Page 1






The SENIOR CLASS embarks on its final season in Purple & Gold

WHERE U WEAR IT Tech fan photos of themselves in Tech gear around the world


SPECIAL DELIVERY New additions to the Golden Eagle family


Tips for doubling your fun at each Golden Eagle home game


What your favorite Golden Eagle is reading


Some of the 2012 newcomers Tech fans will remember

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

September/October 2012/Volume 1, Issue 1


photo by Tony Marable

Deep purple stand the mountains... ...and Golden’s on the run (with apologies to Joan Derryberry for adjusting the lyrics of the Tech hymn). Runningback Bud Golden looks for running room against Murray State after taking a handoff from Tre Lamb. The speedy, slashing junior should have plenty of chances to bring Tech fans to their feet in 2012.



{ } Stuff You Oughta Know

...Tennessee Tech won the Ohio Valley Conference Institutional Sportsmanship Award for 201112. The award is presented to the Conference institution selected by its peers to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical conduct as outlined by the OVC and NCAA. In addition, both the men’s cross country team and the women’s cross country team received the Team Sportsmanship Awards. These honors are voted on by the studentathletes and coaches of the respective sports. ...Fans across the nation (and around the world) can now watch live webstreaming action of Tennessee Tech and the all of the teams in the Ohio Valley Conference for FREE. No more subscription costs or charges for single games. Check out all the details for free viewing on the new OVC Digital Network at In addition to game action, the OVC Digital Network will also feature The Watson Brown Show and other programming produced by Tech and OVC member schools. ...What’s all this noise about Twitter? Actually, it’s a beautiful noise -- and no OVC school has as many people following its athletics program as Tennessee Tech. As August comes to a close, more than 4,000 people continued on page 11

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER Volume 1, Issue 1








where u wear it

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


GAME ON! There are soooo many ways to enjoy a college football weekend. Half the party happens outside the stadium. Tailgaters wield spatulas, fans pack area restaurants, and a festive mood fills the streets. Pack your pom-poms and sneakers and join us for a Golden Eagle-style gameday getaway good time

Golden Eagle Game Plan

PRE-GAME Among the highlights of attending a Golden Eagle football game are the festivities surrounding the Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park in the hours before kickoff. Student groups, families, die-hard fans. All participate on different levels, setting up


tents and parking their campers and raising their TTU flags. The tailgate park sizzles with the smell of burgers and hot dogs on the grill, while bands provide live music on the park’s stage. You can reserve a space in advance. FREEBIES Fans can get a Golden Eagle schedule poster at the first game, which is

First Tennessee Bank Poster Night. Also free for the taking is the all-new FanFare magazine, the official program of TTU football. Look for the program racks at the stadium’s entrances. The kids games in the tailgate park are free. HEAR THE BAND The Golden Eagle Marching Band

performs on the field in the pregame and at halftime. TRADITION Watch for the team as it comes charging out onto the field through a tunnel formed by the marching band. Listen to the canon blast (from the ROTC) with each Tech score. CHEER TIME The Golden Eagle cheer

team helps to raise the noise level in the stadium. Watch for them doing pushups in the end zone whenever Tech puts points on the board. HYMN TIME After each game, win or lose, the players march over to the stands in front of the marching band and sing along with the Tech Hymn.

FIREWORKS After each night game, the sky above Tucker Stadium comes alive with fireworks. OVERNIGHT Make your reservations early. Although there are hundreds of rooms at the hotels and motels in Cookeville, they tend to book up quickly for weekends when the Golden Eagles play in

town. The busiest times will be Family Weekend (Oct. 6) and Homecoming (Nov 3). WE SALUTE Tech will host its annual Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, Nov. 10. All active and retired U.S. military personnel and their families are invited to the game as guests of Tech Athletics. Call (931) 372-3940.


Feeling Social?


unwrapped From the editor The idea for an online magazine to showcase Tennessee Tech athletics was hatched in St. Louis in June, during the annual CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Workshop. Brian Mason, from the University of Wisconsin, presented a seminar showcasing Varsity Magazine, the online magazine of UW Badger Athletics. Brian and his staff of eight, plus seven contributors and 11 photographers, publish Varsity once per week. It’s an impressive undertaking. I liked the idea, but a weekly magazine was a wee bit ambitious for our staff. So, for this first year we’ll give it our best effort to publish a new edition for each two-month period. The title we’ve chosen for the magazine is “unlimited” which reflects the potential of the publication as well as the student-athletes and teams of Tennessee Tech. This venture strives to meet three primary goals: 1) to inform our fans of what’s happening in the coming weeks so you won’t miss anything; 2) to entertain our readers with a variety of exclusive, behind-the scenes material about our student-athletes and staff; and 3) to showcase some of the outstanding photography that we just can’t use in other ways because we have so many great pictures. In this inaugural edition, which comes just days before the opening game for the defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Golden Eagle football team (Thursday, Aug. 30 vs. a very tough Hampton Pirate squad / 7 p.m. kickoff), we’ve introduced a handful of what we expect to be regular features with insight into the personalities of coaches and student-athletes. Our cover story (Beginning of the End) looks at the seniors who begin the final year of their playing careers and their hopes and goals for 2012-13. We also have a brief feature to introduce you to Golden Eagle football and what to expect when attending a game. While the football team has been going through fall camp for several weeks, the Tech soccer and volleyball seasons are already underway. The men’s and women’s cross country teams, the golf teams and the tennis team will also open the new year in the next few days. We’ll include features and highlights for all 14 Golden Eagle teams, in-season our not. Of course, this magazine is designed to supplement your craving for news and information about your Golden Eagles -- as always, the most complete and up-to-date source is, the official website of Tennessee Tech Athletics. And, remember to follow Tech Athletics via social media outlets Twitter and Facebook. Finally, we’d really love to hear from you. Please send us your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Also, check out the “where u wear it” feature -- send us your photos of family and friends showing off their Purple Pride from locations around the world. I hope you find “unlimited” pleasure in flipping through the pages of this digital magazine. And, that you find “unlimited” opportunities to follow, support and cheer for Tennessee Tech’s amazing student-athletics in 2012-13. Rob Schabert Assistant Athletic Director / Editor

Take a Kid to the Game on Thursday, Sept. 6 All across the region, there are kids who have never experienced the thrill of attending a live college sporting event. Tech offers the chance to bring those kids ABSOLUTLY FREE to the football game against North Greenville College on Thursday, Sept. 6 -- it’s Take a Kid to the Game Night (and also Youth Football Night) in Tucker Stadium. Get a free youth admission to the game with each adult ticket you purchase. Please call the Athletics Ticket Office (931-372-3940) for more details or to order your tickets.



fresh faces

Some of the student-athletes who are making their debut in 2012-13 follow Tech Athletics on Twitter. It’s a quick and convenient way for Tech to send instant messages and keep fans informed. It’s also a way (through retweeting messages) that Tech and fans can share news and information, post photos and videos, and connect as one huge family of friends. If you’re not already on Twitter, sign up for an account and get started. Follow Tech on Twitter @TTUGolden Eagles. ...Sure, football season is just getting underway, but forwardthinking people rule the world! Let’s just assume for a moment that you already have your football season tickets. Thank you! Looking ahead, season tickets for the 2012-13 Golden Eagle Basketball season are also on sale. Get ready for a thrilling hoop season in The Temple of Doom with head coaches Steve Payne and Jim Davis. Call the Athletics Ticket Office (931-3723940) for details, ticket prices or to order your seats. ...Are you one of the lucky ones who has made plans to go to Oregon to see the Golden Eagles face the Ducks on Sept. 15. If you’re out there, you’re invited to the TTU Alumni Association’s Tailgate gathering. The event is from 9-11 a.m. Call the Alumni office at 931-372-3205 or 800-889-8730 for tickets or more information. ...Every Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., fans join football coach Watson Brown at the weekly Insider’s Lunch in the Eagles Nest of Eblen Center. Listen to his comments about the past game and the upcoming game, and watch as Brown plays video clips of key plays while explaining how it worked so well. continued on page 12

Ladarius Vanlier / Football Nashville, Tenn. F Twice named the All-City Player of the Year and an allstate selection, Ladarius led Maplewood High School to the championship game of the TSSAA state playoffs in Tech’s Tucker Stadium. A three-year letterman for coach Arcentae Broome, he was also a three-year letterwinner on the track & field team for the Panthers. In 2011 he earned his second consecutive Class 2A Player of the Year honor. Named allstate as both a runningback and returner, he was selected to play in the East-West All-Star game. Ladarius will major in general basic engineering.

Cody Dodd / Volleyball Cookeville, Tenn. F Cody was voted District 6-AAA Most Valuable Player for three straight seasons. Her high school team tallied 95 wins, three straight District 6-AAA titles, and two Class AAA sectional appearances over her career, never losing a set in 6-AAA play. Her full name is Cody Jewell Dodd and she was born on July 3, 1994. Cody is currently enrolled in general curriculum.

Jordan Brown / Soccer League City, Texas F Jordan was the only member of her team to letter all four years on the varsity soccer team at Clear Springs High School. She earned second-team all-state honors as a junior and added first-team all-district and first-team all-county honors during her freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. She also earned first-team all-reigion and first-team all-greater Houston her junior year. A member of teh Challenge Soccer Club from 200710, Jordan helped the team to a South Texas State Title in 2009. Jordan will major in pre-veterinary science.

Taylor Sutton / Soccer

Ballwin, Mo.

F Taylor lettered four years in soccer at Marquette High School, earning team MVP her senior season. A three-time allconference honoree and senior captain, she racked up 15 goals and 24 assists during her high school career. As a member of the Missouri Olympic Development Soccer Team from 200710, Taylor competed in the 2010 ODP National Championship Tournament and helped her team to a second place finish. Taylor will major in pre-physical therapy.

Malcolm Mitchell / Football Stone Mountain, Ga.

F Malcolm is a new addition to the Tech roster in 2012, a transfer from the University of Louisville. After red-shirting in 2009, Malcolm appeared in 11 games at defensive end for the Cardinals over the course of two years. He recorded eight total tackles, including 2.5 for loss in 2011. He also recorded Louisville’s only fumble return in 2011 when he scooped up a Connecticut fumble and ran it back 36 yards for a touchdown. Malcolm will major in interdisciplinary studies.


fresh faces

Some of the student-athletes who are making their debut in 2012-13 ...The Golden Eagle soccer team has been extremely busy this fall, both on the field and in the community. The team spent a few hours at Cookeville’s City Lake Park cleaning and collecting litter, and a few days later volunteered at the Race After Dark by running in the one-mile run with the kids. The team volunteers at Park View Elementary School. and will be walking in the Step Out to Stop Diabetes Walk on the TTU Quad on Sunday, Sept. 16. ...As the fall semester got underway, Tennessee Tech had five former student-athletes playing on the highest level in four different sports - more pro sports than any other school in the OVC. Scott Stallings is in his second season on the PGA Tour, and claimed his second career win at the True South Classic, June 19. Stephen Pryor was not only called up to the major league by the Seattle Mariners, the relief pitcher earned his first career win in a combined no-hitter. In the NFL, Tech has two former players on current rosters. Frank Omiyale is in his first season with the Seattle Seahawks, moving to the west coast after a couple years with the Bears. Down in Texas, Tim Benford is working to make the cut with the Dallas Cowboys after signing as an undrafted free agent. Finally, Kevin Murphy was drafted by the Utah Jazz and is looking to begin a long and successful career in the NBA after leaving Tech as the second-highest scorer in school histoy. ...Many of Tech’s studentathletes were on hand for the annual Great Move-In Day, assisting students as they settled into their new homes in Tech’s dorms. continued on page 13


Adam Cunningham / Men’s Golf Cookeville, Tenn. F Adam, a four-time letter winner at Cookeville High School, won the Tennessee Male High School Golfer of the Year Award his junior year. That year he also garnered honors as a member of the all-state first team and district player of the year. He was annointed co-district player of the year his senior season. As a junior he finished second at the state competition. Adam will major in accounting.

Audrey Lewis / Volleyball Columbus, Ind. F Audrey was a scholar athlete throughout her high school career and an academic all-state honorable mention. She received all-conference honors her senior season, and all-conference honorable mention her junior season. Along with her volleyball honors, Audrey was a talented gymnast. Her team finished fourth in the state in 2009, and third in 2011 and 2012. Audrey finished fifth on vault at the 2012 state championships. Audrey is majoring in accounting and finance.

Megan Williamson / Women’s Golf Murfreesboro, Tenn. F A four-year letter winner at Blackman High School, Megan gained honors as a member of the all-district team her junior and senior seasons. She led the team with a scoring average of 77 per 18 holes played as a senior, with a low score of 71. She was named to the Principal’s List for her academic success as Student of the Week. She was also named the Daily News Jornal Athlete of the Week. Megan will major in journalism.

Justin Hilliard / Academics Pikeville, Tenn. F Tennessee Tech has welcomed back one of its own as Justin Hilliard has rejoined Athletics in the role of Academic Advisor where he will work to help Golden Eagle studentathletes,continue to excel in the classroom. “I’m excited about being able to come back to my alma mater and be around athletics,” said Hilliard. “It will be great to help change the lives of student-athletes the way mine was changed here by everyone in the athletics department.”

J.T. Rankin / Football

Alcoa, Tenn.

F The starting center for Alcoa High School where he played for his father, coach Gary Rankin, J.T. helped the Tornadoes rank among the top teams in the state throughout his career which featured 43 consecutive starts. Named all-state as both a junior and senior, he was a key in Alcoa winning the TSSAA state title in 2008, 2009 and 2010, including undefeated seasons in both 2009 and 2010. J.T. will major in fitness and wellness.

fresh faces

Some of the student-athletes who are making their debut in 2012-13 ...Sign-ups will be underway soon for the 2012-13 Hoop Troop, a youth group for ages 3 through 17, to back the Golden Eagle basketball teams. For $25, Hoop Troop members receive a whole bunch of special perks, admission to all home games, gifts at certain games, a Hoop Troop t-shirt, and more. Call the Athletics Ticket Office (931-372-3940) for more details or to sign up. Be sure and give us your email so we can keep you up-to-date on special events. ...Speaking of email addresses, yours will provide you with all the information you need to follow Tech Athletics. Just sign up to receive the Golden Eagle Insider and your in-box will ding weekly with updates on Tech teams, athletes, coaches, special events and promotions. Don’t forget to submit your own photos for the next edition of unlimited magazine -- we’re looking for pictures of you and your family members proudly wearing Tennessee Tech clothing at loctions anywhere in the world. Send photos to:

Radir Annoor / Football

Nashville, Tenn.

F An outstanding two-sport competitor at Brentwood Academy, Radir had just completed an award-winning junior season on the football field and on the track when a summer injury forced him to the sidelines for his senior football season for the Eagles. As a junior Radir was a scoring machine from his runningback position, scoring 21 touchdowns while rushing for 1,044 yards on 154 carries. Following the football season, helped the Brentwood Academy track & field team capture the TSSAA state championship. He was named all-state in both track and football. Radir will major in pre-physical therapy.

Eric Belew / Football

Columbia, Tenn.

F A three-year starter for the Lions at Columbia Central High School, Eric spent his prep career playing for his father, head coach Vance Belew and helped the Lions capture the 2010 TSSAA Class 5A state championship. As a wide receiver, free safety and return specialist, Belew visited the end zone 25 times in his career, including 18 touchdown catches. Following the 2011 season he was named all-state and all Mid-State and the Defensive MVP of District 8AAA. Eric will major in EXPW/Licensure.

Matt Wagner / Sports Videos Danville, Ky. F Who makes some of those fun videos you’ve been watching on You Tube? Matt Wagner, 22, joined the Tech Sports Information staff in July as a video intern. Wagner will play a key role in the department’s expanding video production area. A 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate, he will help produce all of the live web streaming, coach’s shows, and a wide variety of video features and special projects. Matt will serve also as assistant producer of The Watson Brown Show.

CALL US! For Tickets

(Read the jerseys: 931 - 372 - 3940)


shelf life


Natalie Penrod / Volleyball

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks


F I love Nicholas Sparks’ books. I’m a very deep and emotional reader, I guess you could say I’m a hopeless romantic. I’ve read Dear John, The Last Song, True Believer, The Notebook. They’ve all been really good books.

Watson Brown / Football Coach F Killing

Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly

F I’m a Civil War buff. I like knowing about the Civil War. Those guys on both sides, you talk about courage! The way they fought in those days. This book is about the life and death of Abraham Lincoln, and the decisions he had to make. I loved it and I would highly recommend it.

Kerri Reid / Soccer Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier


F It’s beautifully written. It’s a different style of writing. The way he describes things really makes you feel like you’re there. This book is historical fiction about the Civil War. It’s a love story, but it’s more about how Ada becomes her own person and a self-sufficient woman, and how Inman tries to find his way back to her.

Daniel Francis / Cross Country F

Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World by C.J. Mahaney

F I really like what he writes. It’s all very Christ-centered, and the way he writes it, it’s stuff I can apply to my life.

Matthew Smith / Football F

The Bible

F I usually read fiction and Sci-Fi, but actually, right now I’m reading my Bible. I’m not studying it for spiritual learning, but just reading it for the sake of reading it. I’m reading it a chapter at a time, and re-reading some of the chapters until I get a clear understanding of what God is trying to tell me.





The top rebounder in the OVC, Jud Dillard has a eye for chocolate, hot wings and Beyonce. Oh, and he can juggle, too.

GUILTY PLEASURE F I’ve been known to have a bit of a sweet tooth. While most sugary, candy treats will do, I prefer Mr. Goodbar over anything else. If I’m not feeling the chocolate, Skittles, Starburst, or Laffy Taffy also does the trick.


F The meal that really gets me salivating is a giant stack of hot wings with lemon pepper sprinkles from Atlanta’s Best. And yes, fries do come with that. I’m also a big fan of McDonald’s.

CELEBRITY CRUSH F I would have a hard time looking the other way if Beyonce came to town. Other than her stunning beauty and gorgeous smile, I also enjoy her better-known talent of music.


F I like to smell good when I’m not on the court. I started using Polo cologne one day and I’ve just kind of stuck with it. It has yet to let me down. I don’t like to mess around too much with what works.


F My quirky talent would probably be juggling. I can juggle three basketballs pretty well. If I’m looking for a challenge I can sometimes manage four. I’m not a professional though, so I think four would have to be the limit.


cover story

BEGINNING of the END Tennessee Tech’s seniors hope to lead their teams to championships in 2012-13 and also work to stay on course for graduation as they embark upon their final season in Purple & Gold

With the start of a new school year, a new season, also comes the beginning of the end for some 58 seniors student-athletes at Tennessee Tech. Whether a fifth-year senior or a transfer, all of them head into 201213 knowing it’s their final season with their Golden Eagle teammates. Some will graduate in December, some will receive their degrees next May. A few will remain enrolled for another semester or two to finish up.

“The sad part is that we’re leaving, but it’s exciting that we’ve had a chance to make a difference.” - Julie Thompson

The one thing they all share is the realization that it’s their final season of wearing the Purple & Gold and life after Tennessee Tech looms ahead. “It’s bittersweet,” says Caleb Mitchell, entering his fifth season on the Golden Eagle football team, including one season as a medical redshirt. “It’s a good thing if you’ve accomplished the goals you set out when you first came here, and we’ve almost done that. “We’ve helped to leave a good legacy, we’ve won an OVC championship, we’ve won the Sgt. York Trophy,” says the Russellville, Ala., native. “The bad part is that I’m going to miss all Julie Thompson these guys, I’ll miss the practices, and I’ll miss the thrill of the games.” Mitchell is one of 19 seniors on the football


team, and is scheduled to graduate in December with a degree in Athletic Administration. “I’m going out into the real world, and it will be different,” he says. “For me, it’s a matter of growing up, getting married, having children. When I was at practice, I could still be a kid. Now I’ll go out and get a job and make a living, raise a family, and when I’m coaching, hopefully lead people in the right direction.” Mitchell and his wife, Jada welcomed a daughter, Gracelyn, on July 13. “Friday, the 13th,” he says with a grin. He adds that he has never regretted his decision to choose Tech and has never looked back. “Coming to Tennessee Tech, there have been tons of rewards,” he says. “I met my wife here, I made great friends who I’ll stay in touch with for the rest of my life, I’ve played for one of the greatest coaches who ever lived. “I leave here wearing a championship ring and holding a diploma for getting an education at a great school. It has been very rewarding,” Mitchell says. Teammate Tremaine Hudson will also receive his undergraduate degree in December. His degree will be in Interdisciplinary studies. He’s excited about his prospects in the “real world” after life at Tech. “My future looks very bright.

The 2013 Golden Eagle Senior Class FALL SPORTS I’ve learned so much here, and I’ve come through adversity, from academics to football,” Hudson says. “I’ve really learned how to be a man and work through problems. Now I will go out, get a job, and raise family.” A fifth-year senior from Chattanooga, Hudson has enjoyed the process of adapting to a new environment. “Coming to Tech was the right decision. My freshman year, when I first arrived, I wasn’t sure. It was a smaller town, and things were quite different. But now that I can see the finish line, it has all been worth it,” he says. One Golden Eagle senior who didn’t need to make any transitions when she began her career at Tech is golfer Amanda Randolph, a Cookeville native who will graduate in May with a degree in Biology/Health Sciences. Leaving Tech will present a new challenge. “It’s kind of scary,” Randolph says. “You get used to going back every year and it’s the same routine. Then, you wake up and realize you’re a senior and this is it. “I’ve been really lucky to have been able to play golf, and for golf to help pay for school,” she says. “Golf at Tech has been a real blessing. I had talked with Bobby Nichols before he passed away and I’d gone to his camps when I was younger. I always felt like this was where I was supposed to go.” Where she goes next will be Pharmacy School, but she’s pleased with her preparations. “The education I’ve received has been great. I’ve had great teachers, and they’ve been very helpful,” she says. “I really feel like I’m equipped to go out into the world.” And the “real world” for her is less daunting with the friendships she’s built, both on the Golden Eagle

Cross Country/ Track (Women’s) Madison Borden Kathryn Forbes Katie Lowery Beth Miller Justine Phillips Haley Wennerstrom Lacy Yslas Football Jordan Adams Slade Adams Michael Baker Hunter Beedle Zach Bush Chris Dickerson Marcus Edwards Howard Griffin Taylor Hennigan Tremaine Hudson Will Johnson Tre Lamb Tommie McBride Caleb Mitchell Matt Moran Kedrick Towles Adam Urbano Ladarius Verge Zack Ziegler

Soccer Kris Cambron Sarah Gawthrop Leigh Heffner Andrea Meloff Kerri Reid Alex Stephenson JulieThompson Jacquie Watkins Volleyball Madison Comperry Katrina Dvorken Kelsey Gray Note: The men’s cross country team is not listed because there are no seniors on the 2012 roster. WINTER SPORTS Basketball (Women’s) Katherine Barker Kellie Cook Kyle Cook Jala Harris

SPRING SPORTS Baseball James Abraham Tristan Archer Josh Bryant Evan Frazier Zephan Guyear Michael Morris Zone Morton Nick Price Austin Wulf Golf (Men’s) Lee Maxwell Golf (Women’s) Katherine Bell Amanda Randolph Softball Melanie Christian Claudia Harke Brittney Spalding Chanelle Spalding Tennis Syrym Abdukhalikov

Basketball (Men’s) Terrell Barnes Jud Dillard

roster and teams Tech has competed against during her career. “I’m going to have to get used to working 8-to-12 hour shifts each day, and not have golf to go to everyday,” she says. “I’ll have to adjust to not having golf in my life everyday. Working and the ‘real world’ will be a complete schedule change. I know it will open my eyes. “But the friendships I’ve made with my teammates, with the players at just about any team we’ve played

“Now that I can see the finish line, it has all been worth it.” - Tremaine Hudson

against, I’ve made friends and that will benefit me moving forward.” Julie Thompson, a senior on the soccer team from Knoxville, used the same word as Mitchell to describe the feeling of starting her final season. “It’s bittersweet. The good part is that we’ve all played together and we’ve developed some amazing friendships with each other. They are friendships for life,” she says. Thompson is one of eight seniors on coach Daniel Brizard’s team, the largest senior class in the program’s history. It’s a youthful roster that also includes five new freshmen continued on page 20


BEGINNING of the END and six sophomores. So, does their role as seniors increase their demands this fall? “We do feel like we (seniors) are role models for the younger classes,” Thompson says. “We have such a large senior class and we have developed a much more positive attitude. We feel like we can make a difference for the school, and for the soccer program.

“I really feel like I’m equipped to go out into the world.” - Amanda Randolph “The sad part is that we’re leaving, but it’s exciting that we’ve had a chance to make a difference.” Thompson said she wasn’t sure about Tech when she was being recruited out of Christian Academy of Knoxville. “It was a really difficult decision for me, but I fell in love with Tech as soon as I visited here,” she says. “I loved all the girls when I met them on my recruiting trip.” For soccer teammate Sarah Gawthrop, a senior from Chattanooga, the choice was easy. It started with the school’s academic reputation. “When I was in high school, I

Amanda Randolph


thought I’d like to go to Tech. It’s the best engineering school around and I wanted to stay close to home,” Gawthrop says. “It’s really been perfect for me. I changed my major (to pre-physical therapy), but I’ve been very happy.” While Tech’s seniors will add more pages to their memory scrapbooks this season, each one already has a number of moments they can reflect upon with joy. “This senior class has started together since our freshman year, when we placed second in the conference,” Gawthrop says. “I think the one memory that will always stay with all of us was the dogpile on Kris (Cambron) when she scored the winning goal (in the semifinal match at Morehead State).” The future is an empty canvas for volleyball senior Kelsey Gray, a Human Ecology major from Newark, Ohio, specializing in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. She will graduate in May and will spend the year weighing all of her options. “I really hope to prolong going out into the ‘real world’ for a couple of years,” she admits. “I’d like to get a graduate assistant position somewhere in volleyball and get my master’s degree. After that, maybe I can own my own restaurant or a pub somewhere.” Gray is one of three seniors on coach John

“I’ll miss the thrill of the games” ” - Caleb Mitchell

Caleb Mitchell

Blair’s 2012 roster, a group that knows the requirements of leadership. “For our team, there’s really no more burden on us as seniors than last year,” she says. “We didn’t have any seniors last year, so the three of us have really served that role already. I’m really close with all of them (Madi Comperry and Katrina Dvorken). We’ve really bonded, and I’m excited to share my last year with them.”

“Time keeps on slippin’ into the future.” - The Steve Miller Band


Don’t get left out... Call (931) 372-3937 to reserve a spot in the Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park.

COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD Habitat for Humanity Mud Run - Sept. 1 Cookeville Fall Fun Fest - Sept. 7-8 Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes - Sept. 16 Komen Race for the Cure - Sept. 23 WCTE’s 6th Annual Blues & Brews - Oct. 5 Cookin’ On The Square - Oct. 26

Alzheimer’s Walk - Oct. 27


in your ear Molly Heady’s


BARLOW GIRL “Need you to love me” - I love this song because if my life had a theme song this would be it! (above right) JAMIE GRACE “Come to me” - Sometimes the pressure of being a student- athlete can become ovewhelming and this song keeps me encouraged. (bottom right). GROUP 1 CREW “He Said” - I love the message of this song, my favorite lyrics are “I might let you bend but I won’t let you break!” SIDEWALK PROPHETS “Live Like That” - I want to live the words of this song! (below). LECRAE “Background” - This song keeps me humble and reminds me all the glory goes to God! MANDISA “Good Morning” - This song just makes me smile!

Academic Excellence to be honored Saturday, Oct. 20 The trick here is....actually, there is no trick. Just a simple reward for elementry students making good grades. And it’s a pretty neat reward -- go out on the field during pregame and form the line to welcome the Golden Eagles before kickoff. All Honor Roll students receive free admission either with a voucher (to be distributed in Putnam County schools) or by showing their report card at the ticket window. Call Marketing (931-372-3937) or the Athletics Ticket Office (931-372-3940) for more information.


where u wear it


Destiny e Harlan at th n e Gold Eagle game at Eastern Kentucky in 2009

Art and Abbye Gernt in the Badlands

Mia and D Potter W ustin Bates at Harry orld in O rlando

A new shirt for Golden Eagle fan Brayden Spears

Owen Spears at his first Tennessee Tech Homecoming parade

TJ Timmerman at a Reds Spring Training game in Arizona

John Donnelly joins Diane Black at a campaign stop


h and Warren HarDestiny, Vickie, Debora ville game lan in 2008 at the Louis

We’ve received many more photos, and will run another series in the November/December issue. 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.

Kristen Schab ert shows off he r TTU Football pride in Sagrada Famili front of Gaudi’s a with her mothe in Barcelona, Spain r, Joan.

peak in Colorado. Debbie Reed at Citadel Elevation: 13,294 ft.

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

Nick Reed Nelsy Juare , Lauren Tasaki, Debb ie Reed, z, Lindsey R eed the Mayan , Doug Reed at ruins in Hon duras



TUCKER STADIUM SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 Tech vs. Eastern Kentucky 7 p.m. kickoff (watch for details)


on our radar


What’s Cooking on your tailgate? F With the start of the football season also comes a brand new year in the Magic 98.5 Tailgate Park. Featuring live music and plenty of activities for the kids, the Tailgate Park opens three hours before kickoff for every Golden Eagle home game. The Golden Eagle Marching Band makes a noisy, musical appearance for every game about 45 minutes before kickoff. Get your snacks, burgers and buns. And don’t forget the ice Six times in the 2012 season

Television and Internet stars F Once again in 2012, fans who cannot attend Tech’s home games in Tucker Stadium will be able to watch all of the action on WCTE TV. In addition, all of the OVC game will be streamed live for free on the all-new OVC Digital Network. So, when you can’t make it in person, you can still keep up with your favorite team (TTU) and watch the games on TV or the Internet. Saturday, Sept. 1

Cookeville Mud Run F The Golden Eagle softball team is one of the many groups that will be romping through the mud on Saturday, Sept. 1, for the first Cookeville Mud Run, an event to help support the Cookeville-Putnam County Habitat for Humanity. The softball team has been a regular participant at Habitat building sites, and this effort will continue their support of that organization. ANd, they get to get a little dirty in the process. Friday, Sept. 7- Saturday, Sept. 8

Cookeville Fun Fest on the Square F Many Golden Eagle teams will be participating again this year in the city’s annual Fall Fun Fest, a two-day event that takes place around the Courthouse Square. Featuring live music and loads of food, the festival also features a chance for visitors -- especially kids -- to meet student-athletes and participate in a wide variety of games such as shooting free throws with the basketball players and putting with the golf team. Monday, Sept.. 10 at 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The Hunger Games

F The Insider’s Lunch with TTU football coach Watson Brown begins its 12-week run on Monday, Sept. 10, providing a wonderful lunch and insight into Golden Eagle football. Veteran coach Watson Brown briefs everyone on the past game, looks ahead at the next opponent and explains plays from the previous week. He breaks down specific plays via video clips -- in detail -- which has proven to be a real treat for true football fans.


The Watson Brown Show

Check Local Listings for Time and Station


on our radar


Duck Hunting on the Pac 12 network F The Golden Eagle football team ventures to the west coast to challenge one of the nation’s premier programs, the preseason No. 5 Oregon Ducks. The game will be televised on the Pac 12 Network. If you cannot attend the game or don’t get the Pac 12 Network, listen to the action on the Golden Eagle Sports Network with Roger Ealey, Buddy Pearson and Brandon Goodwin, or via a live, in-game blog from the press box. Quack. Quack. Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.

Think Pink with the Golden Eagle soccer team F The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is set for Saturday, Sept. 23, and the event draws a couple thousand runners and spectators. The day features a one-mile walk and a 5K run, and is headquartered in the parking lot next to Tucker Stadium. In conjunction, the Golden Eagle soccer team is hosting its annual Think Pink Match across the street when it hosts Jacksonville State at 1 p.m. on the TTU soccer field. Admission is free. Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.

Let’s get this party started

F After playing its first 14 matches of the year on the road, the Golden Eagle volleyball team finally gets to play at home in Eblen Center. The first of eight home matches brings Jacksonville State to town for an OVC contest. Admission is free, and fans make a HUGE difference when they provide an electric atmosphere. That excitement comes naturally, too, because of the fast-paced nature of the game. Pick your favorite player, make a sign in support and be in the stands to back the volleyball team. Friday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. / Southern Hills Golf Course

They’re off and running

F The Tennessee Tech cross country teams host one meet each year, and it’s always a fun afternoon when a half dozen teams gather at Southern Hills Golf Course, just a few miles south of Cookeville off Burgess Falls Road. The meets begin at 3 p.m., as the women run a 5K and the men race an 8K layout. Spectators always have a good time around the start/finish lines, and some even venture to distant locations. Admission is free. Saturday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

For TTU students, a special night of music F Tech students will enjoy a special free concert in Eblen Center on Thursday, Oct. 4, when country star Dierks Bentley plays as part of the SOLO Concert series. Students can pick up tickets in advance in the Roaden University Center. After playing the night before in New Jersey, Bentley brings his show to the Tech campus.



on our radar


Legends too were dreamers once F A huge challenge looms for the Golden Eagle football team as it hosts Jacksonville State. Two special events are planned for the game. For one, it’s Family Weekend, so Tech students and their families will have an impact. It’s also Football Legends Night as former Golden Eagles return to campus to be recognized -- featuring the 40-year anniversary of the ‘72 OVC Champs and the 60-year anniversary of the 1952 champs. Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. Morehead State at 7 p.m.

Dig Pink to help fight cancer

F The Golden Eagle volleyball team will host its annual Dig Pink event when defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Morehead State comes to Eblen Center for a 7 p.m. match. The Golden Eagles hold this event each year to help raise awareness of breast cancer.

Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.

Intelligent rewards....and a BLACKOUT F Two special events are slated when Tech hosts OVC favorite Eastern Kentucky at 7 p.m. in Tucker Stadium. Elementary school Honor Roll students are invited as guests of the team, and get a free ticket by showing their report card. They will be on the field to greet the team to start the night’s action. The game will also be Tech’s first-ever BLACKOUT as all fans are encouraged to wear black to the contest. Friday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m.

Cookin’ On The Square F One of the highlights of the year for anybody who eats (and that’s pretty much everybody, right?), is the annual Habitat for Humanity Cookin’ on the Square. The event, centered around the Courthouse Square, includes a booth manned by the TTU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) with some form of hot, delicious feast -gumbo or jumbalaya or chili. Check it out. You won’t go home hungry. 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.


shelf life


Leigh Heffner / Soccer

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth


F I’ve already read parts one and two, and now I’m re-reading them. They remind me of The Hunger Games because once you get started, you can’t stop. You can’t put them down. I’m reading them again so I’ll be ready for part three.

Tre Lamb / Football F Reckless Abandon

by Stuart Woods

F I’ve read a lot of books by Stuart Woods. I really like the way he writes and the stories he tells. He had a detective named Stone Barrington who always gets into trouble, but always finds a way to get out of trouble and solve the crimes. Another really good thing about the books is the settings. Some are in New York, some i California, some in Key West. He really makes you feel like you’re there.

Ellie Iaciafano / Soccer Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson


F I want to watch the movie, and I’ve been putting it off until after I read the book. I want to read all three of them. I know they’re very suspenseful and intrigiing, and they’re very challenging to read. Reading fiction takes me away, it helps me to escape from anatomy and physics. These are something I can enjoy reading at my own pace instead of having to read a certain amount each day for class.

Elise Robertson / Volleyball F

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper

F This is a really funny book about a dysfunctional family. I could sort of picture my own family (ha ha). Adam Shankman, who sits in as a judge for So You think You can Dance, and choreographs for major motion pictures, such as Hairspray and Step Up, is taking on this novel as his next project. I love his work, so I knew I had to read the book. I usually read fiction and this summer I’ve read about seven books, which is a little more than usual.

John Blair / Volleyball Coach F

The Shack by William P. Young

F This is a really interesting book. It’s Christian fiction about a man whose daughter was killed in a shack; He visits the shack and has a real eye-opening experience. I understand his wife encouraged him to write a book, so he wrote this story intending it only for his six children. I read one review about the book which said it’s one of those books that you want buy five copies and hand out to friends.


special delivery The Tech Athletics staff has added five new little ones during the past year.

er Academic Advisor Ashlee Kis Ian Lonnie Kiser is the son of 2012 - Mother’s Day. and Brinn. Ian was born May 13,

Assistant softball coach Samantha Bates and her husband, Billy, welcomed Emmett William Bates (below), born on July 21 2012.

Johnna and her n Teagen, the child ew brother, re assistant coach n of football Thomas Cox and his wife, Ja ckie

Assistant s o gave birth ccer coach Rachel Ye to Leon Re uben Land pez on May 28, ry III 2012

Here are Rory & Reagan Pugh. Rory is almost two and Reagan was born June 12, 2012. Their parents are Chip Pugh, Director of Athletic Performance, and his wife, Nicole.

The absolutely, positively best deal in town

Do the math. The very best deal around is the “Back the Golden Eagles Business Plan” in which you receive 10 season tickets for only $200. That’s 60 tickets (10 x six games) and it figures out to be just $3.33 per game per ticket. Share yours with family and friends, business clients, customers. Any way you do it, you win.



Front row, from left: Ashlee Maynord (LaVergne), Morgan Dibb (Morristown), Heather Howard (Loudon), Amanda Dunham (Cookeville), Sierra Hodges (Cookeville), Samantha Clark (Manchester), Emily Haile (Dickson), Tiffani Milligan (Cookeville) Second row: Carly Owens (Morristown), Ashley Stevenson (Cookeville), Alisha Lively (Oliver Springs), Preston Weaver (Clinton), Cara Hughey (Oak Ridge), Katie Vaughn (Clinton), Lacey Nichols (Knoxville) Third row: Rachel Siler (Dickson), Victoria Green (Mt. Juliet), Katie Read (Pleasant View), Macy Barnes (Madison), Caitlin Jones (Cumberland Furnace), Ashley Mitchell (Raleigh, NC), Olivia Pelletier (Columbia), Samantha White (Knoxville), Tarah Hooks (Loudon), Courtney Foster (Hendersonville), Amanda Mapes (Murfreesboro) Fourth row: Tripp Vaughn (Spring Hill), Brandon Gilmore (Murfreesboro), Hayden LaFever (Silver Point),


We’ve got spirit, yes we do... All together now: During their preseason photo day, the Tennessee Tech Cheer Team and the Golden Girls Dance Team gathered for one large, combined group photo in Tucker Stadium.

Jacob Miller (Oak Ridge), Seth Lloyd (Oneida), Lowell Tapp Jr. (Brownsville), Joshua Lambert (Knoxville), John Phillips (Knoxville), J.C. Henry (Spring Hill) Fifth row: Johnna Roller (Smithville), Emily Roach (Knoxville), Keely Hackett (Carthage), Stephanie Mauldin (Cookeville), Bailey Tisdal (Cookeville), Taylor Ciambriello (Orlando, Fla.), Chelsea King (Mt. Juliet), Rachel Coleman (Revierville), Jennifer Nordhoff (Franklin), Kelsey Church (Seymour), Taylor Leggett (Crossville), Brittany White (Gallatin), Macy Cole (Sparta) Not Pictured: Brenden Phillips (Loudon), Brandon Plunk (Christmasville)




Going, going, gone... Zach Stephens was among national leaders in home runs and RBI in his sophomore season with the Golden Eagles. At the end of the year, the Tech slugger was one of just eight players invited to participate in the NCAA Home Run Derby at the College World Series in Omaha.




photo by Rob Schabert

Let the sun shine, let the sun shine... It was a hot and steamy afternoon in Clarksville when the Golden Eagle track & field team participated in the Austin Peay Invitational last April. Thinking ahead, veteran Golden Eagles Lacy Yslas (left) and Madison Borden packed umbrellas to protect themselves from the hot sun while they waited their turn in the discus.



Out workin’ in the yard... Tyler Cassetty wrapped up his Golden Eagle career with the team’s lowest round on the final day of the OVC Tournament, and was later named a permanent team captain for the 2011-12 season. Cassetty closed with a final round 72, including saving par on the par 5, 12th hole when he recovered from deep rough just off the fairway wth this nifty -- if not neat -- shot to the fringe of the green.



photo by Rob Schabert

by the numbers Team MVP Syrym Abdukhalikov was also a first-team all-OVC selection in 2011-12

1 1:25 12 13

National ranking of the Tennessee Tech softball team for its cumulative GPA in 2011, as reported by the National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association. It was the second time in four years that coach Tory Acheson’s team was the national champion in Academics.

Time remaining on the clock when Zack Ziegler grabbed a 14yard touchdown pass from Tre Lamb, capping off a scoring drive that lifted the Golden Eagles to a thrilling 34-31 road victory over UT Martin in the fifth game of the 2011 season. Number of returnees on the 2012 Tech Volleyball team. Included in the returnees are seven starters looking to make an impact on the OVC this year. No other team in the conference is returning all seven starters. DIfferent states represented on the 2012 Golden Eagle soccer roster. The team boasts players from California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.


13.5 65.2 96 8,407

Career quarterback sacks by senior Marcus Edwards heading into his final season, tops among active players on the Golden Eagle football roster. After making 1.5 sacks as a freshman, Edwards led the OVC in his sophomore season with nine sacks. Last year, he had five sacks, giving him 13.5 for 89 total yards. Percentage of passes completed by Golden Eagle quarterback Tre Lamb during 2011, a school single-season record. Lamb was 204for-313 for 2,342 yards while connecting for 17 touchdowns. For his career, Lamb has completed 284 of his 467 pass attempts for 3,429 yards and 28 touchdowns. Number of Golden Eagle studentathletes listed on the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for 2011-12. Of those listed (for posting a 3.3 GPA for the year), 17 also won the OVC Academic Medal (for posting the highest GPA in their sport).

Average attendance for the Golden Eagle football team during its six home games in 2011, the highest average attendance for Tech football in 25 seasons.



from the


BoNNIE BYNUM circa: 2006

Above: Bonnie Bynum delivers a pitch during her award-winning Golden Eagle career. Below: Bynum accepts her Pitcher of the Year award from OVC Assistant Commissioner for Championships, Donyale Canada. Right: Bonnie has returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach on Tory Acheson’s staff.




here's no question Tennessee Tech University is a great place to get an education. And Cookeville is a great college town. The largest micropolitan area in Tennessee and one of the top 40 micropolitan areas in the nation, Cookeville has consistently been rated among the top 10 most affordable regions in the nation.

Cookeville boasts a mild climate, with an average temperature of 57 and four distinct seasons. Located within a day's drive of 75 percent of the nation's population, Cookeville is just off Interstate 40, which runs from the east coast to California. City life is easily accessible, as well, because Cookeville is situated within 100 miles of Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga — three of Tennessee's major metropolitan areas. The seat of Putnam County, Cookeville is the heart of a three-county alliance known as the Highlands, which centers Tennessee's 14-county Upper Cumberland region. We have hundreds of acres of unspoiled nature — from championship golf courses to natural preserves, state parks and top-rated lakes — close to home. There's plenty of nature inside the city limits, too; the City of Cookeville tends nine parks, including Cane Creek Park, a 262-acre natural area with a 56-acre lake. And while Cookeville is a relatively small town, we have no lack of culture. We are one of the smallest cities in the U.S. with a full-blown symphony orchestra, and our area attracts visual artists and craftspeople from across the nation, thanks to the Appalachian Center for Craft, a satellite campus of TTU. Drama also takes center stage here, with the 456-seat Cookeville Performing Arts Center cranking out productions year-round, including the award-winning Drama Center Backstage series. Cookeville is home to three museums — the Cookeville Depot Museum, the Cookeville History Museum and the Cookeville Children's Museum — and a year-round slate of events, including regular excursion trains and the annual Fall FunFest. A walkable downtown shopping district and an impressive roster of national chain stores give the retail segment a small-town feel with big-city convenience. Add to that our more than 100 restaurants and 1,400 hotel rooms, and you'll quickly see that Cookeville offers something for everyone.

For More Information Call

800-264-5541 or (931) 526-2211

To learn more about what Cookeville, Putnam County and the Highlands have in store for you, make your first stop the Highlands Visitor Center, which is located at 470-A Neal St. in Cookeville and is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Or visit us online at or



Fast friends...

photo by Rob Schabert

As the Austin Peay Invitational came to a close last April, it meant the end of their careers was also just a week away. Seniors Emily Weinzetl (left) and Traci Jones became fast friends (no pun intended) during their four-year careers on the Golden Eagle track & field team. A week later, they competed once final time at the OVC Outdoor Championships.


unlimited magazine  

The online magazine of Tennessee Tech Athletics

unlimited magazine  

The online magazine of Tennessee Tech Athletics