the stadium, and mostly full on the other side. Now comes the hard part — keeping it up, and adding to the emotion, enthusiasm and excitement that such a large crowd generates. We have also seen great crowds for the soccer team, during its early home contests. On Sept. 27-28, the volleyball team plays its first home matches of the year, and hopefully we’ll have a great crowd on hand. There’s no doubt that supporting Tech’s teams is contagious, especially when you take the opportunity to get to know the student-athletes. Spread the word any way you can, and continue to support the young men and women who represent Tennessee Tech. There are numerous special events planned to enhance the atmosphere, but let’s face it — nothing compares to large, noisy, and supportive crowds. The TTU Sports Information Office and the TTU Athletics Marketing Department are working together to get information to our fans, as well as keep students, faculty, alumni, families, and fans informed and engaged. The most complete news and information can be found on, the official website of Tech Athletics (and watch for a brand new look coming soon). Sign up for the weekly newsletter to get the latest information in your in-box. There’s also Facebook and Twitter, which grow in followers every day. Like us on Facebook (TTU Sports), where we post photos that you can share on your Facebook page, along with great, up-to-the-minute information. We continue to reach out to fans and alumni every way we can, and are looking for the best ways to do so (for instance, we’ve learned that the majority of our Facebook friends are online at approximately 9 p.m., and are between the ages of 18-25, so that will help tailor our content). We also reach out via Twitter, and nobody in the OVC does it better! We have more than 6,000 followers and are on the brink of adding many, many more (another 1,000?) when we introduce a new sign-up incentive. With Twitter, you’ll have access to photos and tidbits that you can’t find anywhere else. Best of all, it’s instantaneous! I hope you enjoy this edition of unlimited magazine. Please tell others about it, and please let us know your thoughts. Send your feedback to: See you at the game! Rob Schabert Assistant Athletic Director / Editor

MY PET MEnET us to their pets Eagles introduce Golde

Y HEROES DISiteNE Disney characters

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Plus... ble Vision


* Dou ht) (a mother’s insig or * Mirror, Mirr elgängers) (celebrity dopp t * Date Nigh the movies) (top picks from * I love green we love) (green things

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13/Volume 2, Issu / October 20 September


On the cover First-year volleyball coach Dave Zelenock has taken to his new position within the Golden Eagle athletics staff like....well, like a fish to water. He has been busy sculpting a team while settling his family into a new community. Jocelyn VerVelde wrote the cover story about the new coach, which appears on pages 18-21. She, in fact, played on the Central Michigan team where Zelenock was an assistant coach, and came to TTU this summer as a Sports Information Coordinator (Tech learned about her through a suggestion from Dave). She was happy to write the story, and Dave was happy to dive into the pool and pose for the cover photos. Photo by Ben Corda

{ } Stuff You Oughta Know

...The first Golden Eagle Blackout was a HUGE success last year. So much so, Tech Athletics is DOING IT AGAIN. This one will be Golden Eagle Blackout II, and it’s set for Thursday night, Oct. 10, when the Golden Eagle football team hosts UT Martin in a 7 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference game in Tucker Stadium. Specially designed t-shirts will be given out to the first 2,000 fans into the stadium. Last year’s t-shirt design was one of the most popular items given out, showing up all around town at various events. Don’t miss out on your chance to get this year’s keepsake shirt. Remember last year’s inaugural Purple Palooza? Well, plans are underway for the 2013 Purple Palooza, and the night will be bigger and better with the addition of Trick-or-Treating around Eblen Center, costume contests, and more. The event takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 29, just two days before Halloween. Tech teams and student groups will be setting up and decorating booths around the concourse of Eblen Center and kids from the community will be invited to pick up some early treats -- as well as meeting some of the Golden Eagle student-athletes (if they recognize them in their costumes). Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be on the floor that night for intrasquad scrimmages, giving fans their first look at the teams they’ll be supporting this winter. Five people have been selected for 2013 induction into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame, and they will be recognized at the annual Induction Dinner on Friday, Oct 25, on the eve of Homecoming. The public is invited to attend the dinner, when Kylie Crouch (golf), Stephanie Dallmann (softball), Wes Gallagher (football), Lupita Hernandez (tennis) and Damien Kinloch (basketball) are officially added to the Hall of Fame.

continued on page 14

fresh faces

Some of the newcomers who are making their debut in 2013-14

Tiffany Wilkinson Softball Assistant Coach F A former Chattanooga standout and ETSU graduate assistant coach, Tiffany hit 50 career home runs, shattering both the Chattanooga and SoCon all-time marks, while also being a three-time NFCA All-South Region and first-team All-SoCon selection. Along with her success on the field, she posted a 3.73 grade point average en route to being named Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District. Tiffany resides in Cookeville with her husband, Patrick.

Kennedy Wade / Volleyball Knoxville, Tenn. F Kennedy helped lead Grace Christian Academy to the 2011 TSSAA District 3 and Region 2 championships. The four-year letterwinner in volleyball also earned two team MVP awards as well as two district MVP awards. She finished with 1,360 kills, 1,610 digs, and 395 aces. A versatile player with the ability to attack from the back row, she is the daughter of Andrew and Patricia Wade, and was born on March 30, 1995. She is majoring in exercise science.

Ashlyn Flaherty / Soccer Chagrin Falls, Ohio

F Ashlyn comes to the Golden Eagles after a remarkable high school career as a four-year starter at Chagrin Falls High School in Northeast Ohio. Throughout her tenure, she recorded an 36 goals and 29 assists as a midfielder and forward. The impressive statistics netted her a host of honors including being selected to the all-greater Cleveland first-team on three separate occasions. The daughter of William and Melissa Flaherty, she was born December 14, 1994 and plans on majoring in business.

Donn Landholm Assistant Football Coach F A veteran of 30 years in the coaching ranks, Donn joined the Tech staff in March to coach linebackers and in July was named defensive coordinator. He spent four seasons on the Purdue staff, following 11 years at Eastern Kentucky, including three seasons as defensive coordinator. He has also coached at Arizona State, Montana State and Central Missouri. A native of Bristow, Neb., he played outside linebacker at Wayne State. Donn and his wife, Cindi, have three daughters — Kristen, Sarah and Kate.

Maleek Hall / Football

Clarksville, Tenn.

F An elusive runner with good speed and slippery moves, Maleek is a proven offensive weapon. He set school records as a senior at Kenwood High School for most rushing yards (1,550) and most all-purpose yards (2,150). He ranked first in the state for average yards per carry, gaining 9.0 per try, and eighth in all-purpose yards. The son of Monique Bigio and Arzaveus Hall, he was born March 6, 1995 and is majoring in mass communications.



• Students thoughts about what is going on in Tech athletics •

ETHAN SMELCER Senior Mechanical Engineering

“I’m super excited about the Tech athletic season. It’s actually going to be one of my first fall seasons here, I am a transfer student,and I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be awesome. I am most excited for women’s soccer, I am a huge soccer guy, but I’ll be out there for football and everything.”


Senior Human Ecology, Child Development, and Family Relations “I am most looking forward to the football season because my boyfriend, Darian Stone, is the quarterback. I am definitely excited. I plan on going to all the away games too.”



“I am pretty excited for the beginning of Tech athletics, and to move on to new things in college. Football is what I am most looking forward to, I want to try and walk on to the team, too.”

NICOLE SMITH Senior Marketing

“I can’t wait for volleyball. I hear there is a new coach, and I want to see how he does and how the team does.”

SETH MORGAN Freshman General Curriculum

“I will be at every football game! I am looking forward to participating in any way I can.”


{ } Stuff You Oughta Know

fresh faces

Some of the newcomers who are making their debut in 2013-14

Golden Eagle volleyball fans have few oppportunities to watch the team in September and October - there are only four home matches in those two months. After the Sept. 27-28 weekend when they host Murray State and Austin Peay, the Golden Eagles are home Oct. 11-12, hosting Tennessee State and Belmont. The team has four more home matches scheduled on the month of November. There is free admission for all of Tech’s volleyball home matches.

The Tech soccer team has six home matches remaining on its schedule, beginning with a non-conference visit from Chattanooga on Friday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m. After that, Tech hosts five straight OVC matches in October. Admission is free for all.

F A walk-on defensive end, Jordan is a 2011 graduate of Alcoa High School. He first enrolled at Tech in 2011 but was not a member of the football team until 2012. A four-year member of the championship program at Alcoa High School, he helped win district, region, and TSSAA state championships all four seasons. As a senior he posted 84 total tackles with 3.5 quarterback sacks and five tackles-for-loss. The son of Kristi Patrick, he was born Oct. 10, 1992, and is majoring in exercise science.

The Tech softball team has a couple of home appearances on its fall schedule of games. On Saturday, Sept. 21, Tech hosts Georgia Highlands College in a 2 p.m. doubleheader. On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Golden Eagles entertain Motlow State in a single game at 6 p.m. Admission is free for fans who want to catch a preview of coach Bonnie Bynum’s 2014 squad.

Kalyn Pruett, Soccer

The 2013 TTU Homecoming Game takes place on Saturday, Oct. 26, when Tech hosts Jacksonville State at 1:30 p.m. The final home football game of the year (which is also the final regular season game, and the finale in the Sgt. York Trophy race) brings Austin Peay to town on Saturday, Nov. 23. Tech will host two special events at the game: It’s Military and Public Safety Appreciation Day, as well as Scout Day. Details for both promotions will be announced soon, but if you are in the military (or a family member / past or present), or involved in Scouting, make your plans to at-

continued on page 22


Sharon Anderson / Volleyball Burr Ridge, Ill. F A four-time All-West Suburban selection, Sharon was recognized as a Top 50 Chicago Volleyball Player in 2011. She led her team to the AAU 16-Open national title and has earned several all-tournament honors. As a four year-starter, she helped her prep team to a 110-44 record, finishing her career with 3,215 assists and 424 digs. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the Dean’s list for four years. The daughter of Robert and Jackie Anderson, she was born on March 4, 1995.

Jordan Patrick / Football

Knoxville, Tenn.

Nashville, Tenn.

F A two-sport athlete while attending Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Kalyn played both basketball and soccer. Her soccer team won a state championship as a senior, with Pruett playing a big role in taking home all-region, all-state, and team MVP honors. She also played seven years of club soccer for the HFC Lady Hurricanes, winning a state championship during her tenure, as well. The daughter of Ray and DeAnn Pruett, she was born on July 3, 1994. Pruett plans on majoring in exercise science.

Jordan Carroll, Football

Birmingham, Ala.

F A redshirt freshman, Jordan was an all-county selection and team captain while earning All-Over the Mountain honors at Briarwood Christian High School, helping the team to its 20th consecutive state playoff appearance. As a senior, he posted 104 total tackles for the Lions, including 41 solo stops and 63 assisted tackles. The son of Ernest and Ginger Carroll, Jordan was born February 7, 1994, in Birmingham. He is enrolled in general curriculum.

Rachel Travis / Volleyball Chattanooga, Tenn. F Rachel was recognized as all-region, TSWA all-state and the Times-Free Press Best of Preps each of her five years as a starter for Baylor High School. She was invited to the USA Volleyball High Performance camps at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, as well as camps in San Diego for sand training. She helped claim three third-place finishes and one staterunner up finish. The daughter of Ron and Laura Travis, she was born February 20, 1995, and is majoring in nursing.

Are you A former Golden eAGle footbAll or volleybAll plAyer? If so,

Save the dates and make plans NOW to reunite with your teammates, and all that you loved about wearing the purple & gold.

To RSVP or for additional information on either weekend, contact Kevin Bostian at 931-372-3929 or email

Golden Eagle Football Legends Weekend

Golden Eagle Volleyball Legends Weekend

|September 21 |

|September 27-28 |

Schedule of Events:

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, Sept. 21:

Friday, Sept. 27:

4 p.m. - Tailgate park opens Food and Drinks served under Big White Tent by Tennis Courts 7 p.m. - TTU Football vs. Tennessee State Each alumni will receive two free tickets

7 p.m. – TTU Volleyball vs Murray State

Saturday, Sept. 28: 11 a.m. – Pre-game Lunch with TTU Volleyball team 2 p.m. – TTU Volleyball vs. Austin Peay 4:30 p.m. – Football Tailgate with TTU Volleyball team

During halftime all the alumni will be recognize and with special recognition for the 1958 OVC Championship team celebrating their 55th Anniversary.

7 p.m. – TTU Football vs. Indiana State


Get on up...

Members of the 2013-14 Golden Eagle women’s golf team leap in unison during the squad’s preseason photo session at Ironwood Golf Course. From left, they are Allison Geer, Madi Everts, Haley Davidson, Whitney Robertson, Megan Williamson and Lydia Triplett.


photo by Ben Corda



Diving Right In New Golden Eagle volleyball coach Dave Zelenock has wasted no time in making a splash in his new position By Jocelyn VerVelde

Whether diving into a pool or diving into a new opportunity, there are two options: sink or swim. Dave Zelenock, the new head volleyball coach at Tennessee Tech, would prefer to swim, and so far he has navigated his way as well as Michael Phelps swims the butterfly. In January of 2013, Zelenock was hired as the newest head volleyball coach of the Golden Eagles, and he moved to Cookeville with his wife Jamie, their son, Jacoby, who was five months old at the time, and their two schnauzers, Lexi and Buddha. “The first two months were a blur,” said Zelenock. “Between learning the ins and outs of Tennessee Tech and learning the team and finding out how to best train them for the 2013 season, I was also trying to recruit based on what I thought the team would need. During all of that I was trying to find a house for my family, while we stayed in a one bedroom apartment with two dogs and a then five-month-old.”


Personally, Zelenock’s family adjusted pretty well. “My wife fell into a job pretty quickly, which was great. My son, Jacoby, attends a great daycare that we are so thankful to be able to take him to. The dogs are even enjoying the warmer weather. My wife and son are still getting used to how nice everyone is. Being from the north, it’s not normal for strangers to come up and talk to you or want to talk to the baby. Being a coach for so long, I’m very used to talking to anyone, so that hasn’t been too big of a culture shock for me.” Zelenock’s recruiting started off swimmingly, as well, landing a recruit within the first week alone. "The first major thing I did was recruit a setter for this upcoming season. I got to campus on a Monday and Sharon Anderson visited that Friday. I think she committed less than a week later, which was huge for us." He was also able to bring in three more athletes to finalize the 2013 class. “For 2013 we picked up Sharon within a week and Irem Sile within a month. Rachel Travis was already in contact with the previous staff and loved TTU so that was a no-brainer to bring her in. Kennedy Wade was our last commitment for 2013 and again was a kid who wanted to come to Tech and we found that our goals were the same.” A few months later, he was able to put the finishing touches to the class of 2014. “Luckily at my last school [Central Michigan University], I did a bulk of the recruiting, so even though I was already done with the 2014 class when I left there, I knew a lot of kids who were still available. Our 2014 class is very athletic and we are really excited about them. We can’t wait to get everyone signed so we can announce them to the world. Within three months we had eight kids committed to TTU, which is not easy by any means. It took hours on the phone and in the office but it’s going to be well worth it.” Though the transition started off well, Zelenock, as expected, had “pre-game jitters”. “I was equally excited and terrified [about taking the job] at the same time. I went from being an associate head coach at the school I graduated

continued on next page


from, a school where I knew everyone and how to do have always been very comfortable around me, but everything, to becoming a head coach in a different the team here was very nervous and cautious early part of the country where I didn’t know anyone, or on. There was a lot of uncertainty about if any players how to do anything at that school.” would be leaving, what we were doing from a staff Changing schools, conferences, and states was standpoint, and how things would work in the gym. So expected to be a challenge but it was made much it’s understandable that they were a little nervous.” easier with a strong support within the Ohio Valley Though in the end, several of the names on Conference community as well as within the Tennes- the backs of the jerseys will be familiar to Tech fans, see Tech community itself. the team had to endure a lot of changes. Jerseys “Changing schools was pretty easy. The staff changed. Practice gear changed. Practice mentality and administration at TTU has been great to work changed. Training changed. Zelenock also brought in with. They have taken care of so many of the little two brand new assistant coaches. Almost everything things for me that it is probably what gave me the within the program changed, the only thing that didn’t time and ability to bring in such great recruits. Evchange was the name on the front of the jersey and eryone in the conference has been in touch with me the school the players represent, Tennessee Tech. to welcome me and offer help, which is amazing. It And how did the players respond? seems as though there is a real unity within the OVC “With almost everything, they were all in for coaches. Transitioning from an assistant coach to changes,” Zelenock said of the team’s response to a head coach hasn’t been too difficult. I was doing the changes. “This group is so hungry for success a majority of the training and they were willing to try everything I recruiting at my last school as threw at them. I’m very aggressive well as some other tasks. The in a lot of the ways we operate so biggest thing I’ve had to adjust to there were some growing pains was managing the budget. Lucktrying to adapt to it and we are still ily I’m a bit of an excel nerd so I going through some of that now.” have a good handle on that.” Senior outside hitter Natalie Another experience that Penrod agreed with Zelenock’s ---- Dave Zelenock came with some adjustment view of the team’s response to the was meeting the team. Having changes. been given the green light to what was needed with “"Overall, I think the team has bought into the the program, Zelenock understood the tension that new coaching styles and changes,” said Penrod. “It was posed when meeting the team. was either continue with what we were doing and “When I first met the team, it was a lot different lose games or buy into Coach Dave's system, work than what I was used to. Most of my former players our tails off, and see what happens. Some of our

“I’m looking forward to just getting out there and seeing what the team can do.”


old habits are sticking more than others, but Coach Dave is going a great job of being patient and slowing things down so everyone is on the same page. As a group, we want to win. We are all very competitive and passionate about our love for the sport. We want to show the fans and supporters of TTU what we are capable of." Throughout the transition, Zelenock couldn’t be more thankful for those who have helped him stay afloat so far. “At TTU, the administration of [Director of Athletics] Mark [Wilson], [Assistant A.D.] Tammie [McMillan], and [Associate A.D.] Frank [Harrell] has been great. I am the type of person to ask 1,000 questions, and they are very patient and are always willing to help. As I mentioned, the staff here has been great too, Patrena, Kim Nash, Kim Meredith, Sandy, Mandy, Leveda, Tyler, Dexter, Rob, Kevin…I could go on all day and I’m sure I’d still miss someone who has helped me tremendously. If I missed you, please know how grateful I am. Aside from TTU, I have some coaching friends whom were great to bounce ideas off. Then, of course, my wife, she is the most supportive person I know. Going home to her and Jacoby even if it was for a short time, before I went right back in was a lifesaver. “ As the 2013 volleyball season gets underway, the Golden Eagles are excited to put their changes to the test. “I’m looking forward to just getting out there and seeing what the team can do,” Zelenock said. “They have made huge strides and we feel like we can compete with everyone on our schedule. The staff is just itching to get to the first tournament and see how they react to live play.” Penrod cannot wait, either. “It's been a refreshing experience,” said Penrod. “The atmosphere, new coaching staff, and the team charisma have turned this page in such a positive direction. Every time we step on the court, we’re trying to get better. Every time we have a chance in practice or in a game, it’s to get better. We, as a team, want to prove to the OVC and Tennessee Tech University that we are better than what we have been in the past." Every approach to the edge of the platform in a diving competition is an opportunity to impress the judges and earn a high score. Zelenock has taken off and executed a forward dive, entering this opportunity with confidence and focus, and will continue to dive right into each opportunity he’s presented.

An inside take

unlimited magazine asked junior journalism major Ellen Conti to write a brief essay during preseason with her inside take on this year’s Golden Eagle volleyball team

By Ellen Conti Preseason began August 8 for the volleyball team at Tennessee Tech University, led now by Dave Zelenock and a new coaching staff. “We’re picking up where we left off in the spring, performance-wise,” said Coach Dave after the team’s first on-court practice. This year, unlike the past, the team had conditioning testing to see how they worked over the summer. Testing included a timed shuttle run and lifting to make sure everyone was within ten percent of their one rep maximum. Everyone passed and no one was assigned to “preseason breakfast club.” “We’ve definitely gotten off to a great start,” said senior Elise Robertson, “Coach Dave and the rest of the staff have high expectations for all of us and as long as we continue to welcome the new system with ease, I see big things for the program.” Elise is one of the three seniors this season and one of the many players who see a bright future for this team. Everyone has stepped out of their comfort zone from the past couple seasons and is ready to improve. This year, the team has added four freshmen, including one from Turkey. Everyone has gotten the chance to get to know each other in just the first week. Preseason was grouped off into three different parts. Starting with two-a-days, then scheduled three-adays and finally adding a lifting to the three-a-days. Some practices were dropped or switched out with film meetings to watch the scrimmage from the previous practice. Also, Coach Dave placed off days over the course of the three weeks of preseason. Beginning with living as a group in Murphy Hall dorms, to the scheduled meals together at the cafeteria, the team has had many opportunities to bond outside of the Hooper Eblen Center and off the court. “To be at the top, we need to train like the teams at the top” is the motto this season and Tech volleyball is doing just that!


{ } Stuff You Oughta Know

tend as special guests of Tech Athletics. The first OVC championships of the year will be determined on Nov. 2, when teams gather in Morehead, Ky., for the Cross Country championships. Congratulations to two former TTU cross country runners, who were named in May as Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District selections. From the women’s team, Beth Miller was honored and on the men’s squad, it was Adam McLeod. Young fans, get ready for the 2013-14 basketball season at Tennessee Tech. The popular Hoop Troop enters its third season, and offers you plenty of great reasons to be a member. Call 931-372-3940 for details. Catch The Watson Brown Show each week, produced by the Golden Eagle Sports Network, and sponsored by IWC Cash & Carry. Host Buddy Pearson joins head coach Watson Brown each week with a look back and a look ahead, plus several weekly features that bring you insight into Tech football and Golden Eagle Athletics. Tennessee Tech is the most followed Athletics Deptartment in the Ohio Valley Conference, with more than 6,000 Twitter followers, and here’s your chance to add your name to the growing list of followers. Not only do you receive updates, photos and special offers, it’s also a chance to receive the brand new TTU Twitter t-shirt (LOST?), which will be given to each new follower. Details are coming soon, so watch for your chance to signup and follow. Check us out at TTUGoldenEagles. #TTUPurplePride


fresh faces

Some of the newcomers who are making their debut in 2013-14

Irem Sile, Volleyball

Istanbul, Turkey

F A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Irem has been playing volleyball for the past 10 years. She has played for Galatasaray Sports Club for the past several years, and was a member of several championship teams including the 2011-2012 Turkish Youth Women’s Championship. In 2010-11, her team finished fourth, and also placed in the Istanbul Championships the past two years. The daughter of Ali Sirri and Elif Sile she was born on April 5, 1994 and is majoring in political science.

Abi Gearing / Soccer

Libertyville, Ill.

F Abi played both volleyball and lacrosse at Libertyville High School, located in a northern suburb of Chicago, while playing year-round club soccer. She suited up for the Eclipse Soccer Club, playing amongst the nation’s best for three years, as the team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation. The daughter of Jeff Ray and Wendi Gearing, she was born on December 9, 1994. Gearing plans on majoring in pre-veterinarian in her pursuit of a career as a veterinarian.

Ben Viaene / Football Hortonville, Wis. F Ben came to Tech a year ago hoping to find a spot on the squad, and heads into the 2013 season as the long snapper. He played two seasons at Minnesota State-Crookston before heading to Cookeville and joined after an on-campus tryout. At Crookston, his head coach was former Golden Eagle lineman Andrew Higgins. The son of David and Kelly Viaene, Ben was born March 30, 1992. His father played in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Ben is .majoring in agriculture engineering.

Lydia Triplett / Golf

Benton, Tenn.

F Lydia lettered four years in softball for her father, Bill Triplett, and also four years in golf, while at Polk County High School. She competed in the TSSAA Class A-AA State Tournament three seasons, placing sixth as a junior while garnering all-state honors. She was a district runner-up or medalist in 2009, 2010, and 2011 and named a Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of Preps selection in 2012. The captain of the golf team and co-captain of the softball team, she is the daughter of William and Linda Triplett. Born June 21, 1995, she is majoring in nursing.

Micki Dye / Soccer

Nashville, Tenn.

F Micki was a three-year letterwinner at Paige High School and earned one letter at Christ Presbyterian Academy. In three years at PHS, she led her team to three straight district and regional championships. As a senior at CPA, Dye led her team to district, regional, and sectional championships before taking home the AA state crown with her named tournament Offensive MVP. The daughter of Bret and Heather Dye, she was born January 20, 1995 and plans on majoring in nursing.


on the set One-time Golden Eagle walk-on plays role in Jackie Robinson movie “42” Tech Hall of Fame coach David Mays moved Jamie Ruehling from second to third base, and the switch paid off as the former Golden Eagle grabbed the role of Dodger third baseman Spider Jorgenson Nobody ever accused Jamie Ruehling of being a “star” on the Golden Eagle baseball team. A walk-on for coach David Mays in 1996 following two seasons at Cleveland State Community College, Ruehling (rhymes with grueling) played in just five games and went 0-for-3 with two walks. Not necessarily Hall of Fame credentials. But that one season on the Tennessee Tech baseball roster, coupled with a few years of coaching, were instrumental in a more recent episode that has rewritten

Ruehling’s baseball resume. Currently the assistant principal and athletic director at Grundy County High School, Ruehling tried out for, was chosen, and played the role of Brooklyn Dodger third baseman Spider Jorgenson in the Warner Brothers movie


“42” about the courage and major league debut of Jackie Robinson. “I guess coach Mays knew what he was doing when he moved me to third base,” kidded Ruehling when he returned to campus for the annual Baseball Legends Day in May. Ruehling played second base his entire career before Tech, but that simple adjustment by the Hall of Fame coach 16 years earlier gave Jamie a chance to learn a new position and new skills. “The tryouts for the movie were in Atlanta,” Ruehling said. “I just gravitated toward third base.” He said more than 300 players were invited to the casting call in Atlanta, and from that pool 170 were invited back to a two-day, weekend tryout camp at the East Cobb Baseball Complex. “On Monday I got a call that said I made the team,” Ruehling recalls. “The team would make up all of the Dodgers’ opponents.” From there, he was invited to read for the part of Spider Jorgenson, and a few days later got a call from legendary Hollywood stunt

coordinator Allan Graf, the second unit director, that Jamie had gotten the part. “Allan had done all of the great football movies in the past 15 years, but he didn’t really know anything about baseball,” Ruehling said. “He had the role because of all his success with the football movies, and he made it work.” The cast and some of the crew assembled in Atlanta for a twoweek training camp before heading out for filming. “All of the actors came in an treated me great, they treated me like one them,” Ruehling said. “They were all asking me what movies I’d been in.” Filming began in Birmingham for a week, then moved to Chattanooga for a couple weeks. From there, the entire cast and crew went to Macon, back to Chattanooga, back to Macon, and finally to Atlanta for complete the filming. The original script had one line for Ruehling, but he was asked to ad lib whenever he thought he should say something. There was one scene featuring actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Robinson in the starring role, and Jamie. It took place on the platform of a train station as the pair was moving up from the minor leagues to Brooklyn. continued on page 16

Far left: Jamie on the set with Harrison Ford, who played Dodger owner Branch Rickey Left: Jamie’s Golden Eagle baseball trading card This page: Jamie with actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson Next page top: Jamie at the Averitt Express Baseball Complex during 2012 TTU Baseball Legends Day Next page: Jamie (with his wife, Amanda, and oldest son, Jaden) in the stands at Bush Stadium


on the set

Wally Sturgess (right) looks on as Mickey Mantle takes batting practice before a 1964 World Series in Yankee Stadium

Jamie Ruehling in 42 (continued from page 22) “They told me to just talk with him, but like it was 1947,” Ruehling says. “The first cut of the movie was three hours long, so they had to cut a whole hour out, and my lines all got cut.” The movie depicts a friendship between Spider and Robinson. “Spider was from California, so he really hadn’t experienced racism,” Ruehling said. “He didn’t see what the big deal was about Jackie playing in the major leagues.” The pair came up together, and appeared in the Dodger lineup on April 15, 1947. “When Spider got called up, his equipment had all been sent to the next minor league park so he had to use Jackie Robinson’s infielder’s glove at first.” Ruehling said. “I’m anxious to see the director’s cut,” Ruehling said, hoping to see the lines that were trimmed from the movie. A native of tiny Gruetli-Lager, Tenn., Ruehling wanted to be an actor when he was younger, playing the


lead role every Easter and Christmas in the plays at the First Baptist Church in his hometown. “Growing up, I wanted to be a baseball player,” he said. “I always liked the movies and wanted to be an actor, too, so it was really a incredible to be able to play a baseball player in a movie.” Jamie and his family joined the cast in Hollywood for the premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theatre. “I got to walk the red carpet. It never seemed real. I had to pinch myself, and I just wanted to soak it all in,” he says. He knows Hollywood is not going to come calling. “If I want to do it again, I’ll need to put forth some efforts,” he said. “And if I get to do it again, it will just be a blessing.”


Get Golden Eagle Basketball 2013-14 Season Tickets

Call (931) 372-3940


in your ear

Mason Griffin’s


Mason Griffin returns to the golf course this season after sitting out the 2012-13 schedule. A junior from Kingston, Tenn., he is majoring in engineering. We asked him to share some of his favorite tunes... Lil’ Wayne Anything from Carter III - Believe it or not, Lil’ Wayne used to produce good music. Any song from that Album is great to practice to (center).

Macklemore “Ten Thousand Hours” - This song hits home for me regarding work ethic. One line goes something like “Put the hours in and look at what you get. Nothing that you can hold but everything that it is.” Any athlete that has competed and done something special knows that feeling. It’s about more than a trophy or a plaque, you can’t take that stuff with you. It’s the trust and confidence you gain in yourself and your teammates. That lasts forever. Justin Timberlake “Mirrors” - Justin Timberlake is a legend. Enough said. John Mayer “Bold as Love” - This song gets put on repeat during van rides to tournaments. I’m a big John Mayer fan. If you pull my headphones during our long van rides, Johnny’s voice will be coming through the speakers (left). Jason Aldean “Night Train” - I’m not a huge fan of country music, but every now and then some Jason Aldean or Luke Bryan will find their way onto my playlist (right).


Kids Club for TECH Fans ages 3-18


ONLY $25!! Official Hoop Troop T-Shirt

Opportunity to be a Tip-Off Kid before a Basketball Game

Official Hoop Troop Membership

Special Birthday Card

FREE Admission* to all Men’s and Women’s Basketball Games

Hoop Troop Club Giveaways

Access to Special Events for Hoop Troop Members

A Chance to Meet Coaches and Players

Autographed Picture of Awesome Eagle

* Parents must purchase tickets for admission to athletic events on Hoop Troop Days


where u wear it


Above: Ali Bush at Denali National Park in Alaska Below left: Former Golden Eagle Jake McIntosh in Ethiopia


Below: Jim and Brenda Hooper at Trunk Bay, St. John, United States Virgin Islands

More photos on page 33

Sept. 28th TTU Football vs. Indiana State 98.5 KISS FM Tailgate Park opens at 4 Game starts at 7

Fireworks... Join the fun at

Faith, Family


youth night

Tennessee Tech Football...

Faith Judah & The Lion will be playing following the game!

Family It’s Family Weekend on Campus!

Youth Receive a free kids ticket with each adult ticket purchased


- Come see your 13-14 Golden Eagle Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and TTU Cheer and Dance teams! - Scrimmage, 3-point Shootout, and Slam Dunk Contest - Get autographs from the teams and Awesome Eagle. - Win prizes and have FUN!


If you haven’t already, please e-mail your photos from around the world to: Please include “TTU clothing” in the subject line and remember to tell us the location and identify everyone in the photo. THANK YOU.

A Florida Gulf Coast seagull is interested in Melanie Christian’s Golden Eagle.

Left: Rebeka and Jordan Wright on their honeymoon at a volcano on the Island of St. Lucia. Below: Ethan and Randy Adcock at Tin Cup Pass (12,154 feet) on the Continental Divide, just outside of Ouray, Caolorado

Steve Arnold in Florence, Italy

Soccer players Katie Phillips (left) and Ellie Iaciofano in the Flat Iron Mountains of Colorado

Above: Tech 1969 alums Jim and Carol Brock at Lion’s Gate Bridge, Vancouver, Canada Brian Foust at Trafalgar Square in London SEE PAGE 101 for our Photo Submission winner, selected in a random drawing from the photos sent for this edition.


photo by Jim Dillon


Caught in the act...

Golden Eagle wide reciever Cody Matthews elevates to make a catch during one of the Golden Eagles’ preseason scrimmages. Matthews looks to be a huge offensive target as the Golden Eagles open the 2013 season.



Sharpies and Smiles..

The Golden Eagle football team signed autographs for fans following the scrimmage on August 17. The scrimmage took place during the ‘Gathering of Eagles,� and event for Tech fans to be engaged with the university athletics programs.


photo by Jim Dillon



Slide on over... Leigh Heffner its the turf to steal the ball from a Kennesaw State player during the Golden Eagle soccer match played at the University of Tennessee.


photo by Jocelyn VerVelde





Oct. 10 vs. UT Martin at 7 p.m. 40

the voice


BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- The Ohio Valley Conference has announced that Roger Ealey, voice of the Golden Eagle Sports Network for Tennessee Tech University, has been named the winner of the 2012-13 OVC Media Award, which is given to a media member who exhibits the highest commitment to covering the OVC. The awards were established in 2010 as a way to recognize thae media members who provide publicity for the Conference, its member institutions and intercollegiate athletics, perform their jobs in a fair, consistent and accurate manner, provide all-around coverage for a variety of sports and demonstrate the ability to go above and beyond their normal beat or job description. Ealey earned the award given to current media members covering the league; the OVC Media Lifetime Achievement Award (given to someone who formerly covered the OVC) was not awarded this year. “The OVC has a lot of great stories to tell and we are fortunate to have an outstanding group of media covering our schools, which was evident in the great candidates we had for the awards again this year,” said Kyle Schwartz, OVC Assistant Commissioner for Media Relations. “It is great to have an award that recognizes media members who have made significant contributions in covering the OVC and its member institutions.” Ealey has covered Tennessee Tech sports for over 25 years, providing a fair and balanced voice during that time period. In his tenure he has covered nearly every football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball game

while also covering baseball, softball and volleyball contests over the years. “This award really means a lot coming from our peers around the league,” Ealey said. “It is a real honor and a pleasure to be considered alongside people like Brian Nielsen, Neal Bradley and Mike Parris, who have won the award. We have such a great repertoire around the league, not only with the radio guys, but with the print and TV media, as well. It seems that everybody has been doing this a long time, they are all hard-working and that is what makes it such an honor.” Ealey began his career as a color commentator alongside play-by-play veteran Gene Davidson, replacing Hall of Fame sideman Eldon Burgess. He quickly worked into being the play-by-play voice for women’s basketball before eventually taking over all play-by-play duties. Ealey’s ability to describe the action earned him the opportunity to call play-by-play for several TSSAA State Championship football games on the statewide radio and television network. Ealey, who is employed full-time by WLIV Radio, has also the voice for Livingston Academy broadcasts for football and basketball for more than 30 years and also contributes stories and columns to area newspapers. Ealey and his wife, Pam, have two daughters. “I can’t think of anyone around the league who does not like Roger Ealey,” said Rob Schabert, Tennessee Tech assistant athletic director for sports information and broadcasting. “He calls games fairly and honestly, and he always exhibits class and sportsmanship, win or lose. Like a lot of the media people around the OVC, he tries to tell the story of the players, the teams and the conference in a positive and upbeat manner. He is a tremendous asset to Tennessee Tech Athletics, and to the Ohio Valley Conference, and we are all thrilled that he has received this recognition. He certainly deserves it.” The OVC Media Awards are determined in a nomination process and vote that included the media relations staffs at OVC member institutions as well as the Conference office. Winners are presented their awards in the fall during to be determined athletic contests on the campus of the school whose beat they cover/have covered.


Wrapping him up... Golden Eagle defender Cory Webber makes a diving tackle of a Murray State ball carrier last year in Tech’s game against the Racers. Tech will play a crucial OVC game at Murray State on Oct. 5.


photo by Tony Marable



All active and retired military personal and immediate family to receive free admission with Military ID. Scouts and Scout leaders of all levels, in uniform, receive free admission.

MILITARY APPRECIATION & SCOUT DAY Nov. 23 vs Austin Peay 1:30 p.m.



Hailing from Henderson, Tenn.,Chad Zinchini has become one of the most feared punters in the Ohio Valley Conference by putting returners in tough situations. We asked the senior punter to answer ten simple questions.


P My favorite meal to eat is steak and mashed potatoes.

CELEBRITY CRUSH P My celebrity crush is Hayden Panettiere.


P If I was in the circus, I would want to be a lion tamer.


P I eat a bacon megagriller from Backyard Burger every morning before class.

Sweet Sounds

P My favorite band is NSYNC.

Coach Quote

PCoach Brown’s favorite quote is “DON’T OVER THROW THE DEEP BALL!”

Jersey Swap

P If I could trade places with any of my teammates it would be Jonathan King, because of his great hair.

Tech Support

P Besides football, the TTU Quidditch team is my favorite sport to go support.

Super Powered

P If I could have any superpower it would be to fly. Then I could fly to campus and avoid getting more parking tickets...


P If I could be any animal, I would be a lion because they are the kings of the jungle.

45 43

photo by Tony Marable


The smell of the grease paint, the roar of the crowd... Head coach Watson Brown roams the sidelines in Tucker Stadium, while his son, assistant coach Stephen Brown (right) calls a play into the offense. A huge crowd backs the Golden Eagles, including a full row of painted young men showing their uninhibeted suport.



mascots 101

What’s in a Name?

Tech unwraps the mysteries beh Awesome Eagle (Tennessee Tech University): “Awesome Eagle” debuted as the Tennessee Tech mascot in 1985, serving as the third mascot in Tech athletics history. From 1975-1984 the decorated bird was fondly known as “Evil Eagle,” named after the one and only “Evil Knievel.” Just like Knievel, “Evil Eagle” was known for its daredevil stunts. Prior to the “Evil Eagle” era, the mascot was simply called “Golden Eagle,” with the name spanning from its debut in 1962 until its final year in 1974.

Bulldogs (Cumberland University) 8/29: Although Cumberland University uses a bulldog as its mascot and for all of its team names, the official logo of the athletic department is something far different. The logo features an interlocking C and U behind a rendering of a phoenix. The legend behind the phoenix dates back to August 1864. During the American Civil War, Confederate soldiers under the guidance of General Joseph Wheller’s command retook Lebanon and shortly after burned down Cumberland’s buildings. After the war had ended, Rev. W.E. Ward, an alumnus of Cumberland, while visiting the school’s remains, took a piece of burned wood and wrote the Latin word “Resurgam” on a portion of a Corinthian column that stood in the ashes. The Latin word that Ward wrote stood for “I shall arise,” and with the phoenix being a mythical bird rising from its ashes, we arrive at the meaning of the official Cumberland athletic department logo.


mascots 101 BY: DYLAN VAZZANO

hind the mascots on its schedule Bucky Badger (University of Wisconsin) 9/7: The badger started as the official University of Wisconsin mascot with the debut of the school’s intercollegiate football team in 1889, but it wasn’t until 1940 where the current form of “Bucky Badger” was born. The present version of Bucky, wearing a cardinal and white sweater, was first drawn in 1940 by professional illustrator Art Evans of Garden Grove, Calif. In 1949, a student dressed in a badger outfit with a papier-mâché head at the team’s homecoming game, officially giving rise to “Bucky Badger.” The Library of Congress in Washington D.C. designated “Bucky’s” birthday to be October 2. The original mascot was an actual live badger, but became too vicious to control and even escaped on more than one occasion. The live badger was replaced with a small raccoon named Regdab (badger backwards), before the eventual costume of “Bucky Badger” in 1949. The athletic department used a contest to name the new mascot, and the name “Bucky” came from the lyrics in a song which inspired the football team to “buck right through that line.”

Pirates (Hampton University) 9/14: With no official name, the Hampton Pirate mascot’s beginnings trace back to 1980. The name itself dates back to April 1933, when the student body chose the name “Pirates” over “Seasiders,” “Ironmen,” “Wildcats,” and “Buccaneers.” Fast forward to 1980, and Ishmail Conway, then SGA president dressed up like a pirate and rode a white horse at Homecoming. In 1982, Lee “Touche” Harris dawned a patch, pirate shirt, dagger and boots and danced and cheered on the team. These primary forms of the Hampton Pirate transitioned into the first official mascot costume when Coca-Cola donated an entire pirate getup in 1985. The man behind the mask was Dana Hubbard, a theatre arts major who was handpicked by Hampton President Dr. William R. Harvey and Director of University Relations Ann Stephens to wear the costume. Hubbard would go on to become the Kansas City Chief’s mascot, the first character mascot in the NFL.


mascots 101

Tigers (Tennessee State University) 9/21: The Tennessee State University Tiger, which prowled around nameless for years, is once again without a name. An online poll back in 2011 to finally give the Tiger an identity, showed support for the name “Tsunami” as over 11,000 people voted on that moniker. However shortly after, the “Tsunami” tag had to be stricken as university officials agreed that out of respect and sensitivity to the tsunami tragedy in Japan the name would not be appropriate.

Sycamore Sam (Indiana State University) 9/28: Before 1922 Indiana State had been referred to as the “Fighting Teachers,” but in January 1922 it was announced that the name “Sycamores” had won a student body vote as the new official name. Although the name was introduced, it wasn’t until December 6, 1995 when “Sycamore Sam” made his debut at an Indiana State men’s basketball game against Loyola University. The name “Sycamore Sam” comes from an advice-giving tree in the 1960s editions of the Indiana Statesman, the official newspaper of Indiana State University. The origin of the mascot is shrouded in mystery as “Sycamore Sam” does not have an official back story, but because of a distinct void in the Indiana State mascot tradition, an opportunity for Sam’s creation arose. For 20 years the mascot was an Indian Chief named “Chief Quabachi,” but in 1989 the University dropped its use of the mascot in response to a variety of objections, and thus leaving a gap that only “Sycamore Sam” himself could fill.

Dunker (Murray State University) 10/5: “Dunker,” the official mascot of Murray State University, derives its name from the school’s original nickname, the Thoroughbreds. The school’s current nickname, the Racers, was adopted in 1961 after a number of sports writers and editors began to shorten the nickname in their stories to “T-Breds,” “Breds,” “Race Horse,” and eventually “Racers.” The only sport that still goes by Thoroughbreds is the baseball team, as when the change to Racers became official, the baseball team had just purchased new uniforms and equipment with the Thoroughbreds logo on it so the team requested and was granted to stay as the Thoroughbreds for another year. Alumni and fans were so enthusiastic about the team keeping the name the Thoroughbreds that the baseball team decided to hold on to the nickname permanently. As far as “Dunker” is concerned, this Thoroughbred has enjoyed a slew of recent success, winning last year’s Delta Dental Mascot Challenge presented by the Ohio Valley Conference, just edging out Tech’s “Awesome Eagle” in a fan vote for the 2013 crown.


mascots 101

Captain (UT Martin) 10/10: With UT Martin’s nickname being the Skyhawks, the school chose the name “Captain” as its mascot because it’s a gender-neutral name that also fits the notion of a mythical hawk that flies a plane. The Skyhawks name became official in 1995 based on three concepts. The first educational institution on the site of UT Martin was Hall-Moody Bible Institute, and the athletic teams of the school were called the “sky pilots,” a term designated for preachers back in the day. The second concept takes us back to the times of World War II when UT Junior College teamed up with the Naval War Training Service to help train pilots, who completed their training at a nearby airport. The final concept presents us with the “hawk” part of the name, as red-tail hawks are indigenous to the west Tennessee region.

The Colonel (Eastern Kentucky University) 10/19: Originally known as the “Maroons,” Eastern Kentucky University students insisted on a nickname change. The change was all set to be the “Leopards,” but after a plan to purchase a leopard from a Memphis zoo turned sour, the school remained the “Maroons.” That is until 1963 when school President Robert Martin changed the name and mascot to the “Colonels.” The original design of the mascot was created by Louisville CourierJournal editorial cartoonist Hugh Haynie, and it depicts a Kentucky style colonel punting a leopard with an Eastern Kentucky football helmet flying off and the word “Git!” coming from the colonel’s mouth.

Cocky (Jacksonville State University) 10/26: Originally known as the “Eagle Owls” in honor of a rare predatory bird found near the Arctic Circle, Jacksonville State would go on to change its name to the “Fighting Gamecocks” in 1947. There was an outcry of people who wanted the school’s mascot to represent Southern culture and the school’s “tough spirit,” rather than the North Pole. Of the possible names, the nickname “Fighting Gamecocks” emerged from the crowd yet there was still a division of camps, those who embraced the new mascot, and those who still used “Eagle Owls” as the school’s moniker. In 1946 the school itself changed its name from “The State Normal School” to “Jacksonville Teachers College” and with the name change, many wanted a color change from the original blue and gold, to red and white which was worn by the area high school players. Legend has it that in order to get the new colors a compromise was needed, new colors for a new mascot. Thus the “Eagle Owl” nickname was finally dropped for the “Fighting Gamecocks” and its present day dancing mascot “Cocky.”


mascots 101

Billy the Panther (Eastern Illinois University) 11/2: For many years, Eastern Illinois sports teams were simply described as “Blue and Gray.” The Teachers College News, at the time the official newspaper of the college, understood that it was time to have an official nickname. The newspaper worked with Fox Lincoln Theatre and the two organizations decided to have a contest for the new logo. The school’s athletic director, football coach Charles “Pop” Lantz, football captain Gene Kintz, and News sports editor Irvin Singler were chosen to select the winning entry. On October 16, 1930, it was announced that the school’s new nickname would be the “Panthers.” The current EIU mascot name of “Billy the Panther” was used in the early 1980’s and 1990’s, but it was never officially accepted as the mascot’s name until September 13, 2008 when “Billy” made his debut prior to a football game against Indiana State.

Rowdy the Redhawk (Southeast Missouri State University) 11/9: “Rowdy the Redhawk” officially entered the lives of the Southeast Missouri State community prior to a men’s basketball game with Ohio Valley Conference rival Austin Peay at the Show Me Center on January 22, 2005. The debut came in front of over 6,600 fans and a national television audience, and from the get go it was clear that the school made the right decision with “Rowdy.” SEMO won the game 65-52. “Rowdy” took over for the school’s initial mascot “Chief Sagamore,” an Indian chief that was dressed in Native American regalia who was retired in the mid-1980s.

Governors (Austin Peay State University) 11/23: To understand the tale of how the “Governors” came to be the official mascot of Austin Peay State University, we must first understand who Austin Peay was. Born June 1, 1876, Peay served as the governor of Tennessee from 1923 until his death on October 2, 1927. The university was named in his honor, and to continue the legacy of Tennessee governors, the school decided to name the athletic teams the “Governors.” The “Governors” replaced the school’s previous two nicknames, the “Normalities” and the “Warriors.”




Fringe elements... Golden Eagle Mitch Thomas taps a shot onto the green last year during the Ohio Valley Conference championships at GreyStone Golf Course in Dickson, Tenn.


photo by Rob Schabert



photo by Rob Schabert


Impressive company... Golden Eagle freshman Brennan Huber finds himself running with some pretty impressive foes, including these entires from Florida and Furman, during the Western Carolina Invitational, the opening meet of the 2013 season for the Tech cross country teams.





photo by Rob Schabert

Run like the wind... Senior Rebecca Cline leads a pack of runners at the Western Carolina Invitational, the opening meet of the 2013 season for the TTU cross country teams.




by the numbers

F Ben came to Tech a year ago hoping to find a spot on the squad, and heads into the 2013 season as


Number of service aces currently owned by sophomore middle blocker Cody Dodd of the Tennessee Tech volleyball team through the first six games of the 2013 season. She currently leads the Ohio Valley Conference with 0.75 aces per set and also ranks fifth in the nation in the same category. The Cookeville native unloaded for six aces in a neutral site match against Milwaukee, accounting for and incrdible four in the second set alone.



Number of consecutive Ohio Valley Conference regular season wins by the Tennessee Tech men’s tennis team. The Golden Eagles have put together astonishing 8-0 and 9-0 regular season record in OVC play the past two years, continuing a trend of league dominance under head coach Kenny Doyle. Since his arrival in the summer of 2009, Doyle has led the Golden Eagle squad to an untouchable 28-3 record in OVC matches and two regular season conference championships.

Approaching Storm?

photo by Woody Geisler

The sky was ominous as the Golden Eagle football team did its stretching for the season opener with Cumberland. Later that night, while it didn’t storm above, the Golden Eagles wreaked havoc with a 63-7 victory over the Bulldogs.





Number of consecutive years that at least one Tennessee Tech student-athlete has been named CoSIDA Academic All-District dating back to 1990. In that span, 101 Golden Eagles have earned the honor, as opposed to just 12 in the years prior to 1990. Twenty-five of those selected Academic AllDistrict in that time frame also went on to garner CoSIDA Academic All-America status. Tech has had 35 total Academic All-Americans throughout the years beginning in 1976.

Number of saves sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Brown has accrued through just 23 games of her young career. The League City, Texas native ranks fourth in the nation with 53 saves in seven games start the 2013 season. She also finished 12th in Division I soccer in 2012 with 123 saves.

Number of wins the 2013 Tennessee Tech baseball team finished with last season, becoming the program’s first 40win team in history. Tech also set an Ohio Valley Conference record by winning 24 league games, dropping just six all season. In 2013, the Golden Eagles went on a nation-leading 14-game winning streak and knocked off the No. 2 ranked Vanderbilt Commodores in a thrilling 10-9 win in Nashville. Number of all-purpose yards sophomore runningback/returner Ladarius Vanlier compiled on just four touches in the season opener against Cumberland. The Nashville native capped up the incredible performance (which all occurred in the first half) with a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown, the longest punt return in Tech history.




photo by Woody Geisler

We are the champions... Members of the Golden Eagle tennis team, both last year and this year’s new faces, were hailed at halftime of the football season opener when they were presented with their 2013 OVC Championship Trophy. Joining the team in the event were Tech president Philip Oldham (far right), head coach Kenny Doyle (second from right), OVC Associate Commissioner Brad Walker (third from left), and Director of Athletics Mark Wilson (third from left,back row).




photo by Rob Schabert

Several Golden Eagle runners got their introduction to collegiate competition in August when Tech ran at the Wester Carolina Invitational, including freshman Daniel Williamson (foreground) and Jordan Roth in the back.





Octber 24 vs. Murray State



2003 Golden Eagle Soccer

Amidst a gorgeous, late fall sunny afternoon at Tech Soccer Field, Golden Eagle fans were treated to a piece of history in TTU’s 5-1 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Murray State. With three goals and one assist, Jill Burns set the school record for most points scored in a match with seven, a record that still stands today. The hat trick was also the first of a Tech record four for a career by Burns. Teammate Barbara Tomaszek joined in on the history making fun as well, setting the program record with four assists in one match, also a mark that still stands today. The Golden Eagles jumped on the board in the eighth minute thanks to a goal from Jocelyn Daniel, the assist credited to both Burns and Tomaszek, but Murray State responded just ten minutes later with the equalizing score. Tomaszek would add to her career day with a goal of her own in the 22nd minute, pushing Tech to a 2-1 advantage, a lead they would never relinquish. Up a goal, the stage was set for Burns’ heroics. Three scores in a matter of only 25 minutes, as Burns found the back of the net in the 26th, 48th, and 51st minute to notch her first career hat trick. Tomaszek picked up assists on each of Burns’ scores to conclude her record-setting day. Burns would go on to become the school leader in career goals with 40, 16 more than the second place mark even eight years after her graduation.



October 24 vs. Eastern Illinois



1997 Golden Eagle Volleyball

The Tennessee Tech Volleyball team set school records for most kills (96) in a match and most assists (89) in a 3-2 loss to Eastern Illinois. Five different Golden Eagles recorded double-digit kills in the match. Rachel Melchiorre led the way with 23; Stephanie Busch added 20, while hitting a percentage of .372; Mandi Miller added 17; Allison Berry added 11; and Lisa Dissel put away 10. Liz Ortegel and Sarah Hagovsky split the setting position and dished 43 and 45 assists, respectively. Tennessee Tech went on to compete in the NCAA tournament during the 1997 season. The Golden Eagles played Colorado in the opening round and lost, 3-0. The Tech roster that year produced two Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame inductees — Melchiorre was inaugurated in the 2008 class and Diane Seng was inducted in the 2010 class.

Rachel Melchiorre passes a ball during a match while playing for Tennessee Tech. Melchiorre is now in the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame.


Rock Steady... Golden Eagle quarterback Darian Stone (5) races toward the end zone with a Tennessee State Tiger defender in pursuit, during Tech’s OVC game at TSU last November. Stone, the Golden Eagle starter for the 2013 season, was making his first career start in this game.




photo by Tony Marable

photo bby Rob Schabert




Golden Eagle freshman Adam Cunningham unloads a drive during the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Golf Tournament, held at GreyStone Golf Course.




All smiles!

photo provided by NACDA

TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson beams a smile when introduced as one of four Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Director of the Year winners, during the annual NACDA Convention in Orlando.


photo by Rob Schabert



Get ‘em started young Young players participate in a throwing drill during the Golden Eagle Baseball Camp.


photo by Jim DIllon



Let’s get ready to r-r-rumble The Golden Eagle football team takes a stroll through fans in the Kiss 98.5 FM Tailgate Park for the season opener against Cumberland. It wa the start of a new tradition, the Golden Eagle Walk,


photo by Rob Schabert


Following through... Freshman Megan Williamson watches a shot at the OVC Championship Tournament.



photo by Rob Schabert

Floats like a butterfly Amelia McCoy strides toward the finish line at the first cross country meet of the 2013 season at Western Carolina University. Runners from Western Carolina and High Point are in her rear view mirror.)




Piling it on... Members of the Golden Eagle baseball team got to partake in an event that few student-athletes get to experience — the championship hogpile! It came after the Golden Eagles defeated Belmont on the final weekend of the regular season in the Averitt Express Baseball Complex, as the win clinched the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title.



photo by Craig Delk


photo by Rob Schabert


Check out these threads...

From left, Hope Scantland, T’Keyah Williams and Mariah Dean show off the t-shirts that were gifts to all of Tech’s student-athletes this past spring during the Athletics Departent’s annual Student-Athlete Appreciation Picnic, held at Bush Stadium.



What’s your secret?

photo by Rob Schabert

A couple of veteran coaches, Jim Davis (left) and Watson Brown, spent some time flipping burgers and tending the grilled chicken during the annual Student-Athlete Appreciation Picnic, which took place this past spring during a Golden Eagle baseball game in Bush Stadium.






Helping hands... Several members of the Golden Eagle football team spent an afternoon at the Mustard Seed Ranch helping with painting, hole-digging, and cleanup.





Tennessee Tech lost three men recently who played major roles in the success of not only the athletic program, but more importantly the success of hundreds of young Golden Eagle student-athletes.

Johnny Miller established and coached the Tennessee Tech wrestling team throughout in the late 1970s. On February 13, the former coach and educator died at the age of 91 in Cookeville. He served as an instructor in the Department of Health and Physical Education as well as the supervisor for student teachers until his retirement in 1990 at the age of 70. Miller spent three seasons as advisor to the Tech Wrestling Club, and helped elevate the group to a varsity sport in 1977-78. During college, Miller wrestled for Appalachian State and then for the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII. He coached eight years at Emory College, two at Vanderbilt and six at Tech. Prior to Tech, he served on the faculties at Emory, George Peabody College, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he was chairman of the Health and Physical Education Department.

Tennessee Tech Athletics lost an unselfish, caring, kind-hearted and beloved member of the family with the passing in May of Dr. Mike Huddleston, who served as team optometrist for every Golden Eagle student-athlete for the past 30 years. A graduate of Tech, he received his Doctor of Optometry degree form Southern College of Optometry and set out upon his professional practice. In 1982, it led him back to his alma mater. He approached then-Director of Athletics Dave Coffey to offer his services to assist Golden Eagle student-athletes. Mike was looking for a way to give back to the University and support his alma mater. And, he found it. Every student-athlete competing at Tech since 1983 began the year with a preseason physical exam that included a thorough eye exam from Dr. Huddleston. In the ensuing 30 years, he conducted approximately 9,000 eye exams and was on-call for any injuries or eye conditions as needed. As the team optometrist, he also provided services for Tech’s coaches and athletics staff. He was instrumental in bringing on board his good friend, Dr. Clark Childress, as the team dentist. An avid fan, he attended many of Tech’s games for those three decades, celebrating many conference championships with the student-athletes and coaches who had gotten to know him and appreciated his care. He was one of the driving forces behind establishing the Haunted Half Marathon, one of the most popular runs in Cookeville, and he ran in several other races including the Chicago Marathon and Music City Half Marathon. He retained meaningful ties to the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity of which he was a member while at TTU.

Widely known as a "players' coach," Bob Joye was among the most wellliked coaches in Tech history, according to many of his players. He helped the Golden Eagle football team enjoy some of its greatest gridiron success during his time on the football staff from 1969 until 1981. Joye began his career at Tech under head coach Don Wade in 1969 by working with Tech's runningbacks, and was instrumental in the record-setting career of future NFLer Larry Schreiber. When Joye switched to coaching linebackers, he worked with a string of NFL-bound allstars, including Jim Youngblood, Howard Stidham and Mike Hennigan. Joye helped the Golden Eagles claim Ohio Valley Conference championships in 1972 and 1975. He was inducted into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.


Thursday in the Park...

photo by Woody Geisler

Fans, students, the marching band, cheerleaders and was a happy, crowded Kiss 98.5 FM Tailgate Park at the Thursday night season opener against Cumberland.







photos by Jim Dillon

Cheerleader Samantha White is surprised by the photo she sees in the viewfinder, taken during pregame festivities of the football season opener at the Kiss 98.5 FM Tailgate Park.

What she saw...


photo by Jim Dillon


Streeeeetch... Senior midfielder Shannon Rountree makes a play in Tech’s 2013 season opener against Alabama State.



COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD Just a sampling of community events in the coming months

Cookeville Fall Fun Fest - Sept. 6-7 31st Annual Standing Stone Marbles Festival & National Rolley Hole Championships - Sept. 14

Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes - Sept. 15 Pacesetters 2013 5K Walk/Run - Sept. 21 Komen Race for the Cure - Sept. 22 WCTE’s 7th Annual Blues & Brews - Oct. 4 10th Annual Bark in the Park - Oct. 5 Haunted Half Marathon - Oct. 19 Cookin’ On The Square - Oct. 25

Alzheimer’s Walk - Oct. 27 Purple Palooza - Oct. 29


Halloween - Oct. 31

WINNING PHOTO...two tickets to the football game vs. TSU, Sept. 21.

Carol Brock (TTU English-journalism ‘69) and Jim Knight (TTU M.E. ‘67) at Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada.


Unlimited September/October 2013  

The September/October edition of unlimited, the online magazine of Tennessee Tech University athletics

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