Archive | January, 2016

Spence National Player Of The Year, All-American

Spence National Player Of The Year, All-American

Posted on 14 January 2016 by admin


RICHMOND, Ky. – Defensive end Noah Spence was chosen as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Defensive Performer of the Year by College Football Performance Awards on Wednesday and earned his fourth All-America honor when he was named to the College Sporting News 2015 Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team on Tuesday.

The goal of College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferment in college football. CFPA recognizes award recipients based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.

After an extensive review of the existing data, literature, and evidence, it was determined that Spence finished the 2015 season with the strongest defensive performance in FCS football. As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards.

Unlike other All-American teams, the CSN squad is designed to be like a real team, capable of taking the field and competing in a game. The Fabulous Fifty also emphasizes players who have exhibited character and other team-oriented traits, not just lofty statistics, or talent.

Spence was also chosen first team All-America by STATS, the Associated Press and the Walter Camp Foundation.

Spence announced in December that he will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2016 National Football League (NFL) draft. He finished fourth in voting for the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Award, was chosen as the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year and selected to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

The 6-foot-3 defensive end 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, a redshirt junior, earned his degree on Dec. 11.

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O'Bannon Garners OVC Newcomer for Fifth Time

O’Bannon Garners OVC Newcomer for Fifth Time

Posted on 12 January 2016 by admin


BRENTWOOD, Tenn—After helping the Colonels to two wins over Ohio Valley Conference foes last week junior Jalen O’Bannon was named OVC Newcomer of the Week, the league announced today.

This week’s selection marks the fifth time this season O’Bannon has earned the honor. Eastern’s Crystal Jones collected seven selections during the 2006-07 season, marking the most ever for a Colonel.

The award was first issued during the 1985-86 season. Tatiano Concercao (Southeast Missouri State) holds the record with nine Newcomer of the Week awards, which came in the 2004-05 season.

O’Bannon has an OVC best seven double-doubles on the season, while logging double-doubles in each of the first three OVC games this season.

The Memphis, Tennessee native averaged 12.5 points-per-game, 12.0 rebounds-per-game and 2.0 blocks-per-game in Eastern’s wins over UT Martin and Southeast Missouri State last week.

O’Bannon leads the OVC in rebounds (139) and rebounds-per-game (9.8) and ranks eighth in scoring (15.0 points-per-game).

The Colonels (8-6, 2-1 OVC) travel to Eastern Illinois University on Thursday, before taking on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday.

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Mayo picks up fifth OVC Freshman of the Week award

Mayo picks up fifth OVC Freshman of the Week award

Posted on 11 January 2016 by admin


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

It is the fifth time this season Mayo has been named the OVC Freshman of the Week. He shares this week’s honor with SIUE’s Carlos Anderson.

Mayo averaged 12.5 points-per-game, 6.5 rebounds-per-game and 1.0 assists-per-game last week.

The 6-9 forward from Oakland, Maine scored 15 points and matched career highs with seven rebounds and three blocks in EKU’s 88-69 victory over Southeast Missouri on Saturday at McBrayer Arena. He also had two assists and a steal in the win.

Mayo scored 10 points and pulled down six boards versus UT Martin on Thursday.

Mayo shot 58 percent (10-of-17) from the field during the week and now ranks sixth in the OVC in field goal percentage (58.2).

He is the first Colonel to be named the OVC Freshman of the Week five times in a season since Matt Witt in 2002-03.

Mayo and the Colonels travel to Eastern Illinois on Thursday, January 14, to face the Panthers at 9:00 p.m. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network.

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Hunter seals comeback win for the Colonels with basket late

Hunter seals comeback win for the Colonels with basket late

Posted on 09 January 2016 by admin


RICHMOND, Ky. – Trailing by one with 15 seconds left to play, junior Michaela Hunter hit a game-winning jumper to give the EKU women’s basketball team the only lead it would need, finishing off the Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks, 56-55, Saturday evening in McBrayer Arena.

The Colonels (8-6, 2-1 OVC) used a 14-0 run to overcome a 13-point deficit late in the game. EKU outscored SEMO 14-0 in the final 4:39 to pick up its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference win in Richmond. Senior Shameekia Murray ignited the Colonel run with a putback in the paint, as Hunter netted eight of her 15 points in the game-clinching run.
EKU’s defense held the Redhawks to 3-of-16 (18 percent) from the field in the final period, while the Colonels hit 8-of-18 (44 percent).

Three Colonels scored in double-digits, marking the seventh consecutive game three or more Colonels have done so. Murray finished with a game high 16 points and eight rebounds, as Hunter notched 15 points in the win. Junior Jalen O’Bannon finished with an OVC best seventh double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

The Redhawks (10-7, 3-1 OVC) entered McBrayer Arena undefeated in conference play thus far. Saturday’s win marked the fifth straight victory over SEMO for the Colonels.

EKU continues OVC play on Thursday at Eastern Illinois University. Thursday’s game is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. ET.

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First-Half Run Keys EKU to 88-69 Victory Over SEMO

First-Half Run Keys EKU to 88-69 Victory Over SEMO

Posted on 09 January 2016 by admin


RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team took the lead with a 16-0 run in the first half and never looked back on its way to an 88-69 win over visiting Southeast Missouri on Saturday afternoon at McBrayer arena.

The Colonels (11-7, 2-1 OVC) never surrendered the lead after holding the Redhawks scoreless for 4:32 early in the first half. The 16-0 run started with the Colonels trailing 10-6. Sophomore Paul Jackson nailed a jumper to cut the deficit to two. Junior Isaac McGlone followed with a three-pointer that gave EKU the lead for good. Senior Jarelle Reischel scored the next seven points for EKU, including a driving baseline dunk and a three from the left wing.

Junior JaVontae Hawkins chimed in with a lay-up, and freshman Nick Mayo finished off the run off with a lay-up that made it 22-10 at the 12:48 mark of the first half.

A jumper at the buzzer by Hawkins sent the Colonels into the locker room at halftime up by 10, 43-33.

Defense played a role throughout the game for the Colonels. In addition to the scoreless streak in the first half, EKU held SEMO scoreless on two different three-minute stretches in the second half.

After the Redhawks (2-14, 0-4 OVC) cut the lead to six twice in the second half, the Colonels put the game out of reach with a 13-3 run, culminating with a Jaylen Babb-Harrison layup that made it 68-52 with 8:28 remaining in the game. Eastern’s second half run included a 3:05 stretch without scoring by Southeast.

Babb-Harrison exploded for 16 points in the second half and, at one point, scored 11 points in a span of two minutes to spark the Colonels’ decisive second-half spurt. The junior from Ontario finished with a season-high 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from deep.

Reischel scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. The senior transfer from Rhode Island extended his double-digit points streak to 13 straight games. He has only failed to reach double-digits one time this season, when he finished with nine points against Ball State.

In total, four Colonels hit the double-digit mark in the game. Mayo tallied 15 points to go along with a team-best seven rebounds and three blocks, while Hawkins scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.

Jackson returned to the lineup and orchestrated the offense effectively, handing out a game-high nine assists.

Isiah Jones scored a team-best 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Redhawks. Joel Angus III had 12 points and eight boards.

EKU shot 50 percent from the field for the game, going 33-of-66. SEMO shot 38.6 percent, going 22-of-57.

The Colonels return to action Thursday night on the road against Eastern Illinois. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

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Elder Announces Three More Assistant Coaches

Elder Announces Three More Assistant Coaches

Posted on 07 January 2016 by admin

RICHMOND, Ky. – New head football coach Mark Elder announced the addition of three more assistant coaches.

Chase Gibson will serve as the Colonels’ linebackers coach. Kevin Koger has been hired to coach wide receivers. Greg Meyer will coach the running backs and coordinate the special teams.

Gibson has worked under Butch Jones since the 2012 season at Cincinnati. He spent that season as a graduate assistant working with the linebackers. He joined Jones at Tennessee in 2013, serving the same role his first season. The last two seasons, Gibson was the quality control/assistant secondary coach. He helped UT to a 9-4 record this season and a second place finish in the Southeastern Conference East Division with a 5-3 mark. It was Tennessee’s first winning record in SEC play since 2007.

Gibson also coached for two seasons (2010 & 2011) in the Ohio Valley Conference at Tennessee-Martin. He coached linebackers and oversaw strength and conditioning with the Skyhawks. The Pikeville, Kentucky native was a tight end at Marshall University before a career-ending knee injury. He earned a bachelors in secondary education in 2007.

“Chase is an outstanding coach and mentor who is from the Eastern part of Kentucky,” Elder said. “He has tremendous experience coaching at the high school level, in the OVC, at Cincinnati and at Tennessee. He is a tough, hard-nosed coach who will have our linebackers playing physical and fast.”

Koger, a former co-captain at the University of Michigan, spent the 2015 season at Tennessee serving in the role of quality control coach. During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Koger was a graduate assistant at Michigan. He worked closely with the Vols’ offensive line and wide receivers after assisting the Wolverines’ tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.

Koger earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Michigan in 2012.

“Kevin is a bright and energetic coach,” Elder said. “He is an outstanding leader, having been a team captain at Michigan. He will do a tremendous job developing our wide receivers on and off the field.”

Meyer has worked with Elder each of the past four seasons. He served as the special teams quality control coach at Tennessee the last three seasons. Before that he served in the same role during the 2012 season at Cincinnati. Meyer got his collegiate coaching start as a staff intern at Mississippi State in 2009. He then served as a special teams graduate assistant for the Bulldogs during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

“Greg is a rising star in the coaching profession as a special teams coordinator,” Elder said. “His experience at two different SEC programs and winning a Big East Championship will be a great asset to our program. We will play great special teams under his leadership.”

Meyer earned a bachelor’s in business management and a bachelor’s degree in English from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. He completed a master’s degree in kinesiology at Mississippi State in 2012.

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Elder announces coordinators

Elder announces coordinators

Posted on 05 January 2016 by admin


RICHMOND, Ky. – New head coach Mark Elder has chosen Angelo Mirando to be the Colonels’ offensive coordinator and Kurt Mattix to serve as the defensive coordinator.

Prior to joining the Eastern Kentucky coaching staff, Mirando served as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Coffeyville Community College where he led an offense that averaged 50 points per game in each of the last two seasons. Earlier in his career, Mirando coached the wide receivers under Dan Mullen at Mississippi State University and also coached under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida.

In 2015, Coffeyville averaged 50.5 points per game, which ranked No. 5 nationally. In 2014, the Red Ravens were sixth in the nation, averaging 50.4 points per game.

“Angelo is very energetic and will recruit at a high level,” Elder said. “He has worked at the highest level of college football in the SEC. He’s been a very successful coordinator, having produced one of the most prolific offenses in the nation at any level over the last two years. Angelo will do an outstanding job leading our offense and mentoring our quarterbacks.”

Mirando was the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at Ave Maria University during the 2013 season. He helped Ave Maria to an 8-2 record, its most wins in program history. The team had been 1-17 before his arrival.

He began his coaching career as the offensive quality control and assistant quarterbacks coach at Florida during the 2008 season. Under Meyer, the Gators won the Southeastern Conference and National Championships that season.

Mirando then spent three seasons on the staff at Mississippi State, serving as the offensive graduate assistant and assistant quarterbacks coach in 2009 and 2010, and the wide receivers coach in 2011. He helped the Bulldog offense record the second highest offensive output in program history in 2011. The wide receivers broke the program record with 19 touchdown catches that season.

In 2008, Mirando earned a bachelor’s of management in marketing from Case Western Reserve University, where he was a three-year letterman as a quarterback. He received a master’s of teaching from Mississippi State in 2011.

Mattix most recently served as the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Valparaiso University. Before that the Portage, Indiana native spent four seasons (2011-14) as the defensive quality control coach at the University of Michigan.

“Kurt will be an outstanding leader of our defense and will do an outstanding job mentoring players on and off the field,” Elder said. “His experience on both sides of the ball has given him great perspective. He is an outstanding recruiter, having recruited Harlon Hill Award winner and current Detroit Lion Joique Bell. I’m very excited to have Kurt leading our defense.”

While working at Michigan under former head coach Brady Hoke, Mattix worked with the defensive line and linebackers, and assisted in all aspects of special teams.

During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Mattix was the tight ends coach at Ball State. He also has four seasons of experience as a defensive coordinator at Wayne State (2005-07) and Saint Joseph’s College (2008).

Mattix began his coaching career as the offensive line and defensive line coach (1998-99) at Portage High School. He worked as the special teams coordinator at Tri-State University (2000) and Anderson University (2001) before serving as a graduate assistant at Ball State (2002-03).

Throughout his career, Mattix has recruited Florida, Michigan, northwest Ohio and Indiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education while playing at Valparaiso.

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O'Bannon Named OVC Newcomer for Fourth Time

O’Bannon Named OVC Newcomer for Fourth Time

Posted on 05 January 2016 by admin


BRENTWOOD, Tenn.— For the fourth time this season junior Jalen O’Bannon hauled in Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week honors, the league announced Tuesday.

The Memphis, Tennessee native logged back-to-back double-doubles in Eastern’s past two games, averaging 16.5 points-per-game, 12.0 rebounds-per-game and 3.0 assists-per-game.

O’Bannon has five double-doubles on the season—a conference best—and ranks 40th nationally in the category. She ranks in the top-10 in the OVC in three different categories: rebounding (1st / 9.6 rebounds-per-game), scoring (6th / 15.4 points-per-game) and field goal percentage (5th / 50.7).

Only three other players in the OVC have been named Newcomer of the Week and O’Bannon is the only player to earn the honor more than once this season.

O’Bannon and the Colonels host UT Martin on Thursday in an OVC contest. Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET.

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Reischel Named OVC Player of the Week

Reischel Named OVC Player of the Week

Posted on 05 January 2016 by admin


RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University senior Jarelle Reischel has been named the Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.

Reischel averaged 21.5 points-per-game, 8.0 rebounds-per-game and 5.0 assists-per-game in a pair of EKU wins last week. He poured in 26 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a 76-64 win over Manhattan on Tuesday. He then scored 17 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists in a 79-70 win over Austin Peay in the Colonels’ OVC opener on Saturday night

Reischel went 16-of-18 from the free throw line in the two games and hit four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds at Austin Peay to seal the victory.

The native of Frankfurt, Germany ranks in the top-10 in the OVC in almost every major category: scoring (1st / 20.0 points-per-game), rebounding (5th / 7.9 rebounds-per-game), assists (5th / 3.9 assists-per-game), steals (2nd / 2.1 steals-per-game), field goal percentage (10th / 53.1), three-point field goal percentage (3rd / 47.9) and free throw percentage (5th / 84.3).

He is the only player in the country with 300+ points, 100+ rebounds and 50+ assists.

Reischel and the Colonels continue OVC play this week by hosting UT Martin on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. and Southeast Missouri on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

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