Archive | December, 2015

EKU Rolls Past Manhattan at Home, 76-64

EKU Rolls Past Manhattan at Home, 76-64

Posted on 30 December 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. — Hot shooting and a stifling defensive effort helped the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball team jump out to an 18-0 lead in the opening minutes on its way to a convincing 76-64 win over Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon at McBrayer Arena.

With the wire-to-wire win, EKU (9-6) closes out the non-conference season 8-0 at home.

Senior Jarelle Reischel – who missed EKU’s game with a back injury at No. 19 West Virginia on December 21 – led the way with 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Junior JaVontae Hawkins contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two assists.

The Colonels delivered one of their best defensive efforts of the season in the victory, forcing Manhattan (3-8) into 16 turnovers and converting those turnovers into 26 points. EKU held the Jaspers to 24 percent (6-of-25) shooting from the field and 23 percent (3-of-13) shooting from deep in the first half to build a comfortable lead.

Eastern’s defense coerced the Jaspers into eight turnovers on their first 12 possessions. The Colonels generated 14 points off Manhattan’s early miscues, as an alley-oop dunk by Hawkins gave EKU an 18-0 lead with 14:42 remaining in the first half.

Manhattan did not score a bucket until the 14:29 mark of the first half, when Rashawn Stores got the Jaspers on the board with a three-pointer. Stores’ long ball sparked a 10-0 run over the next 2:18 for Manhattan, closing the Eastern lead to eight, 18-10.

The Colonels, however, outscored the Jaspers 27-11 over the remainder of the first half, and a jumper from freshman Anthony Pratt Jr. gave EKU a 45-21 advantage at halftime.

Manhattan pulled to within 13 points when Shane Richards knocked down a triple from the top of the key to make it 51-38 with 13:14 remaining in the second half; however, Eastern responded with a 13-3 run and pushed its lead back to 23, 64-41, when sophomore Paul Jackson converted a free throw with 7:07 on the clock.

EKU received solid bench performances from Pratt Jr. (eight points, two rebounds), sophomore Greg King (five points, four rebounds, one block) and junior Jaylen Babb-Harrison (nine points, four rebounds, two assists) in the win.

Eastern Kentucky opens OVC play Saturday on the road in Clarksville, Tennessee, when the Colonels take on Austin Peay at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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Spence named AP First Team All-American

Spence named AP First Team All-American

Posted on 16 December 2015 by admin

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Eastern Kentucky junior defensive end Noah Spence is one of five OVC football players that have been named to the 2015 Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-American Team.

The selections included two first-team selections, one second-team selection and two third-team selections. Jacksonville State had three All-Americans while Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky had one selection apiece.

The first-team selections included Spence and Jacksonville State senior defensive back Jermaine Hough. The second-team pick was Jacksonville State junior quarterback Eli Jenkins while the third-team selections were Jacksonville State senior running back Troymaine Pope and Eastern Illinois senior defensive lineman Dino Fanti.

In his first year after transferring from Ohio State Spence finished fourth nationally in the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year balloting. The defensive end finished the season ranked fourth nationally in tackles for a loss (2.0/game), fifth in sacks (1.05/game) and 22nd in forced fumbles per game (0.27) in earning OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors. Overall Spence had 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most in EKU single-season history. He also contributed 63 tackles (31 solo), 15 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. He had at least one sack in nine of 11 games including 2.5 combined in two games against FBS opponents. His play up front, which included seeing numerous double teams, helped EKU rank 15th nationally in rush defense (111.8 yards per game allowed). Spence, who has declared for the NFL Draft, has been selected to play in the Senior Bowl on January 30 in Mobile.

It is the second All-American selection of the 2015 season for each player as all five were named to the STATS All-American Team which was released on Tuesday.

Hough forced opposing offenses to the other side of the field several times in 2015. He bounced back from a knee injury that shortened his 2014 campaign to earn first-team All-OVC honors this season. Also an Academic All-District selection, Hough recorded 30 tackles for the Gamecocks in 2015, including two stops for a loss and one sack. He intercepted one pass to run his career total to nine. He has broken up 25 passes in his JSU career, while also forcing a fumble.

Jenkins, the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year, has had a record-breaking season leading a record-breaking offense. With 2,484 passing yards and 1,030 rushing, the Birmingham native is the only FCS quarterback with 2,400 passing and 1,000 rushing yards this season. He and Houston signal caller Greg Ward, Jr. are the only two quarterbacks in all of Division I to reach those marks. Jenkins has run for 13 touchdowns and thrown for 19 and has climbed several career lists for JSU this season. Just a junior, his school-record 3,514 yards of total offense is 560 more than any other player in school history, while his 7,922 career yards of total offense also broke the school record last week in a win over Charleston Southern. He has run for 195 yards in each of JSU’s two playoff wins over Chattanooga and Charleston Southern and is 26-0 in his career as a starter against FCS foes in the regular season.

In his first season as the starter after backing up All-American DaMarcus James for three years, Pope has been one of the most electric runners in the country, leading the nation with an average of 8.4 yards per carry to earn first-team All-OVC honors. He has erupted in the Playoffs for JSU, running for a combined 484 yards in his first two games. He had 234 in the second round win over Chattanooga before running for 250 in the quarterfinals against Charleston Southern, a team that hadn’t allowed a team to run for 200 yards all season. Pope has run for a school-record 1,576 yards, 99 more than James’ previous record set in 2013, on just 188 carries. He also has 17 rushing touchdowns, third-most in a season in school history. His 3,164 career rushing yards are third-most in school history, while his 32 career rushing touchdowns are fourth all-time.

Fanti was named the OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Year as he helped lead EIU to a 16th appearance in the FCS playoffs with a 7-5 overall record, 7-1 in the OVC. Fanti was dominant over the final two weeks of the year earning back-to-back OVC Defensive Player of the Week honors including a National Defensive Player of the Week Award during the win over UT Martin. Fanti finished the year with 63 total tackles including 22 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He had five forced fumbles, nine quarterback hurries, one pass break-up and one fumble recovery. During the year he set both the EIU career and single season record for tackles for loss. Fanti ranked eighth in the FCS in tackles for loss and 41st in sacks.

2015 Associated Press FCS All-Americans
DL – Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky (1st Team)
DB – Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State (1st Team)
QB – Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville State (2nd Team)
RB – Troymaine Pope, Jacksonville State (3rd Team)
DL – Dino Fanti, Eastern Illinois (3rd Team)

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Spence named to STATS All-American team

Spence named to STATS All-American team

Posted on 15 December 2015 by admin

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Eastern Kentucky junior defensive end Noah Spence was named to the First team of the STATS All0-American team. Spence was one of seven OVC football players have been named to the 2015 STATS Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-American Team.

The selections included two first-team selections, two second-team selections and three third-team selections. Jacksonville State had five All-Americans, the most of any FCS team, while Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky had one selection apiece.

Besides Spence, the first-team selections included Jacksonville State junior quarterback Eli Jenkins. The second-team picks were Jacksonville State junior center Casey Dunn and Eastern Illinois senior defensive lineman Dino Fanti. The third-team selections were Jacksonville State senior running back Troymaine Pope, Jacksonville State defensive lineman Chris Landrum and Jacksonville State senior defensive back Jermaine Hough.

In his first year after transferring from Ohio State Spence finished fourth nationally in the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year balloting. The defensive end finished the season ranked fourth nationally in tackles for a loss (2.0/game), fifth in sacks (1.05/game) and 22nd in forced fumbles per game (0.27). Overall Spence had 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most in EKU single-season history. He also contributed 63 tackles (31 solo), 15 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. He had at least one sack in nine of 11 games including 2.5 combined in two games against FBS opponents. His play up front, which included seeing numerous double teams, helped EKU rank 15th nationally in rush defense (111.8 yards per game allowed). Spence, who has declared for the NFL Draft, has been selected to play in the Senior Bowl on January 30 in Mobile.

Jenkins, the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year, has had a record-breaking season leading a record-breaking offense. With 2,484 passing yards and 1,030 rushing, the Birmingham native is the only FCS quarterback with 2,400 passing and 1,000 rushing yards this season. He and Houston signal caller Greg Ward, Jr. are the only two quarterbacks in all of Division I to reach those marks. Jenkins has run for 13 touchdowns and thrown for 19 and has climbed several career lists for JSU this season. Just a junior, his school-record 3,514 yards of total offense is 560 more than any other player in school history, while his 7,922 career yards of total offense also broke the school record last week in a win over Charleston Southern. He has run for 195 yards in each of JSU’s two playoff wins over Chattanooga and Charleston Southern and is 26-0 in his career as a starter against FCS foes in the regular season. He is JSU’s first All-American quarterback since 1998.

Dunn grabbed his first All-America honor after anchoring an offensive line that set the stage for record-breaking production by the Gamecock offense. In his first season as the starter after taking over for two-time All-American Holcombe, Dunn has started every game in the middle this season and was one of four first-team All-OVC linemen from JSU, just the third time in OVC history that four of the five first team offensive linemen have been from the same team. Dunn’s unit up front paved the way for an offense that has run for 4,004 yards, the first 4,000-yard rushing season in school history. The Gamecocks have gained 6,770 yards of total offense, also a new school record. JSU’s 512 points are second all-time to the 528 scored in 2013, while its 46 rushing scores are second in school history behind 48 in 2013.

Fanti was named the OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Year as he helped lead EIU to a 16th appearance in the FCS playoffs with a 7-5 overall record, 7-1 in the OVC. Fanti was dominant over the final two weeks of the year earning back-to-back OVC Defensive Player of the Week honors including a National Defensive Player of the Week Award during the win over UT Martin. Fanti finished the year with 63 total tackles including 22 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He had five forced fumbles, nine quarterback hurries, one pass break-up and one fumble recovery. During the year he set both the EIU career and single season record for tackles for loss. Fanti ranked eighth in the FCS in tackles for loss and 41st in sacks.

Pope also made his first appearance on an All-American squad after a record-breaking season as the Gamecocks premier back. In his first season as the starter after backing up All-American DaMarcus James for three years, Pope has been one of the most electric runners in the country, leading the nation with an average of 8.4 yards per carry to earn first-team All-OVC honors. He has erupted in the Playoffs for JSU, running for a combined 484 yards in his first two games. He had 234 in the second round win over Chattanooga before running for 250 in the quarterfinals against Charleston Southern, a team that hadn’t allowed a team to run for 200 yards all season. Pope has run for a school-record 1,576 yards, 99 more than James’ previous record set in 2013, on just 188 carries. He also has 17 rushing touchdowns, third-most in a season in school history. His 3,164 career rushing yards are third-most in school history, while his 32 career rushing touchdowns are fourth all-time.

Landrum has made a living in opposing backfields during his JSU career, especially in 2015. The All-OVC selection at defensive end has 52 total tackles this season, including 16.0 for a loss and a team-high 7.0 sacks. His 16.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage is the third-most in a season in school history. Landrum has pinned opposing players for a total loss of 51 yards this season, also in the top 10 in school history. He recently broke the school record for career tackles for a loss with 36.5, while his 14.5 career sacks in tied for second in school history. He has accounted for a total loss of 149 yards in his career, also a school record.

Hough is an All-American for the second-straight season, joining Max Holcombe as JSU’s only back-to-back All-Americans since joining the OVC in 2003. Hough forced opposing offenses to the other side of the field several times in 2015. He bounced back from a knee injury that shortened his 2014 campaign to earn first-team All-OVC honors this season. Also an Academic All-District selection, Hough recorded 30 tackles for the Gamecocks in 2015, including two stops for a loss and one sack. He intercepted one pass to run his career total to nine. He has broken up 25 passes in his JSU career, while also forcing a fumble.

2015 STATS FCS All-Americans
QB – Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville State (1st Team)
DL – Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky (1st Team)
OL – Casey Dunn, Jacksonville State (2nd Team)
DL – Dino Fanti, Eastern Illinois (2nd Team)
RB – Troymaine Pope, Jacksonville State (3rd Team)
DL – Chris Landrum, Jacksonville State (3rd Team)
DB – Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State (3rd Team)

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Mayo Voted OVC Freshman of the Week for Third Time

Mayo Voted OVC Freshman of the Week for Third Time

Posted on 15 December 2015 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball player Nick Mayo has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week for the third time this season, the league office announced on Monday.

Mayo averaged 14.5 points-per-game and 4.5 rebounds-per-game in two road games at No. 4 Kentucky and Marshall last week.

The forward from Oakland, Maine poured in 20 points and matched a career-high with six rebounds at Marshall on Saturday night. He scored nine points, grabbed three rebounds and came up with a steal at Kentucky on Wednesday at Rupp Arena.

Mayo shot over 50 percent from the field during the week and now ranks fourth in the OVC in field goal percentage (60.0).

He is the first Colonel to be named the OVC Freshman of the Week three times in a season since Adam Leonard in 2006-07.

Mayo and the Colonels return home on Tuesday to host Florida Atlantic at McBrayer Arena at 7:00 p.m.

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EKU's Noah Spence To Enter NFL Draft

EKU’s Noah Spence To Enter NFL Draft

Posted on 11 December 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University defensive end Noah Spence will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2016 National Football League (NFL) draft.

“After much thought and careful consideration, I have decided that it’s time to turn the page and write the next chapter in my life,” said Spence. “I will be entering the 2016 NFL draft to pursue my life-long dream of playing professional football. I hope to someday use my NFL career as a platform to inspire others and bring positive changes to the community.”

Spence finished fourth in voting for the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was also the 2015 OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Earlier this week he was selected to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January.

“I would first like to thank God from whom all blessings flow,” Spence said. “I want to thank Eastern Kentucky University, my coaches, especially Coach (Dean) Hood, Coach (Jake) Johnson, my teammates, classmates, and Colonel fans for giving me a second chance. I’m grateful for the opportunity and will always be a proud alumnus of this great university. Graduating from college has been the capstone of a very humbling chapter in my life.”

“Most importantly, I must thank my family for being there for me throughout my entire journey,” Spence added. “I couldn’t have done it without you, and I can’t emphasize enough how much your unconditional love has meant to me. You motivate me, and I want nothing more than to make you proud.”

Spence made an immediate impact after transferring from Ohio State. He finished the season ranked fourth nationally in tackles for a loss (2.0/game), fifth in sacks (1.05/game) and 22nd in forced fumbles per game (0.27).

Overall the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native had 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most in EKU single-season history. He also contributed 63 tackles (31 solo), 15 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. He had at least one sack in nine of 11 games including 2.5 combined in two games against FBS opponents. His play up front, which included seeing numerous double teams, helped EKU rank 15th nationally in rush defense (111.8 yards per game allowed).

Spence is a redshirt junior and is graduating this weekend.

“I will also forever cherish my time spent at The Ohio State University,” Spence said. “I wish things had turned out differently, but I’ve grown from my mistakes and have become a better person today because of them. Thank you Coach (Urban) Meyer for your ongoing support and direction. Buckeye Nation will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’m truly thankful for your continued support. Go Colonels! And Go Bucks!”

Spence added this quote, attributed to Carl Bard, ‘though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.’

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Fifth-ranked UK spoils McHale's return to Rupp Arena

Fifth-ranked UK spoils McHale’s return to Rupp Arena

Posted on 10 December 2015 by admin

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Dan McHale’s return to Rupp Arena didn’t go as well as planned.

The first-year Eastern Kentucky coach, a former student manager at Kentucky, watched as his Colonels couldn’t contain the fifth-ranked Wildcats in the post and failed to live up to their billing as one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation, resulting in an 88-67 loss Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (8-1) scored 58 points in the paint and scored 29 second-chance baskets to keep Eastern (7-3) at bay throughout the contest. The Colonels made just five shots from 3-point range and were outrebounded 50-25.

BOXSCORE: Kentucky 88, EKU 67

“I challenged my guys.,” McHale said. “We had to be first to the floor. We had to get the 50-50 balls. We had to gain rebounds. I think we did two of the three. We couldn’t keep them off the glass. That’s their strength. That’s our weakness.”

Eastern’s Javonte Hawkins, who led the Colonels with 19 points, said Kentucky’s size was a difference on both ends of the court.

“I think what went right for them was they kept it in the paint, and kept on using their lobs or offensive rebounds,” he said. “For us, I think it was that we lost a little of our composure, but we will bounce back.”

McHale also said Kentucky’s length also played a role in his team’s inability to get into a rhythm from long range.

“Their length really bothered us,” the EKU coach said. “We didn’t get any clean looks. It’s just one of those things where you go and you shoot the ball great at walk through. Today we didn’t miss a single shot at walkthrough. Then our guys go out there and see 20,000 people in the stands and that definitely has something to do with it. We’re a lot better offensively than we showed tonight and a lot of that was because they took us out of our stuff.”

Eastern guard Jarrelle Reischel agreed.

“We did not shoot threes well at all today, but we drove the ball well, made the extra pass, got to the free throw line, but it was just not a good night from the 3-point range,” he said.

McHale said the Colonels will learn from the loss going into Saturday’s game at Marshall.

“I think the biggest thing is we started to go one on five with about four or five minutes to go in the game. And we didn’t need to,” he said. “These guys need to learn to trust their teammates. And that’s what they have to learn from this. Their effort was outstanding. I think they played great and to keep coming back the way they did it did show me a lot about this team.

“But we’ve got to be able to watch the film and understand if we can trust our teammates instead of driving into the trees and getting swatted at all the time, then we will become a better team. We’re a very close team on and off the court. They’ll learn from it.”

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Spence to play in Senior Bowl

Spence to play in Senior Bowl

Posted on 08 December 2015 by admin

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Colonel Defensive End Noah Spence has accepted an invitation to play in the 67th Reese’s Senior Bowl at the end of January in Mobile, Ala. Spence was one of 22 players who accepted their invitation this week, pushing the total number of players to 71.
The Reese’s Senior Bowl will be played on January 30, 2016 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. It annually features the country’s best senior collegiate football players and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South that are coached by the entire coaching staffs of two National Football League teams.
This year’s game will be televised live on the NFL Newtork with Kickoff set for 2:30 EST
Spence, the 2015 OVC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, made an immediate impact after transferring from Ohio State. He finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in tackles for a loss (2.0/game), fifth in sacks (1.05/game) and 22nd in forced fumbles per game (0.27).
Overall the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native had 22.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks, the fourth-most in EKU single-season history. He also contributed 63 tackles (31 solo), 15 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. He had at least one sack in nine of 11 games including 2.5 combined in two games against FBS opponents. His play up front, which included seeing numerous double teams, helped EKU rank 15th nationally in rush defense (111.8 yards per game allowed).

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Mark Elder tabbed as new Colonel football coach

Mark Elder tabbed as new Colonel football coach

Posted on 08 December 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University will introduce new head football coach Mark Elder at a press conference on Thursday. Elder has served as the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at the University of Tennessee since 2013.

The press conference will begin at 2 p.m. and will be held at O’Donnell Auditorium inside the Whitlock Building on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. Media members and fans are invited to attend.

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Mark and his family to EKU,” Director of Athletics Steve Lochmueller said. “Eastern Kentucky University football has a national championship tradition and I am confident Mark Elder is the coach that will bring excitement back to Colonel football and make EKU a factor again on the national stage.”

“I’m excited, blessed and honored for the opportunity to lead one of the most tradition rich programs in college football,” Elder said. “It didn’t take me long to realize that this is a special place. Lindsey and I look forward to becoming a part of the Richmond community.”

Elder is the 14th head coach in program history.

“It is humbling to have the opportunity to lead the same program that legendary coach Roy Kidd built into a national powerhouse,” said Elder. “It’s important to me that we maintain the standards, both on and off the field, that coach Kidd established during his Hall of Fame career.”

Over his past 11 seasons as an assistant coach, Elder has helped his teams reach nine bowl games and win four conference championships. In 2014 he was ranked as one of the top-50 recruiters in the nation. This season he was recognized as one of the top-25 recruiters in college football.

“We had a group of outstanding candidates to lead Colonel football,” said Lochmueller. “Eastern Kentucky University football carries a lot of weight throughout the coaching world. This is a place where people want to be.”

As a member of Butch Jones’ inaugural staff, the Cincinnati native helped lead the revitalization of Volunteer football over the past three seasons. He helped UT to an 8-4 record this season and a second place finish in the Southeastern Conference East Division with a 5-3 mark. It is Tennessee’s first winning record in SEC play since 2007. The Volunteers are slated to play Northwestern in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day.

In just their second season in Knoxville, Elder helped Jones and the Vols to a 7-6 mark in 2014 and a 45-28 victory over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl. It was Tennessee’s first winning record in five seasons and first bowl win since the end of the 2007 campaign.

“Eastern Kentucky has not only hired an outstanding football coach, but an even better person, teacher, mentor and motivator in Mark Elder,” said Jones. “I would like to congratulate and also thank Mark for nine great years. I am very excited for the opportunity he, his wife Lindsey and son Owen are about to take on and I wish them all the best at Eastern Kentucky.”

Elder helped the University of Michigan reach bowl games as a defensive graduate assistant in 2005 and 2006. He then joined Jones’ first staff at Central Michigan University. Elder coached the Chippewa linebackers for three seasons (2007-09). During that time, CMU qualified for three bowl appearances and won two Mid-American Conference Championships.

When Jones made the jump to the University of Cincinnati before the 2010 season, Elder joined the Bearcat staff as the tight ends coach. He also coached running backs, safeties and special teams at various times. The duo found similar success at UC, winning two Big East Conference Championships and getting Cincinnati into two bowl games in three seasons.

“One of the things that I really like about Mark is he’s a very well-rounded coach,” Lochmueller said. “He has coached on the defensive side, the offensive side and on special teams. He has a strong background of success coaching each phase of the game. He also has coached at a variety of different levels of college football, all the way from Division II to the top of the mountain in college football – the SEC.”

This season, Elder’s guidance helped Tennessee lead the nation in kickoff returns (33.41 ypr) and rank second in punt returns (18.26 ypr). The Volunteers had the second best kickoff return defense in the SEC and 15th-best in the nation (18.23 ypg).

UT’s Evan Berry led the nation, and will break the UT record, with an average of 38.3 yards per kickoff return. Cameron Sutton led the country with an average of 18.7 yards per punt return. Berry was second nationally with three kickoff returns for touchdowns while Sutton was second with two punt returns for touchdowns. Sutton also broke a 46-year-old program record for punt return yards in a season.

Trevor Daniel was eighth in the nation with an average of 45.6 yards per punt. If he maintains that average through the bowl game he will establish a new school record.

Elder will likely be named the national special teams coach of the year.

Tight end Ethan Wolf caught 21 passes, including at least one catch in each of the first 11 games of the season, for 277 yards. He hauled in two touchdown receptions and averaged 13.2 yards per reception. Elder’s tight ends also helped UT average 223.5 yards per game on the ground, the second best total in the SEC.

In 2014, Elder mentored placekicker Aaron Medley as he made 20-of-26 field goals, the second-most among freshmen in the nation. Tennessee ranked 11th nationally in punt return defense (3.23 ypr) and 14th in kickoff return average (24.03 ypr).

In his first season in Knoxville, Elder helped punter/placekicker Michael Palardy become a semi-finalist for the prestigious Ray Guy Award.

While coaching the running backs at Cincinnati in 2011 Elder tutored Isaiah Pead, the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and the first Bearcat in nearly 25 years to record consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. UC led the Big East in rushing and averaged 33.3 points per game. Cincinnati capped the season with a victory over Vanderbilt in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

In 2010, Elder guided tight end Ben Guidugli to second team All-Big East honors.

In three seasons at Central Michigan, Elder produced an all-conference linebacker each year. Red Keith finished his career with 474 tackles, the second-most in CMU history and seventh-most in NCAA Bowl Subdivision history.

Elder worked with All-Big Ten linebackers David Harris and Shawn Crable at Michigan. In 2006 the Wolverine defense led the nation in rushing yards allowed (43.4 ypg) and ranked 10th in total defense (268.3 ypg).

Elder also served as the defensive coordinator at Wayne State (2004) and Iona (2003). He was assistant coach at Lehigh in 2002 and a graduate assistant with Akron in 2000 and 2001.

Elder graduated cum laude with a degree in economics from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio in 2000. He earned a master’s degree in education in sports science and coaching from Akron in 2001.

“Mark is a man of high character and he is a good family man,” Lochmueller said. “He perfectly fits my vision for a coach at EKU. He’s an energetic, up and coming coach that aspires to be great.”

Additional Quotes About New Eastern Kentucky University Head Football Coach Mark Elder

“We are very excited to welcome coach Elder, his wife Lindsey, and their son Owen to the Colonel Family.” I was able to spend time with Mark and I can promise you that our EKU community will love and embrace him immediately. Coach Elder comes to EKU with the highest recommendation of players, coaches, and administrators. There are exciting times ahead for Colonel football with Mark Elder at the controls.”
Dr. Michael Benson, Eastern Kentucky University President

“I care tremendously about EKU. I’ve been a Colonel all my life and always will be. I want the best for the current players, former players and the program as a whole. Coach Elder has my full support and I will do everything I can to help him be successful. I want all of our former players to join me in supporting coach Elder and the Colonels.”
Roy Kidd, Former Eastern Kentucky University Head Football Coach

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Reischel Leads EKU to Gritty Road Win at Savannah State

Reischel Leads EKU to Gritty Road Win at Savannah State

Posted on 05 December 2015 by admin

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SAVANNAH, Ga. – Senior Jarelle Reischel finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team to a gritty 74-71 win at Savannah State on Saturday at Tiger Arena.

After trailing most of the game, EKU (7-2) took the lead with 7:34 to play and expanded that lead to six, 68-62, on a pair of free throws by Reischel with 2:30 on the clock.

However, Savannah State (4-5) did not go quietly. The Tigers responded with seven consecutive points and retook the lead, 69-68, on a layup by Khalen Pinkett with just under a minute left.

With SSU still leading, 71-70, junior JaVontae Hawkins converted a layup to give EKU the lead for good with 10 seconds on the clock. The Colonels forced a turnover on the other end of the floor and Hawkins sank two free throws to ice the victory.

It was the first road win of first-year head coach Dan McHale’s career.

EKU entered the game second in the country in field goal percentage (54.7) and third in three-point field goal percentage (47.4), but shot only 21-of-56 (37.5 percent) from the field and 8-of-30 (26.7) from deep on Saturday.

Instead, the Colonels had to grind out the victory from the free throw stripe. Reischel made 17 consecutive free throws to lead the way. As a team, EKU went 24-of-27 from the line (88.9 percent).

Hawkins contributed 16 points in the win, while freshman Nick Mayo scored 10 points and pulled down four boards.

EKU forced Savannah State into 25 turnovers and stifled the Tigers to just 1-of-13 (8 percent) shooting from three-point range.

Troyce Manassa paced SSU with 18 points and seven rebounds.

EKU took its largest lead of the first half when junior Isaac McGlone knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to make it 11-7 with 15:22 on the clock. SSU, however, responded with a 10-0 run and went up 17-11 when Pinkett converted a layup at the 12:41 mark.

Senior K.J. Bluford came off the bench and ended the run with a pair of three-pointers, and Hawkins brought the Colonels back to within one, 27-26, with a fast break layup with just over three minutes to play in the first half. However, the Tigers ended the half on a 7-2 run and went into the locker room at the break leading by six, 34-28.

SSU maintained its lead through most of the second half, until junior Jaylen Babb-Harrison came off the bench and gave EKU its first lead since early in the game, 56-54, on a three-pointer with 7:34 to play.

The Colonels return to action on Wednesday when they face Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Tip time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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Deighton To Play In FCS National Bowl This Weekend

Deighton To Play In FCS National Bowl This Weekend

Posted on 02 December 2015 by admin

Ben_Deighton

 

RICHMOND, Ky. – Kicker Ben Deighton has received an invitation to play in the 2nd Annual FCS National Bowl on Sunday in Miami, Florida.

The FCS National Bowl consists of the top seniors from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and all 32 NFL teams are invited to attend. Last year, 12 FCS National Bowl players went on to the NFL.

The senior from Richfield, Ohio appeared in 10 games for the Colonels this past season and had an average of 59.5 yards per kickoff with 30 touchbacks. For comparison, EKU opponents only had seven touchbacks all season.

Scouts from NFL, Canadian Football League (CFL) and Arena League are expected to attend the game. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be played at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium on the campus of Florida International University.

The FCS National Bowl will feature coaches such as Mike Stock, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, and pro arena coach Chris Thompson of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks.

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