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LET’S get COOKIN’ Tech basketball teams, coaches and fans ready to start 2012-13 season

TRICK OR TREAT Golden Eagles compete in a pumpkin-carving contest

Photos from the

Tailgate Park Hall of Fame Four to be inducted into TTU Sports Hall of Fame


Just in case you’re a sports fan, here’s a little travel idea


What your favorite Golden Eagle is reading


Madi Comperry gives her thoughts on her summer travels in Europe

PLUS: Calendar of Events, great photography and more....all for FUN and all for FREE

November/December 2012/Volume 1, Issue 2

photo by Jim DIllon


We’ve got your backs...

Murray State might have been ranked in the nation’s Top 10, but that didn’t impress Golden Eagle fans during last February’s OVC contest. After setting an Eblen Center attendance record for the women’s game, fans in the highly partisan crowd turned their backs and gave a cold shoulder to the Racers during the introduction of the starting lineup. The enthusiastic crowd support of the Golden Eagles gained national attention -- Tennessee Tech received high praise from “Stadiums” magazine for the atmosphere and support of Golden Eagle basketball. The men’s game against Murray State this season (Jan. 24) will be nationally televised by ESPNU.




{ } Stuff You Oughta Know

...A slam dunk contest, 3-point shootouts, a chance to meet players and coaches, and drawings for exclusive prizes. Those are some of the highlights planned for the first Purple Palooza, a tip-off celebration of Tennessee Tech basketball and introduction to the Golden Eagle men’s and women’s teams. Purple Palooza -- similar to Midnight Madness but earlier in the day -- is set for Thursday (Oct. 25) beginning at 7 p.m. in Tech’s Eblen Center. Admission is FREE, and all Tech basketball fans, students, faculty and staff are invited to take part in the festivities. ... The Golden Eagle soccer team will host its final home match of the season on Friday, Oct. 26, facing off against OVC foe Southeast Missouri at 3 p.m. in a match with huge postseason implications. Tech needs two wins in two games to make a run at one of the six playoff spots given to the 11 teams of the OVC. The day will be bittersweet, no matter the result, as seven senior members of the Golden Eagles will play their final career match at the Tech Soccer Field. Those seniors, who were recognized at Senior Day earlier in the year, include: Kris Cambron, Sarah Gawthrop, Andrea Meloff, Kerri Reid, Alex Stevenson, Julie Thompson, and Jacquie Watkins. continued on page 39

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER Volume 1, Issue 2









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


Feeling Social?


the gift of time

From the editor

The gentleman is 88 years old he told us, spent much of his life in another state, and doesn’t receive much company where he now lives at a local Assisted Living Home. When four good-sized young men — Golden Eagle football players Justin Ivory, Patrick Prewitt, Jerry King and James Normand — walked into his room bearing a pumpkin and coming to spend some time to visit with him, his face lit up. After several minutes of chatting, he said, “I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve never been around any football players.” Those guys didn’t need to move heaven and earth to have a small impact on that man’s day. Or on the other folks they visited. Each of them seemed to appreciate the simple gift of time that the Golden Eagle players provided. And, the players learned that many of the people they met are fans. They watch their games when they’re televised. They listen to the broadcasts on the radio. Some even have season tickets and find a way to get to Tucker Stadium every year. “It was really nice to visit with them, and learn a little about each of them,” said one player. “It’s important for us to take some time away from classes and competition and spend time in the community, whether it’s at a large, public event or quietly, away from crowds like today.” With the help of Tech’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), all of the Golden Eagle teams competed in a pumpkin-carving contest (see the results inside the issue of unlimited magazine). The pumpkins would be delivered personally by the SAAC members, to folks at area nursing homes who didn’t get much company. Unfortunately, carved pumpkins don’t have a long shelf life, so we delivered uncarved pumpkins. Didn’t matter. In this second issue of unlimited, a whopping 82 pages, we include glimpes of student-atheletes, fans and coaches in a variety of acivities. Not only do we see them in competition, we get to view them at community service events (such as FunFest), on travels across Europe, in the Tailgate Park, with their pumpkins. The cover story offers an inside look at basketball coaches Steve Payne and Jim Davis, who are busy preparing for the start of the season. Instead of previews about the teams (which you can find on the website and in plenty of other media outlets), we talked with them about the approaching holidays and what they mean to each of them and their families. I hope you enjoy this magazine. Since you’ve found it, please tell others about it. And, please let us know your thoughts. Send your feedback to: Rob Schabert Assistant Athletic Director / Editor







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The pumpkin-carving team from the Golden Eagle women’s basketball squad is featured on the cover, displaying their entry. The foursome includes, from left, freshman Tia Nicholson, senior Kellie Cook, junior Molly Heady and freshman Quira Demery. 2


a cut above


The BASEBALL team was represented by Mike Morris.


The MEN’S BASKETBALL team put together a carving team that included, from left, Javon McKay, Matt Marseille and Jud DIllard.


a cut above


Peri Winborne and Meghan O’Donoghue represented the WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM.


The FOOTBALL team was well-represented by, from left, Patrick Prewitt, Ryan Tilghman, Jerry King and Justin Ivory.


a cut above


From left, Kris Cambron, Ellie Iaciofano and Amanda Koch were the SOCCER team’s front line in the pumpkin carving contest.



a cut above



The WOMEN’S GOLF team was represented by, from left, Amber Shepherd, Megan Williamson, Madalyn Everts, Amanda Randolph and Katya Hoffman.


a cut above



Four throwers made up the WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD team pumpkin-carving crew. Clockwise from left, they were Lacy Yslas, Kathryn Forbes, Madison Borden and, down under, Haley Wennerstrom.


a cut above


Freshman Mitchell Thomas was the knife-wielder for the MEN’S GOLF team.


The WOMEN’S BASKETBALL coaching staff put together a carving team that included, from left, Bart Walker, Jessica Mathis, Allison Clark and Brooke McKinnon-Evans.


a cut above


Carvers for the VOLLEYBALL team came up with an unusual entry -- a giant burger, complete with sesame seed bun. The creators were Audrey Lewis and Christine Maci.



a cut above


Christian Gibbs and Cortney Fry stepped to the plate as the SOFTBALL team’s carving squad.



a cut above


The MARKETING DEPT. provided a team that included Hannah Hut, Bobby Long and Leveda Birdwell.



a cut above


The winning pumpkin was produced by the MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY team, represented by John Greene and Sterling Smith




fresh faces

Some of the student-athletes who are making their debut in 2012-13 ... Tech’s cross country teams will head to Alabama on the final weekend of October to run in the Ohio Valley Conference championships, hosted by Jacksonville State on Saturday, Oct. 27. They will be the first conference championships decided this year. ... The Tennessee Tech baseball team will open it Purple & Gold World Series on Tuesday, Oct. 30. After a draft conducted by the senior class, the two teams will square off against each other in five intersquad games. The game schedule will be announced on Monday, Oct. 29 along with the Purple and Gold rosters. All game days and times are subject to change. ... The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles produced eight CoSIDA Academic All-America nominees this fall season, four from soccer, three from football, and one from volleyball. From the pitch, senior Kris Cambron, juniors Taylor Hicks and Ellie Iaciofano, and sophomore Katie Phillips were selected to the ballot. On the gridiron, junior James Normand and sophomores Stephen Bush and Cody Matthews were nominated. Senior Kelsey Gray represented the volleyball court, earning her third straight nomination. Normand was named to the CoSIDA Acadmic All-District IV squad last season. ... There’s some buzz floating around the Tennessee Tech basketball programs following the Ohio Valley Conference Media Day on Oct. 23. The women’s team, which boasts preseason All-OVC selction Jala Harris, was picked to finish first in the newly formed East Division. The men’s squad, which was picked to finish third in the East Division, also boasts its continued on page 30

Chris Harris / Football

Columbia, Tenn.

F A two-time District 8AAA Kicker of the Year, Chris had an outstanding career at Columbia Central High School. He helped the Lions win the 2010 Class 5A state title in Tucker Stadium after a second place finish in 2009. Named first-team All-Mid-State, Chris also lettered in soccer and baseball. He wrapped up his career going 15-for-21 on field goals and 139 for 145 in PATs. He is the son of Gaylon Elaine Harris and is majoring in mechanical engineering.

Landry Loving / Track & Cross Country Johnson City, Tenn. F Landry is in her first season on the track & field and cross country teams, hailing from University High School in Johnson City, Tenn., where she was a five-time letterwinner in each sport. She was awarded with Athlete of the Year and StudentAthlete of the Year awards and was a member of three state cross country teams. The daughter of Wayne and Ruth Loving, she is majoring in computer science, business, and geology.

Allison Geer / Golf

Cookeville, Tenn.

F Allison lettered four years at White County High School, and was named the District 6AAA Player of the Year in her final three seasons. She placed second in the district tournament as a junior, then won the tournament as a senior and led the Warriorette team to a district title. Made Bback-to-back state tournament appearances, then graduated ninth in her class with a 4.0 GPA. The daughter of Terry and Andrea Geer, she is majoring in Nursing.

Taylor Sutton / Soccer

Ballwin, Mo.

F Taylor, a four-year letter winner at Marquette High School, was named the team MVP following her senior season as team captain. She also earned the varsity soccer 110% award in 2010 and 2012. A two-sport athlete, she was named captain and MVP of the JV basketball team in 2009 and 2010. As a member of the Missouri ODP team that competed in the 2010 ODP National Championship Tournament, she helped her team to a second place finish. The daughter of Charles and Carolyn Sutton, she is majoring in pre-physical therapy.

Mackenzie Miller/ Soccer

WIldwood, Mo.

F Mackenzie played forward and midfield at Lafayette High School and was a scholar-athlete all four years. She made four appearances on her high school’s honor roll and received Renaissance Honors. She played on the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Elite Team (U17 and U18) and played in the Elite Club National League. The daughter of James and Sally Miller, she is majoring in elementary education.


fresh faces

Some of the student-athletes who are making their debut in 2012-13 own preseason All-OVC pick in senior guard Jud Dillard, the rebounding leader from the OVC a year ago. Both teams will kick-off their seasons on Nov. 10 in the midst of a tripleheader of sporting events for the Golden Eagles. ... On Friday, Nov. 2, the athletics department will induct its 38th class into the Tennessee Tech University Sports Hall of Fame. Included in the Class of 2012 are former football player Kenneth Fults, former basketball player Janet Holt Baker, former football and baseball player Grant Swallows, and fomer coach and administrator Randy Smith. ... The senior members of the Golden Eagle volleyball team will make their final appearance in the Eblen Center on Saturday, Nov. 3. The match against Eastern Illinois will be preceded by a Senior Day ceremony which will honor Madison Comperry, Katrina Dvorken, and Kelsey Gray for their services to both the volleyball team and the Tech community. ... The Nov. 10 football game will mark a trifecta of special recognitions. The match-up against UT Martin will be Tech’s Military & Public Safety Appreciation Day, honoring all those who have and are currently serving the community and nation in the military or public safety fields. All active and retired military personnel and immediate family receive free admission with a military ID. Also being recognized that day are the Boy and Girl Scouts of America. Any scouts and scout leaders of all levels in uniform will receive free admission to the game. The game will also act as the continued on page 42


Tia Nicholson / Basketball Clarksville, Tenn. F Latia comes to Tech from Clarksville High School where she received four letters as a member of the basketball team playing forward/center. She was named all-district and made three appearances in the state championship. Tia averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, four blocks, and eight assists per game as a senior. The daughter of Frederick Nicholson, she is majoring in Nursing.

Ryon Riggons / Basketball Norcross, Ga. F After sitting out the 2011-12 season as a redshirt, Ryon is ready to get his Golden Eagle career started. He averaged a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds per game as a two-year letterman at power forward and center at North Gwinnett High School. Named co-captain of his team as a senior, he was a candidate for the McDonald’s All-American award. The son of Rosalynne Cole, Ryon is majoring in business.

Steve Wilson / Football Smyrna, Tenn. F A multi-dimensional threat at Smyrna High School, Steve helped the Bulldogs reach the TSSAA Class 5-A quarterfinals in 2008 and finish as the 2010 Class 6-A runnerup at 13-2. He completed 60 percent of his career pass attempts for 3,470 yards and 36 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 850 yards and four touchdowns. The son of Steve Wilson and Januas Blythe, he is majoring in basic business.

Kanaja Murray / Baskerball Sumter, S.C. F Kanaja comes to Tech from Crestwood High School in Sumter, South Carolina. She was a versatile prep athlete, participating on both the track team and the basketball team, and was the recipient of the MVP and Sportsmanship Awards. Kanaja led her basketball team to the regional championship. The daughter of Patrick and Betty Murray, she will major in pre-pharmacy.

Jordan Brown / Soccer

League City, Tex.

F Jordan was the only member of her team to letter all four years on the varsity soccer team at Clear Springs High School and was named first-team all-district and first-team all-county three years. She earned Goalkeeper of the Year twice and first-team Greater Houston twice.The daughter of Charles and Blythe Brown, she is majoring in pre-veterinary and intends to pursue a career as a small animal vet.

shelf life


Justin Alexander / Baseball

Heads-Up Baseball by Tom Hansen


F My high school coach told me about this book. It helps me with the mental aspects of the game. The book also helps develop my confidence. A heads-up player has confidence in his ability, keeps control in pressure situations, and focuses on one pitch at a time. This book gives you practical strategies for developing the mental skills which help speed you to your full potential.

Terrell Barnes / Basketball F The

Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

F A friend recommended this book to me and I received it as a gift. It’s not a quick read, but it gets you thinking. It gets you thinking about history and the future. It’s a little repetitive, but it could happen and there’s never a dull moment. It uses scripture to demonstrate the ties between the destruction of ancient Israel and current America. This book provides a little bit of hope.

Kellie Cook / Basketball To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal, M.D.


F I read the entire book in one day. It was interesting because the story was about a woman who went to Heaven and then came back to earth. The details of the book gave me cold chills. I loved reading the events that she went through and how God touched her life. The book gave me hope for eternal life and just proved once again that God is alive and well. If you want some encouragement and hope with excitement then pick up this book.

DeOndre Hanyes / Basketball F

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

F In one of my English classes, reading this book was an assignment and we had quizzes about the book every day. At first, I thought it was going to be terrible, but it turned out to be really neat. The main character sees racism, and he becomes very caring. It’s an eye-opening book, and I learned you can never judge a book by its cover.

Tevis Sherfield / Baseball F

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

F I read this book for a class, and I’m glad I did. It was about the war in Vietnam and the Soldiers who served. It was a little slow getting into it at first, but I kind of grew into it the more I read, and I ended up really liking it. The book deals with events before and after the war, in addition to the war itself. The time span covers more than 30 years in the lives of the author and his fellow soldiers.


shelf life


Courtney Smith / Volleyball

Crazy Love by Francis Chan


F I read the book Crazy Love to challenge and grow in my faith with Christ. The book not only helped strengthen my relationship with God, but it helped me realize what I wanted in a male figure. This book changed my life and views on everyday life and I recommend it to everyone!

Katie Lowery / Track & Field F Act

Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

F This book kind of gave me an idea of how guys think, and how they really have a completely different point of view on a lot of things. It was straightforward and funny, and much of the advice is just common sense.

Da’Rick Rogers / Football Inky by Inky Johnson


F A Tennessee alum suggested that I read this book, and it was really inspirational. It was all about Inky Johnson and his career, and all the battles that he had to fight to be successful following an injury that changed his life forever.

Ammanuel Diressa / Men’s Basketball F

Midnight by Sister Souljah

F I originally read this book because my high school coach suggested it and that the main character reminded him of myself. After reading through the book, I was amazed to discover how many similarities there were between myself and the main character, Midnight. Overall I thought it was a very interesting read.

Thomas Cox / Football Coach F

Fresh Air by Chris Hodges

F This is a book by my fomer pastor in Birmingham, at the Church of the Highlands. It’s his first book and it’s already on the New York Times Bestseller List. The book is about finding new, fresh life in a relationship with God. It helps bring a breath of fresh air into your relationship.





Women’s basketball fans are going to fall in love with Golden Eagle newcomer Mariah Dean, a freshman from Atlanta.

GUILTY PLEASURE F I love to eat sweets really late at night, especially chocolate candy. My favorite is Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate.

FAVORITE MEAL F Eggplant casserole. Eggplant tastes pike Pringles, and who wouldn’t want Pringles for a meal?

CELEBRITY CRUSH F Kobe’s my favorite. We used to be married but nobody knows that!

SWEET & SOUR F Victoria’s Secret Juicy. It’s subtle and can only be smelled when people are close.

QUIRKY TALENT F I can roll my stomach like a wave. My roommate just laughed at me and asked “what’s the purpose of that?”


cover story

LET’S get COOKIN’ Basketball coaches Steve Payne and Jim Davis each have their teams poised on the brink of the 2012-13 season, both bringing high expectations and talented squads into the year. Payne heads into his second year as the Golden Eagle head coach, his 11th year overall on the TTU staff and his 22nd season as a collegiate coach. Davis is a new face on campus entering his first season at the helm of the Tech women’s program. It’s his 26th season as a head coach and 34th season overall in coaching. With the schedules set to begin in early November, and the teams deep into practices, fans are looking for season outlooks, statistics, rosters and predictions. There is plenty of that material available in magazines, newspapers, blogs and websites. Instead, unlimited magazine is taking a different look ahead and examining the impact basketball has on their families As veteran coaches with a combined 56 years of coaching behind them, each is well aware of the pressures and demands that the season will place on his team, his staff….and his family. To give each coach a momentary pause from his hectic, daily schedule, unlimited magazine has stepped outside the lines and asked each to reflect on the holidays approaching in November and December. While their teams will be in the thick of competition when Thanksgiving and Christmas pop up on the calendar, each embraces the importance of family during those special days. And family, to these basketball coaches, extends to his players.

HOLIDAYS AT THE HOUSE OF PAYNE Basketball is front-and-center for Steve Payne. It’s what’s on his mind and at the top of his thoughts. That is, of course, just beneath his family. So when the Tennessee Tech basketball schedule intersects with his family, the Golden Eagle head coach finds whatever detours are necessary to make sure that his family – his wife, Kelli, and their three children, sons Parker and Paxton and


daughter Abigail – are his first priority. Never is it more of a tangle than during the holidays, when family activities always seem to glow brighter in importance yet the basketball season is at full throttle. “As a basketball coach, you kind of resign yourself to how things are tough sometimes and sometimes you have to celebrate holidays in different ways,” Payne said. “I make

sure my family and I have our time together.” As a veteran coach who has mentored dozens and dozens of players, Payne understands the close bond between coaches and players. So, including his players as part of his “extended” family at the holidays is natural. “What we do with our team is not going to take away from my family,” Payne says. “My most impor-

tant roles are as husband and father. I’m fortunate enough to have really good young men in our program, people I like being around, people I want my kids around, so it’s not a minus, it’s a plus that I get to have my basketball family there. These are guys I love, and I enjoy having them with us and with our family and I hope they feel the same way. If you’d ask my kids, that’s one of their favorite times of year.” After a game Tuesday night (Nov. 20) in Eblen Center against Evansville, the Golden Eagles will have several days out of action before returning the following Wednesday (Nov. 28) at Chicago Loyola. During that break, many of the Golden Eagles will spend Thanksgiving at the Payne home. “We’re going to have Thanksgiving at our house this year,” Payne said, “so I probably need to inform (my wife) Kelli. We’ll have Thanksgiving at our house with our team, the guys that are here and their families if they wanted to come out. We really try to get together, we did this last year at our house and Russ’s wife (Sarah) and all the coach’s wives helped, and they did a great job. It was a good meal, and every body got to eat turkey and ham, and the traditional Thanksgiving meal.” Because there has always been basketball around the holidays, Payne’s family has grown up with the sport being a big part of the holiday scene. “We’ve been here so long now, our entire family is so intertwined with Tennessee Tech basketball,” Payne said. “If there are bigger Tennessee Tech fans than my kids, then I don’t know where they would be.” While the holidays are a special time, it doesn’t mean Steve’s family does anything much differently. “We try to live through daily moments, you know? We don’t plan for one big thing,” Payne said. “I think if you’re a terrible father and husband for 364 days a year, that one day is not going to make up for it, so we really focus on trying to be good to each other the whole time. “

“My most important roles are as husband and father.” - Steve Payne “Not that it’s always successful, but we want our kids – and our players -- to have consistency of habits and be good people daily, good workers daily, good students daily, good athletes daily, and it comes through consistency,” he says. So, Payne consistently blends his family’s activities with the team’s practice and game schedule, as well as his travels for recruiting. “I might be the only Division I head coach in the world that tries to go and sit on the football sidelines with his sons in the fall and watch them, but that’s important to me, they enjoy it,” he said. “It’s important that I see that part of their life and I share that with them, and when I’m here and I’m available to do it, I’m going to do those things. To me, that’s more important than spending one day with our guys and having a tradition. Hopefully, our tradition will be that we love each other and we have a close-knit family and we’ll always be like that.” In addition to a break this year for Thanksgiving, the men’s team also gets a few days off for Christmas, with a game Dec. 22 at Oklahoma State before opening Ohio Valley Conference play at Jacksonville State, Dec. 29. Looking ahead , does Payne have any particular item that he wants to give out as gifts? “I want to be able to give shirts to our players that say ‘Ho Ho Ho, 12 and 0’ with a big Santa Claus on it,” he said. Has he ordered the shirts, yet? “No. No. No.”

GOING FROM ‘DAD’ TO ‘PAPA’ Jim Davis and his wife, Bobbye have raised a family, moving from early holiday traditions in their home to trying to establish new traditions with their grandchildren. Their son, Todd, and his wife Rhonda, have two children, Ansleigh Grace and Jacob Garrett. “Our holiday plans have always been dictated by our basketball schedule,” Davis says. “I have a large family and Thanksgiving was a big deal when I was growing up. Everybody came back, we would have turkey or ham or chicken or whatever we could afford, which wasn’t much. It was a festive time; it was a time to reflect on the past year, and a time to be thankful for what we had.” Once he entered the world of coaching basketball, both at the high school level and as a collegiate coach, Davis said things changed.

“Our players and support staff are all invited to come to our home for Thanksgiving dinner after we practice that morning. They have to come to practice first to get to come to eat it. No, I’m just kidding.” - Jim Davis “We ran into a lot of problems traveling,” he said. “We’d almost always play in a Thanksgiving tournament that was a Friday-Saturday, so we were on the road on Thanksgiving day. It’s very difficult to find a place where you can get a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, especially with the entire team. “I do remember one very fine Thanksgiving memory with my continued on page 38


LET’S get COOKIN’ team,” he said. “One year we (Clemson) were playing in a tournament at UConn. It was a “Coaches versus Cancer” tournament and it was Old Dominion, Clemson, UConn and Kentucky. It was a Saturday-Sunday tournament, so we didn’t leave until Friday and we were at home on Thanksgiving. “ “Well, my wife, whom I’ve always said is the greatest ‘team mom’ ever, sent out invitations to every member of the team: players, coaches, support staff, inviting them to our home Thanksgiving afternoon. She prepared every single dish that each person requested and put it on that table. That was probably my all-time favorite Thanksgiving memory with my players.” The women’s basketball team spends most of the first month of the season playing at home, including Eblen Center appearances two days before Thanksgiving (Nov. 20 vs. Middle Tennessee) and two days after (Nov. 24 vs. Louisiana-Monroe). “Traditionally, Thanksgiving is turkey and dressing and football, but we want to encourage are fans to come to Eblen Center on Saturday for Golden Eagle basketball, too. Eat their leftovers and come to watch Tennessee Tech basketball. “ Now that Davis’ son is grown and moved away, the chance to gather at the holidays is a cherished opportunity for Jim and Bobbye. “We always go to see them at Christmas, so hopefully they will be able to come see us at Thanksgiving,” he said. “Our players and support staff are all invited to come to our home for Thanksgiving dinner after we practice that morning. They have to come to practice first to get to come to eat. No, I’m just kidding.” December is a completely different story for Davis’ team, which will spend most of the month on the road. After a visit to New York City for the St. John’s Holiday Tournament (Dec. 15-16), the Golden Eagles play at Marshall on Dec. 22 and return to action on Dec. 29 with their OVC opener at Jacksonville State.


WHAT’S ON YOUR TABLE? Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day. Tennessee Tech coaches Steve Payne and Jim Davis have their own ideas about the perfect holiday meal?

---- Steve Payne

Steve: I’ve got to have that turkey and ham. I’ve always been a big green bean guy and mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes, and corn, and about everything. I’m a big pumpkin pie guy with whipped cream on it. I’d be pretty good with all that. Magazine: Dressing? Steve: Oh, yeah. Cornbread. Magazine: Do you do any of the cooking? Steve: No. I’m strictly the grill guy. If it’s cooked on the grill at our house, I cooked it, but if it’s not, Kelli’s done it all. Magazine: Do you carve the turkey at all or is that her, too? Steve: Last year, it was Sarah’s dad because I had never carved a turkey. So, pretty much I’m useless. I just host it and tell everybody what to do. Magazine: Is there any particular side dish that you absolutely must have, if you showed up to dinner and it wasn’t there, you’d say something’s wrong here? Steve: Sweet potatoes would probably be it. Sweet potato casserole would probably be it. Magazine: After dinner? Steve: I do play a mean game of Rook after the dinner.

---- Jim Davis

Magazine: Is there a particular side dish that you can’t live without at a holiday dinner? Jim: Sweet potato casserole, sweet potato soufflé, whatever you call it. You know, you can have the turkey and the ham and all that, but I have to have the sweet potato soufflé. Magazine: Describe the items at a typical family meal. Jim: Most years, we like to deep-fry our turkey. Have you ever had a fried turkey? Magazine: Are you the fry cook, then? Jim: Well I have a fryer, and I’ve done it before, but it takes some time and it makes a mess, so the last few years, we’ve just gotten a group of people together and just fried them all day long. So I just take my turkey over there. Magazine: What else has to be at your Thanksgiving or Holiday dinner? Jim: Turkey, sweet potato soufflé, some kind of potato au gratin, she (Bobbye) always has a salad of course. Magazine: What kind of bread? Rolls, biscuits, croissants? Jim: When I was growing up, it was always homemade biscuits. And Bobbye could make homemade biscuits. Magazine: How about the dressing? Jim: Oh yeah, cornbread dressing. With giblet gravy on top of it. Magazine: Any other sides? Jim: Cream-style corn, green beans. My mother-in-law’s canned green beans are unlike any other.






COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD Purple Palooza - Thursday, Oct. 25 t. 26

Habitat for Humanity Cookin’ On The Square - Oc

CP Alzheimer’s Walk - Saturday, Oct. 27 President’s Oldham’s Investiture -Friday, Nov. 2 TTU Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner - Friday,

Nov. 2

Mistletoe Market - Nov. 2-3 Election Day - Nov. 6

ART Prowl - Nov. 9-10 Military Appreciation Day - Saturday, Nov. 10 Veteran’s Day - Nov. 12 Santa’s Workshop - Nov. 16-18 YMCA Turkey Trot 5K - Thursday, Nov. 22 Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, Nov. 22 Cookeville Christmas Parade - Monday, Nov. 26 TSSAA Blue Cross Bowl Games - Nov. 29-Dec. 1

Jingle BellTrot - Dec. 8 TACA All-Star Game - Dec. 8 Winter Commencement - Saturday, Dec. 15 Christmas Day - Tuesday, Dec. 25


New Year’s Day - Jan. 1

in your ear Jerry King’s


LITTLE BIG TOWN “Boondocks” - I just like this song. I like the music. I like the lyrics. It’s just me when I get out on the road. (below left) DMX “Party Up (Up in here)” - This song gives me energy. It’s what I like to hear when I’m getting ready for a game. TAYLOR SWIFT “Love Story” - This is just a mellow song I like to listen to when I’m relaxing, or when I have a lot on my mind. (below right) DARIUS RUCKER “Come Back Song” - I really like Darius Rucker. A black country singer. I’m just a country kind of guy and this is just a good song (right) BLUE FOUNDATION “Eyes on Fire” This is just a good, all around song I can listen to anytime. When I’m studying. When I’m relaxing. (below center).


fresh faces

Some of the student-athletes who are making their debut in 2012-13 Golden Eagles’ Senior Day, honoring the senior class of the Tech football team. Nineteen players will be honored in a pregame ceremony before playing their last career game at Tucker Stadium. ... Homecoming weekend will be upon the Tennessee Tech campus, falling during the Nov. 2-3 weekend. The Golden Eagles will host Eastern Illinois as their homecoming opponent, hoping to play spoiler to the Panther’s OVC title hopes. ... The OVC Digital Network is up-and-running, and Tennessee Tech is providing some of the top programming available. Fall programs have included live streams of the home football games along with The Watson Brown Show. This winter, every home basketball game will be streamed, and available free to viewers. ... Golden Eagle basketball fans better not hesitate or you’ll miss some great early action -- November is loaded with home basketball games in Eblen Center but there are very few home games in the month of Decemeber. The early schedule includes doubleheaders on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Tuesday, Nov. 20, as well as on Thursday, Dec. 6. .. Tech will host a packed day of action on campus on Saturday, Nov. 10. Football plays at 1:30 p.m., women’s basketball at 6 p.m. and men’s basketball at 8 p.m. ... Tech Athletics now has more followers on Twitter than any other school in the Ohio Valley Conference, with more than 5,000 keeping up via daily tweets. Many fans have won prizes, including autographed shirts and other souvenirs, simply by following or re-tweeting messages. Follow Tech Athletics @TTUGoldenEagles.


Cortney Fry / Softball

Fort Worth, Tex.

Mitch Thomas / Golf

Knoxville, Tenn.

F Courtney earned four letters as a pitcher and infielder at Keller-Central High School, posting a .407 batting average and a .520 slugging percentage. She led her team to the Texas Sweet 16 as a freshman and was named the AllDistrict Newcomer. She also earned first-team all-district honors as a junior and senior and was awarded the Superintendant’s award her freshman year. She was an Academic All-District selection her junior and senior years. She is the daughter of Tim and Tammy Sayles and is majoring in early childhood education.

F An Honors student, Mitch played golf under former Golden Eagle Jonathan Cox at Knoxville Farragut High School where he was a three-time selection on the All-Prep Extra Team and the 2011 Region 2 medalist. He helped his team win four consecutive district and regional championships and the TSSAA state championship in 2008 and 2009. The son of Cary and Libby Thomas, he is studying in the medical technology pre-professional program.

DeOndre Haynes / Basktball

Calera, Ala.

F A four-year letterwinner at Calera High School, DeOndre garnered 4A Player of the Year honors as a senior when he averaged 25 points, four rebounds and five assists per game as a point guard. He was listed by as a top-150 recruit in 2012. He was named both all-county and all-state his senior season. The son of Greg and Stephanie Haynes, DeOndre is majoring in physical education.

Jeremiah Samarrippas / Basketball Bartow, Fla. F A transfer to Tech after two seasons at SMU, Jeremiah started 61 games the past two years for the Mustangs and served as team captain. He averaged 6.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game and had 13 double-figure games last winter. The Florida High School Athletic Association 5A Player of the Year, he finished third in Mr. Basketball voting while leading his Bartow High School team to the state title. He is the son of John and Anita Kilpatrick.

Jordan Smith / Football

Franklin, Tenn.

F Jordan was a two-time Division II-AA all-state selection at Battle Ground Academy. He led the conference in receptions (57), yards (859) and touchdowns (14), as he helped BGA reach the TSSAA state playoffs each of the past two seasons. He is the son of Melvin and Jackie Smith and is majoring in pre-physical therapy.


hall of fame S

ome time during the night of the Hall of Fame inductions, before his name is called and he steps to the microphone to accept his honor, don’t be surprised to see Kenneth Fults filling water glasses or handing out extra rolls at the dinner in the Multipurpose Room. Those who know Fults realize that serving others has been one of the signatures of his life. While his contributions on the football field have been impressive, his charitable works have been equally impressive. He is a member of several different organizations including the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. As a member of the Mt. View United Methodist Church, Fults helped build two houses while working for Habitat for Humanity. He is also a frequent volunteer in Sunday School. Typical of such an unselfish man. Same can be said for his service to the country. After his Tech career came to an end, Fults went on to serve as a member of the United States Marine Corps, based out of Camp LeJeune, N.C., for two years. It was several years after he completed his football career that he returned to TTU to earn his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology in 1968. And, so it is with his induction into the Hall of Fame -- he quietly follows a handfull of teammates into the group. Any description of Fults must include the term “humble” in addition to any accolades for his success as a Golden Eagle. A four-year member of the Tennessee Tech football team, Fults was part of the historic Golden Eagle squad that took home four consecutive Ohio Valley Conference titles, from 1958-61, under coach Wilburn Tucker. There has not been a stretch as successful in Golden Eagle football history. As a junior, Fults finished second on the team in rushing with 374 yards, while scoring three touchdowns. One year later as a senior, Fults became Tech’s go-to rusher as he accounted for a team-high 663 rushing yards, while scoring a team-leading five touchdowns, en route to TTU’s fourth straight OVC title, the longest such streak in Tech’s history. With Fults on the squad, Tech compiled a 28-11-2 overall record, including a gaudy 22-1-1 mark in OVC play. He also helped the 1960 team reach the Tangerine Bowl. He earned all-OVC honors twice, and as a senior was chosen third-team All-America. Prior to his time at Tennessee Tech, Fults served as a team captain for Grundy County High School in Coalmont, Tenn., where he earned all-conference honors and all-state honorable mentions in 1957. He met his wife Sharon at Tech in 1961 and the couple was married in 1963. They have two children Gina and Kevin and three grandchildren. Currently, Ken and Sharon reside in Blountville, Tenn.


kenneth fults Football / 1958-1961


hall of fame H

eroes are remembered while legends never die. The ultimate mark of a legend is a jersey, bearing the number 50, hanging high in the rafters of the Eblen Center, one of seven women’s basketball jerseys to be retired. A 2002 graduate of Tech, Janet Holt Baker led her team to four OVC championships and two NCAA appearances. She left her mark with indelible ink, being recognized first as the 1998-99 OVC Freshman of the Year followed by three consecutive years as the OVC Player of the Year. In her career Holt reaped four All-OVC selections in addition to Kodak All-Region and CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. That lengthy list sets her apart as one of the greatest women’s basketball players in program history. To open her career under coach Bill Worrell, Holt earned OVC Freshman of the Week honors three times and conference Player of the Week recognition once. She averaged 13.3 points and led the team in rebounds and steals during her rookie season. As a sophomore, Janet earned her first Kodak honor. She was named the OVC Player of the Year and earned Player of the Week five times. She also earned CoSIDA Academic AllAmerica honors and was named to three all-tournament teams as she averaged 17.4 points per game. In 2001, Holt ranked fourth in the nation in scoring as a junior and ranked among OVC leaders in seven categories. Her athletic achievements continued to grow, but her academic achievements grew, as well. By the time she was a junior, Holt was listed on the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times as well as Tech’s A.D. Honor Roll all six semesters. During the season, Holt recorded 11 double-doubles. Holt’s career was capstoned during her senior season. In the Golden Eagle season-opener Holt scored a career-high 41 points against Ole Miss. She surpassed 2,000 career points and became the only player in the program’s rich history with more than 2,000 points, 900 rebounds, 250 assists and 150 steals. Holt earned both the Kodak all-district honors and Academic All-America selection that season. She was again named the OVC Player of the Year – the only women’s player in history to win three OVC Player of the Year awards -- and finished her career ranked second all-time in OVC and Tech history with 2,420 points. Holt wrapped up her decorated career as a four-time team MVP. What distinguished Holt from any other scorer was her dedication to her team and her education. Entering into her Janet Holt Baker continued on page 71


janet holt baker Basketball / 1998-2002


hall of fame T

he list of Randy Smith’s contributions to Tennessee Tech Athletics includes a sucessful playing career, an award-winning career as Golden Eagle tennis coach in which he influenced the lives of scores of young men and women who played on his teams, and several years as an administrator who influenced the direction of the department. His association with the University began as a studentathlete in the 1960s and stretched for four decades until his retirement in 2006. His stellar coaching career includes four Ohio Valley Conference Tennis Coach of the Year honors, two with the men’s team and two with the women’s team. His list of responsibilities as an administrator continued to grow during his 11 years. At his retirement, he was Associate Athletics Director for Operations, Facilities and Capital Projects. In addition to his service to Tennessee Tech, Smith was also an ambassador for the OVC, representing the league and institution as a member of the NCAA Tennis Committee. In 2005, he was named to lead the NCAA Tennis Championship Selection Committee. Smith headed the TTU men’s and women’s tennis programs for 13 seasons, before retiring as coach in 2001. In 2006, he returned to the courts when he was appointed interim head coach. During his 14 combined seasons as Director of Tennis, Smith lifted the Tech tennis programs into being annual contenders for Ohio Valley Conference championship and national recognition. He was one of the most recognized and well-respected tennis coaches in Ohio Valley Conference history, earning regional and national positions including a stint as member of the NCAA Tennis Committee. A 1970 Tech graduate, Smith returned to his alma mater in 1988 and immediately led the Golden Eagle men’s team to a 20-6 dual match record, a 5-1 mark in the OVC, and second place in the conference tournament. He was named OVC Coach of the Year in his first season, an honor he repeated the following season when Tech posted a 20-3 record in 1989-90. That team rolled to a perfect conference record at 6-0 and captured the OVC tournament championship. That 1990 team not only captured the OVC tournament title, it also earned the school’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tennis Tournament. In all, the Tech men’s team compiled a 191-141 record, including a 74-25 record in conference matches. In his final season, the team won another OVC regular season title with a 9-0 record and advanced to NCAA Tournament for the third time. Randy Smith continued on page 71


randy smith

Coach & Administrator / 1988-2006


hall of fame O

ne of the last of a rare breed, Grant Swallows was a twosport letterwinner at Tennessee Tech. A six-time letterwinner (four in football and two in baseball) and a former senior administrator at Tennessee Tech, Grant left his mark on Tennessee Tech Athletics in more than one capacity. It was his four solid seasons as Golden Eagle quarterback that earned him a spot among Tech’s Hall of Fame inductees. A three-year starter under head coach Mike Hennigan, Swallows reaped numerous awards and honors as one of the most distinguished quarterbacks in TTU history. Over the course of his career on the gridiron, Swallows broke 16 career, season and single-game records. During his final season at Tech in 2001, Swallows set the school record for most completions in a season, most yards in a single game and a single season, and most touchdown passes in a single game. Furthermore, he set the record for TD passes in a single season and for overall touchdowns responsible for. In a game against UT Martin, Swallows logged an 86.9 completion percentage against UT Martin, going 20-for-23, to establish yet another school record. For his efforts during that season, Swallows was named one of three permanent team captains and was awarded the Robert Hill Johnson Award and the Sonny Allen Leadership Award, as well as the 2001 Headliner Award. An All-OVC second-team honoree and an Academic All-District honoree, he was the OVC Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. The following spring, Swallows became the first TTU student-athlete to be named both Male Athlete of the Year and Man of the Year. He was also the recipient of the 2002 OVC Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship award and was one of eight recipients nationally to receive the NCAA Freedom Forum Foundation Journalism Scholarship. Swallows was also given the opportunity to play professional football overseas in Germany, but an injury ended his playing career. As a junior. Swallows led the Golden Eagle footbal team to an 8-3 overall record and was named Academic All-America. When football was finished, he moved across campus to play on the baseball team and helped lead Tech to the OVC championship and NCAA Regional. A third baseman, he played in 33 games. Swallows earned his bachelor's degree in 2003 in Englishjournalism, being named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll 10 times and the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times. After returning from Germany, Swallows moved from the playing field to the sidelines, serving as a student assistant coach at his alma mater beginning in 2002. Grant Swallows continued on page 71


grant swallows Football & Baseball / 1998-2001


ultimate road trip There’s something about the open road and sports that seem to excite some people. And, with the holidays looming, the wanderlust only grows. So, we’ve pieced together a road trip that any Golden Eagle fan will find intriguing. Pack your bags with plenty of purple & gold, and enjoy yourself. Oh, and please let us know if you actually take this trip. We could use your restaurant suggestions!

YOUR TRAVEL ITINERARY: Nov. 22 - Happy Thanksgiving Nov. 23 - Watch the legendary Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs play the Indiana Pacers Nov. 24 - Enjoy a comedy show at Second City Comedy and dine at Giordano’s Pizza Nov. 25 - See Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears at renovated Soldier Field Nov 26 - Spend a day sightseeing; Catch a show and dinner in Greektown. Don’t miss the Chicago Cultural Center. The Museum of Science and Industry has a model railraod you have to see to believe! Nov. 27 - Defending NHL champion L.A. Kings play the Chicago Black Hawks Nov 28 - The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle men’s basketball team takes on Loyola-Chicago Nov. 29 - Travel day; Ride to the top of the arch in St. Louis. Nov. 30 - See NBA rookie Kevin Murphy and the Utah Jazz play the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dec. 1 - On your way home, stop in Nashville and watch the Golden Eagle women’s basketball team take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. That should quench your thirst for sports action!










Check Local Listings


on our radar


Get pumped up at Purple Palooza

F A slam dunk contest, 3-point shootouts, a chance to meet players and coaches, and drawings for exclusive prizes. Those are some of the highlights planned for the first Purple Palooza, a tip-off celebration of Tennessee Tech basketball and introduction to the Golden Eagle men’s and women’s teams. Similar to Midnight Madness but earlier in the day, Purple Palooza is Thursday (Oct. 25) beginning at 7 p.m. in Eblen Center. Admission is free, and all Tech basketball fans are invited to take part in the festivities. Friday, Oct. 26 vs. Southeast Missouri at 3 p.m.

Soccer fans get one final chance to cheer

F The Tennessee Tech soccer team will host Southeast Missouri for its final home match of the season on Friday, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. With just two OVC matches before the postseason, the Golden Eagles are fighting for a chance at one of six playoff spots. A win on Friday will be crucial to extend the season for at least one more game. Playing for their final time at the Tech Soccer Field will be seniors Kris Cambron, Sarah Gawthrop, Andrea Meloff, Kerri Reid, Alex Stevenson, Julie Thompson, and Jacquie Watkins. Saturday, Oct. 27

Off and running at the OVC Championships F The Tech men’s and women’s cross country teams head to Jacksonville, Ala., to compete in the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference championships on Saturday, Oct. 27. It will be the first league championships determined this fall and the Golden Eagle runners are hoping to finish in the top half of the team standings.

Friday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Hall of Fame induction F TTU Homecoming festivities include the annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction ceremonies, which are open to the public and always draw a full house in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. as Tech inducts the newest class into the TTU Sports Hall of Fame. It’s always a fun and memorable evening. Call 931372-3940 for ticket information and reservations. Saturday Nov. 3 vs. Eastern Illinois at 5 p.m.

Seniors bid farewell at final home matches F For the last time in their Golden Eagle careers, seniors Madison Comperry, Katrina Dvorken and Kelsey Gray will suit up as members of the Tennessee Tech volleyball team on Saturday Nov. 3 at 5 p.m. The match against Eastern Illinois will be highlighted by a special ceremony for the three seniors. The match also marks the final home tilt of the season for the Golden Eagles before they wrap up conference play the following weekend.



on our radar

SPECIAL EVENTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IN THE COMING MONTHS Saturday, Nov. 3 vs. Eastern Illinois at 1:30 p.m.

Homecoming...need we say more?

F The whole week will include special events, but the highlight of Homecoming week will be the football game on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Eagles host Eastern Illinois, which boasts one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. Tech fans will need to come out early to the Tailgate Park and makes some noise in the stands to help rally around the Golden Eagles. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. UT Martin at 1:30 p.m.

Military, Scouts and Seniors to be saluted F The Golden Eagle football team close out the home portion of its schedule by hosting a very strong UT Martin squad. The game will be Senior Day as Tech bids farewell to 19 players wrapping up their careers. It’s also Military Appreciation Day, with free admission to current and retired members of th U.S. Military branches. It’s also Scout Day, with free admission for area scouts and scout leaders. Monday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball kicks things off F It could prove to be a very special season in Eblen Center this winter with two very talented basketball teams representing Tennessee Tech. The schedule gets underway on Monday, Nov. 5, with an exhibition game as first-year head coach Jim Davis puts his team on the floor against Lee University. Five nights later, both the men and women are in action for real with a doubleheader on Saturday, Nov. 10. Season tickets are on sale now. Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Super Sports Saturday with a Tech tripleheader F For sports junkies, Saturday, Nov. 10 will be like an early Christmas as the campus hosts THREE events. Tech fans have the opportunity to witness three sporting events in an eight-hour span, beginning at 1:30 p.m. when the football team hosts UT Martin. The Golden Eagle basketball programs host a doubleheader with the women facing off against Tennessee Wesleyan at 6 p.m. and the men pitted against Crowley’s Ridge at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m.

Basketball Legends Night coming up F Former Golden Eagle basketball players should begin making their plans to return to campus for this year’s annual alumni gathering, known as Basketball Legends Night. It will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, when Tech hosts Austin Peay in an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader. More details will be annouced soon, but players — and fans — should save the date.


in the park


Olivia Williams, Hassaanah Williams and Kristopher Williams

Jeff Monday and Andrew

Above: Robert McDonald Left: Reggie Brown, Sue Gibbons, Trudy Cody, Darla Runge, Abbey Allen and Leland Allen Below: Rick Le Borne, Patsy Peavyhouse, and Joshua Moffett

Steven Curtis and Kaleb Commers


Above left: Jessica Johnson and Benji Johnson Above:Darrell Thompson and Cristian Johnson Left: Hailey Denson, Scottie Sherrill.

Right: Wayne Adams, Steve Adams, Don Beedle, Lisa Beedle, Taylor Jones, Vy Tran and Maci Beedle


travel journal

Golden Eagle volleyball player Madi Comperry had the unique opportunity to visit Europe and play volleyball during the summer. Here is a brief account of her journeys.

Spreading Awesomeness across Europe Two weeks, three countries, and a group of 17, made up of collegiate volleyball players, coaches, and family. My trip started out in Munich, Germany, where we overcame our jetlag, got to scrimmage two Bavarian National teams, and enjoy the cuisine. We visited the grounds of the ’72 Olympics and made a trip out of the city to visit the first concentration camp, Dachau. My emotions were all over the place from visiting the different sites. Being at the location of the Olympics was inspiring and breathtaking. Walking in the steps of so many athletes that have accomplished such great achievements was a wonderful experience. Then, after walking in the footsteps of the prisoners at Dachaua, it left me low and somber.


After Munich, we jumped on a train where we traveled through Innsbruck, Austria where we stopped and grabbed a picture of course, and continued on to Verona, Italy. It was a short stop in Verona, where we got to visit Juliet’s House and attached a love note to the wall and secured a locket of love on the gates, toured the Verona Arena, and Piazza dei Signori. The next morning we were off to Pula, Croatia where we spent a majority of the trip and competed in the 8th Annual Global Challenge Tour. The tournament was a great experience where I got to represent my school, the NCAA, and my country. The tournament challenged me to become a better player and leader on the court,

which I was able to bring back and apply to my play here at Tennessee Tech. After the tournament, I got to put my toes in the Adriatic Sea, do some shopping on the (On page 42) Madi and the group in front of the Town Hall building on Marienplatz, Munich, Germany (Above) Madi and her coach view a crematorium at the Dachau concentration camp in Germany (Below) The group poses in front of Colosseum in Verona, Italy.

cobblestone streets, and experience the unique Croatian culture. The last location was Venice, Italy before we headed back to the States. In Venice, we took a train in and got to explore the city all by foot, since there are no cars allowed on the island. Venice was the perfect location to end the trip. Our last day was spent wondering the intertwining street and stumbling upon unique stores and bridges. Around every corner you would find a gondola ride pacing through the canals, an artist working on a painting, or even a dead end or two. The overall experience was one I will never forget. My luggage became my worst enemy as I dragged it around with me everywhere I went, and I was able to make friends that will last a lifetime. The trip opened my eyes to different cultures and how to adapt. It made me appreciate all the opportunities and experiences I have been blessed with and to live life to the fullest every chance you get.




What can Brown do for you?

photo by Jim Dillon

Golden Eagle goalkeeper Jordan Brown, a freshman from League City, Texas, makes a save during a home match. Brown has been ranked among the Top 20 keepers in the nation in saves in her rookie season for most of the year, racking up over 100 stops already.




photo by Jim Dillon

It’s Academic, Ms. Commissioner... Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche, appropriately decked out in purple, presents the OVC Team Academic Award to Matt Marseille and the Golden Eagle men’s basketball team during halftime of a football game. Coach Steve Payne’s team posted the highest team GPA among the teams in the league in 2011-12.




photo by Rob Schabert

Get in the Hole! Youngsters enjoyed playing a variety of games with Golden Eagles from several different teams during the annual Cookeville FunFest on the square.



Helping a friend in need... Runningback Tremaine Hudson (22) gets some blocking out front from Stephen Bush (12) and Cody Matthews (25) during Tech’s double overtime game at Southeast Missouri.



photo by Rob Schabert

hall of fame

Janet Holt Baker ......continued from page 29

final season, Holt was quoted by SLAM magazine: “The WNBA isn’t really a priority. I’m a nursing student, and I’ll probably trade rebounds for IVs after this season is over.” She later stated that her team winning was more important than leading the nation in scoring: “It’s more important to me to step up and be a leader, if it happens it happens, but I’m going to worry about our team and its success.” The campus also recognized Janet’s accomplishments. She was chosen as the school’s NCAA Woman of the Year in 2002, and was picked as Tech’s Outstanding Female Athlete in both 2001 and 2002. A native of Lynchburg, Tennessee, Holt graduated with a degree in nursing in 2002. Holt-Baker currently resides in her hometown of Lynchburg with her husband, Todd. The couple has two sons, Will (7) and Hoyt (6). As predicted, she is working in the health field as a clinical manager, overseeing the medical/pediatric floor at the Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma.

Randy Smith

......continued from page 31 Smith also built the Tech women’s tennis program into a conference contender, posting an overall 137-141 record in 14 seasons and an impressive 109-61 record during his final seven seasons. Under Smith’s guidance, the women’s tennis team posted a 58-45 win-loss record in OVC matches, taking first place in 1998-99 and advancing to the NCAA Tennis tournament for the first time in school history. The women’s team also finished second in the OVC in five of his last seven seasons.

In 1999, he was named both the OVC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year, giving him four such honors. Smith was also highly involved with the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA). In 2001, he was honored by the TSSAA for his distinguished service as head official of the TSSAA State Tennis Tournament for 17 years. He also helped develop TSSAA tennis rules. A teaching professional since 1970, Smith was also tournament director for numerous events on the state, regional and national levels, including the USTA Father/Son and Mother/Daughter hardcourt championships. He was also a member of the USTA Junior Development Committee.

Grant Swallows ......continued from page 33

In 2003, Swallows was named assistant football and baseball coach at Livingston Academy, and began work toward a master’s degree. He claimed that degree in 2005, and added an Ed.S. in 2006. Also in 2006, he came back to Tech to serve as quarterbacks coach under interim coach Doug Malone, helping freshman Lee Sweeney earn OVC Newcomer of the Year honor. That led to his being named head football coach and assistant principal at Livingston Academy in 2007, but in 2008 he once again came back to Cookeville, taking the position of Associate Athletics Director for Development. His latest career move came in July 2011, as Grant was named principal at White County High School in Sparta. Grant married Beth Ann Johnson, his college sweetheart, and the couple is raising their two children -- Brady (5) and Anniston (3).



Fast friends... One of the busiest -- and happiest -- spots on the square during the annual Cookeville Fall FunFest was the Tennessee Tech Athletics booth, where young and old took their tries at a variety of games, from a football toss to bean bag toss to putting. Several Tech teams spent time playing with visitors, including the women’s golf team. Here, senior Amanda Randolph (left) and freshman Megan Williamson play a little bean bag with a couple of young fans.



photo by Rob Schabert


Now hold everything...

photo by Jim Dillon

It was so tough trying to slow down Golden Eagle junior Ellie Iaciofano, opponents would resort to any tactic available. Iaciofano, second in the Ohio Valley Conference in both goals scored and overall scoring, has recorded three multi-goal games and one multi-assist game this season.





photo by John Lucas

Photo Finish... Tennessee Tech photographer Dean Carothers gets his equipment set for a photo shoot for the 2001-02 TTU tennis poster and media guide at the Nashville Super Speedway, while players Anna Marie Cibils, Gernot Fisher and Razvan Ilie await their instructions. The threesome, along with Anita Obando, -- dressed in racing gear provided for the shoot by the Nashville Super Speedway -- helped create a memorable publication (inset).


photo by Jim Dillon

No dress code... Excited Golden Eagle fans came prepared to cheer when Tech hosted Murray State in an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader in February. With members of FIJI (shown) setting the tone, students helped create a raucous environment in Eblen Center in 2011-12, and will be vital ingredients to Tech’s success in the coming season.




The right approach...

photo by Rob Schabert

Golden Eagle freshman Lee Whitehead, playing in his first collegiate tournament, hits his approach shot onto the 14th green at The Legends Golf Course, during the Mason Rudolph Championship hosted by Vanderbilt University.





The second edition of unlimited, the online magazine of Tennessee Tech athletics.