Archive | June, 2016

Renovations Begin For EKU Baseball & Softball Stadiums

Renovations Begin For EKU Baseball & Softball Stadiums

Posted on 29 June 2016 by admin

Baseball_Softball

RICHMOND, Ky. – Construction and renovation on the Eastern Kentucky University baseball and softball facilities has begun.

The baseball and softball projects are expected to be completed in March. Athletic facility renovations and expansions are funded through agency bonds sold in 2015.

As part of a widespread improvement to athletic facilities across the Eastern Kentucky campus, the designs are intended to blend with the original campus architecture, while creating modern sports facilities, which will add to both the student-athlete and fan experience.

These newly renovated facilities will also serve the local and regional communities. Modern facilities like these will attract events such as high school tournaments, club tournaments and camps, bringing many prospective students to EKU’s campus each year.

The transforming renovations will include new team locker rooms, indoor hitting facilities and office space for coaches. In addition, new team dugouts and climate controlled press boxes, which will accommodate enhanced radio and video broadcasts, will be added. Both facilities will feature banners celebrating the accomplishment of former and current Colonel student-athletes.

The indoor hitting facilities will provide the teams with an area to practice during any weather conditions.

The baseball facility will add a new grandstand featuring a brick façade and more than 900 seats, including 429 chair back seats, along with handicap-accessible seating and a new concession area equipped with restrooms. Also being added is an entry plaza for pregame gatherings. A canopy will provide coverage for fans in the stands, and improve the pitcher’s view of home plate.

“We are thrilled with the upgrade of our baseball facilities,” EKU Head Baseball Coach Edwin Thompson said. “This is going to benefit the student-athlete experience for our current and future players. The development of players and the fan experience will be greatly impacted as well. We are grateful for the leadership from President Michael Benson and Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller to help enhance the vision of our baseball program.”

Meanwhile, the EKU softball facility will feature improved field drainage at the dugouts and enhanced outfield decks ideal for informal gatherings. The newly renovated grandstand will also feature a brick façade and accommodate more than 400 spectators.

“Our new facility is going to be a game changer,” EKU Softball Head Coach Jane Worthington said. “Not only will it positively impact our recruiting process, but it will also allow us to have more efficient and effective practices. We are fortunate to have the support from President Benson, Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller, as well as other administrators. I am excited to watch the building proceed and eventually see the final project.”

The projects were designed by Murphy, Graves, Trimble, PLLC (Lexington, Kentucky) and Rosser International, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia). The Codell Construction Company of Winchester will oversee the project.

The new baseball stadium will be named in honor of Hall of Famer Earle Combs. While a student at Eastern Kentucky, through persuasion of his friends and the students who saw him hit two home runs against the faculty in a practice game, he decided to go out for the Eastern team. He immediately became a member of the team and a hero to the students, slamming at least one home run in every game he played and compiling a .596 batting average that first year.

Combs played for the New York Yankees from 1924-35, compiling a lifetime batting average of .325. He was the leadoff hitter for the great “Murderer’s Row” Yankee teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York, July 26, 1970.

Combs also served as Chairman of EKU’s Board of Regents.

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Sources report that Colonels are getting a three-star transfer

Sources report that Colonels are getting a three-star transfer

Posted on 13 June 2016 by admin

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The Rocky Top News and JuCo Football Forer twitter account have both reported that tight end Neiko Creamer will transfer to Eastern Kentucky University. Creamer has since retweeted the post from the JuCo Football Forer. University of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones confirmed last week that Creamer was going to transfer and that he and the coaching staff would help in finding him a good fit.
Creamer played at Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Maryland for coach Dwayne Thomas. 247 Sports ranked Creamer a 3-star along with ESPN, Rivals and Scout. Creamer was also named Second Team All-State as a senior wide receiver. Creamer also spent some time while at Tennessee at linebacker. He redshirted his freshman year and only appeared in one game last season.

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Colonels land two 3-star verbal commitments

Colonels land two 3-star verbal commitments

Posted on 05 June 2016 by admin

elder

Herosports.com has reported that Eastern Kentucky University Football has received verbal commitments from two 3-start recruits for the 2017 season. The two recruits are cornerback Ray Coggins–who holds 7 Division I scholarship offers– out of Wilson Central HS in Tennessee, just east of Nashville and Ethan Bradds, who was getting interest from schools like Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati and several MAC schools,  out of Greenview High School in Jamestown, Ohio.

Coggins is rated a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.com and is a 5-foot-11, 185-pounds while Scout.com rates Bradds, 6-foot-4, 250-pounds a three-star prospect.

More information on the two can be found on the Herosports.com website.

Ray Coggins

Ethan Bradds

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EKU Wins Third-Straight OVC Commissioner's Cup

EKU Wins Third-Straight OVC Commissioner’s Cup

Posted on 05 June 2016 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University has won the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Cup for the 2015-16 school year, the league office announced on Tuesday. The OVC Commissioner’s Cup is a symbol of overall athletic excellence in conference-sponsored championships.

It is the Colonels’ third-straight and fourth overall Commissioner’s Cup title in the last five years. The award was officially presented to university officials on June 3 at the league’s annual Honors Brunch in Nashville.

“Eastern Kentucky University, its student-athletes and its coaches take great pride in winning the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Cup,” EKU Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller said. “We are very proud to have been recognized as the top athletics department in the conference four of the last five years. This is truly a symbol of the hard work and dedication that Colonel student-athletes put into their teams each year.”

Eastern Kentucky finished the year with 116.5 points, edging second-place Eastern Illinois (115.25) by just over a point; that marked the closest margin of victory under the eight-year old scoring system (besting a 1.5 margin by EIU over two schools in 2010-11).

EKU was bolstered by first-place finishes in men’s and women’s cross country and women’s golf. The Colonels also received top-four regular season finishes from 10 other sports: men’s tennis (second), softball (second), women’s indoor track (third), women’s tennis (third), football (fourth), men’s golf (fourth), men’s indoor track (fourth), men’s outdoor track (fourth) and women’s basketball (fourth).

Murray State finished third with 103 points, followed by Jacksonville State (97), Southeast Missouri (95), Tennessee Tech (93.5), Belmont (93.25), Morehead State (90.5), UT Martin (88.5), Austin Peay and Tennessee State (82.5) and SIUE (80).

Prior to the Commissioner’s Cup being instituted in 2008-09, the Colonels won an OVC-record 15 Men’s All-Sport Championships and seven Women’s All-Sport Championships.

The award (which started in 1962-63 for men’s sports and 1980-81 for women’s sports) was previously divided into a Men’s All-Sport Champion and a Women’s All-Sport Champion. Points were awarded for each of the 18 sponsored sports and each school was required to count its totals from each sport in its grand total.

Under the latest scoring system, schools are required to count point totals for four specific sports (football, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball) along with their next eight highest point totals from the remaining sports, regardless of gender. Belmont, Morehead State and SIUE, which do not compete in OVC football, count baseball as one of its four required sports.

The points system for scoring is as follows. For all sports (except rifle, men’s indoor and men’s outdoor track – which have fewer participating teams), the first place team earns 12 points, the second place team earns 11 points, etc. For rifle, men’s indoor and men’s outdoor track and field, the first-place team earns 12 points and subsequent point increments are calculated by dividing the total number of OVC member institutions by the number of institutions sponsoring the sport (for rifle that number is 2.4 less, for men’s indoor track that number is 2.0 less and for men’s outdoor track that number is 1.75 less). The scoring system also includes a bonus point for the winner of OVC Tournaments (soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball and baseball).

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Former Colonels Running back Markus Thomas nominated for College Hall of Fame

Former Colonels Running back Markus Thomas nominated for College Hall of Fame

Posted on 01 June 2016 by admin

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Former Eastern Kentucky University running back Markus Thomas is on this year’s College Football Hall of Fame ballot released on Wednesday by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. Thomas is one of 95 players and 29 coaches from the divisional ranks. The ballot also included 75 players and six coaches from the FBS division.

Thomas, one of the most prolific running backs in NCAA history,  holds the Ohio Valley Conference record with 5,552 career rushing yards and 54 touchdowns.

A 1992 All-American, Thomas earned OVC Offensive Player of the Year honors during his junior and senior seasons (1991-92). A three-time All-Conference selection, the Cincinnati, Ohio native also holds the conference career record with 6.3 yards per carry.

Thomas owns the OVC’s seventh(1,620 yards) best single-season rushing marks. His 322 career points are also a league record.

The 12-time OVC Player of the Week went on to play professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL, Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe and the Hamilton TigerCats of the Canadian Football League.

“It’s an enormous honor to just be on the ballot when you think that more than 5.12 million people have played college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Hall’s requirement of being a First-Team All-American creates a much smaller pool of only 1,500 individuals who are even eligible to be on the ballot, so being in today’s elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to ever have played the game, and we are proud to announce their names. We look forward to announcing the 2017 Hall of Fame Class on the Friday before the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa.”

The ballot was emailed this week to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF’s Honors Courts, which deliberate and select the class. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.

“Having a ballot and a voice in the selection of the inductees is one of the most cherished NFF member benefits,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi. “There is no group more knowledgeable or passionate about college football than our membership, and the tradition of the ballot helps us engage them in the lofty responsibility of selecting those who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in our sport.”

The announcement of the 2017 Class will be made Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The city is serving as the host for the CFP National Championship, which will be played Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium. Some of the inductees will be on site at the press conference to represent the class and share their thoughts on the announcement. The Jan. 6 announcement will be televised live, and specific viewing information will be available as the date draws near. Inductees will also participate in the pregame festivities and the coin toss on Jan. 9.

The criteria for Hall of Fame consideration includes:

  • First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
  • A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
    While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
  • Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2017 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1967 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
  • A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.

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