published Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Bryan loses Stoker to UT coach staff

DAYTON, Tenn. — Rodney Stoker, who built the Bryan College running program into NAIA national prominence, has resigned to become an assistant coach for cross country and track and field at the University of Tennessee. Stoker, a former UT-Chattanooga standout, restarted the Bryan program in 2005. In the ensuing seven years the Lions have won four Appalachian Athletic Conference titles and he has been AAC coach of the year four times. Four of his athletes have totaled nine All-America honors, and in a number of cases he has recruited good area runners and helped them excel. "Rodney has done a remarkable job throughout the years for the Lions and has represented Bryan College on a regional and national level with distinction and a high degree of professionalism," athletic director Sandy Zensen said in a Bryan release. "We will miss him greatly as a respected colleague and a trusted friend." Said Stoker: "Bryan has been and will always be a home to me and my family. People often ask what is it about Bryan College that has allowed the cross country program and other athletic teams to be so successful. The answer is ... the people." Those include, he said, the athletes who "believed from day one that they could get the job done" as well as the supportive alumni, athletic staff and administration.

• Lee University finished first out of four women's teams and second out of six men's squads in Lee's invitational cross country meet last Saturday at Fletcher Park in Cleveland. Tennessee Wesleyan was third in both standings; Emmanuel was the men's winner with four runners in the top seven of the 8k and second in the women's 5k. Wesleyan's Hilary Cheruiyot was fourth in the men's race in 26:40.29 with teammate Arnold Mutuse 12th. Lee's Mike Walker (27.25.14), Victor Rotich, Austin Stansky and Said Ahmed were eighth, ninth, 10th and 13th. Former Lee standout Maggie Opelt, running unattached, won the 5k in 19:15.57 with TWC's Robiccaa Williams second in 20:09.74 and Lee's Cayce Bryan and Jessica Childers third and fifth in 20:30.80 and 20:41.50 and teammates Ashley Matthews and Storyie Miller seventh and eighth.

Soccer

• LEBANON, Tenn. -- Martyn Freestone scored two goals as Tennessee Wesleyan College erupted from a scoreless tie at halftime to win 3-1 in its men's soccer season opener Tuesday at Cumberland. TWC, which was outshot 15-11 and outcornered 8-3, got an own goal between Freestone's scores at 49 and 87 minutes. The first was a header from John Carrier off a corner kick; the 3-0 lead came on a Freestone rebound shot. Clark Lydon made four saves.

• DAYTON, Tenn. -- Canadians Kelsey Langille and Shauna Gilpin each scored three goals as visiting Cumberland University defeated Bryan College 7-0 in women's soccer Tuesday. Gilpin assisted on the second of Langille's first-half goals, and Taylor Nay had an assist in each half for the Lebanon, Tenn., team. Cumberland (1-0) outshot Bryan 33-5, and Alex Lewis made 14 saves for the Lady Lions (0-2).

Volleyball

• GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Brenau University pulled out a 27-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-13 volleyball win over Bryan College in a match played Tuesday at Gainesville High School. Carolyn Evans and Kaylan Dilts had 10 and seven kills for Bryan (2-3), which got 31 assists from Taylor Fink and 19 digs from Corrie Walker.

• Tennessee Wesleyan won 25-17, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20 in volleyball Tuesday at Tennessee Temple. Natashi Ferreti had 10 kills, 13 assists and 11 digs and Shatoya Medford added 15 digs in defeat for Temple (1-3).

Basketball

• CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Veteran area coaches Charles Cogdill and Frank Lowery have been hired to to coach boys' basketball at Tennessee Christian Preparatory School, Cogdill as head coach of the high school program and Lowery to direct the middle school team. Cogdill, a former Cleveland State head men's coach who then served in the high school ranks in the area, was Cleveland High's athletic director as well as an assistant principal from 1998 until 2009. Lowery coached in Sequatchie and Polk counties. "Both men are renowned for their coaching prowess, their leadership abilities and their integrity," TCPS athletic director Leslie Bennett said in a school release Tuesday. "It is an honor to have these gentlemen investing themselves in the development of our athletic program." Said TCPS president Dr. Bill Balzano: "Charlie Cogdill and Frank Lowery represent the best of athletics in this region, and they will bring strength and direction to our athletic program."

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