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Athletic Department


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Passing Game Coordinator
Football Athletic Training Building
Athletic Department
B.A., Arkansas Tech University
M.Ed., University of Arkansas Monticello

Josh Qualls begins his first season as Co-Offensive Coordinator and Pass Game Coordinator for the Phoenix in 2022. 

Qualls, a Pine Bluff, Ark. native, spent this past season in Murfreesboro working as a Offensive Graduate Assistant at Middle Tennessee State University and prior to that spent two seasons as an Offensive Assistant Coach at Arkansas-Monticello 

Qualls helped the Blue Raiders finish with a 7-6 record and bowl win over Toledo in the Bahamas Bowl. He worked directly under Coach Brent Dearmon with the H-Backs and Tight Ends while assisting with quarterbacks. 

Qualls played quarterback at Arkansas Tech University from 2014-17 and continued to work there in 2017 and 2018. In his first season with UAM, Qualls coached the wide receivers and helped the Weevils to a bowl game appearance and a 6-6 record in the 2018 season. In 2019, he coached the tight ends and H-backs.
Qualls went on to graduate from Arkansas Tech in 2017 with a degree in Rehabilitation Science. He earned his masters of physical education and coaching from Arkansas-Monticello in 2021


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Assistant Baseball Coach
CU Baseball Field
Athletic Department
B.S., University of Louisvile

Pat Bell enters his first season as an assistant baseball coach in 2021 after spending the last three seasons at IU-Southeast. Bell will coach the hitters, catchers, and oversee baserunning for the Phoenix.

Bell comes to Cumberland fresh off a trip to the NAIA World Series at Indiana-Southeast where he spent the past three seasons. This past year, the Grenadiers went 50-16 en route to a River States Regular Season and Tournament Championship and an Opening Round Championship. The team finished in fifth place at the 2021 NAIA World Series. 

The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID, but the Grenadiers were off to a terrific start at 20-1 to open up the season. He helped IU-Southeast claim the Regular Season Conference Championship as well finishing 37-20 in his first season in 2019. 

Bell worked primarily with catchers and hitters at IU-Southeast and will stay in that role at Cumberland while also adding baserunning to his duties. IU-Southeast hitters last season finished third in the NAIA in hits (707), fourth in doubles (146), fifth in runs scored (554), sixth in RBIs (503), and eighth in triples (23). He coached an All-American at catcher and helped the backstops throw out 50% of runners attempting to steal, 39th best nationally. 

Prior to coaching, Bell spent 10 years serving in the United States Air Force and played collegiately at Tennessee Wesleyan University where he was a part of the 2007 and 2008 Appalachian Athletic Conference championship teams.

He graduated from LaVergne High School and recently finished his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Administration at the University of Louisville.


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Assistant Mens Basketball Coach
(615) 282-6804
Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena
Athletic Department

Eric Evans begins his second year as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team in 2020-21.

Evans joined the staff in 2018-19 and has assisted with recruiting, player development, scouting, and several other operational duties for the team.

Evans played one year of football and basketball at Trinity International University in 2013-14. Evans was a forward for the basketball team and tight end/defensive end on the football team.

Prior to TIU, Evans was a standout athlete at Lancaster Christian Academy lettering in football, basketball, and soccer. In basketball, Evans averaged 16.9 points per game leading his team to a NACA championship while earning NACA All-American honors. In football, Evans and Lancaster Christian won the NACA championship in the fall of 2012 while also earning NACA All-American honors in football. 

Evans earned Daily News Journal Player of the Year in 2013 in basketball.

He will graduate with his bachelor of science in sport management degree in May 2021 from Middle Tennessee State University.

Evans resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and has three brothers Israel, Anthony, and Ezra.


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Athletic Trainer
(615) 547-1292
Football Athletic Training Building
Athletic Department
B.S., University of South Carolina
M.S., East Stroudsburg University


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Head Men and Womens Golf Coach and Game Day Supervisor
(615) 547-1219
Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena
Athletic Department
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University

Rich Williams begins his seventh season as head golf coach and eighth with the Phoenix golf program in 2019-20. He also serves as the department’s Game Operations Director, a title added during the summer of 2016.

During his tenure, Williams has coached four NAIA All-Americans–Austin Garrett in 2013-14, Ryan Botts in 2015-16, and Ana Laura Pages Preuss and Raquel Romero Valverde in 2018-19–alongside 38 All-Mid-South Conference players. In the 2018-19 season, Cumberland captured both MSC Freshman of the Year awards with Maria Pilar Scenna for the women and Adrian Steeger on the men’s side.

His men’s teams have won the last three MSC Tournament Championships, earning an an automatic bid to the last three NAIA Championships. The women have recieved at-large bids to the NAIA Championships the last three years. In 2019 he led them to a MSC regular season title before finishing a program record seventh in the NAIA Championships.

In his first season as head coach, he led the Cumberland men to its first regular season championship. CU won three times during 2013 and placed second in four other tournaments, earning Williams Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year honors. 

Cumberland enjoyed a successful 2016-17 season, winning three tournaments including the MSC Championships and placing second in two others to earn a spot in the NAIA Championships for the men. The women won a single tournament and took second in four others, securing the program’s first ever trip to the national tournament. Williams was honored with a Co-MSC Coach of the Year honor for his efforts.

The Franklin, Tenn., native has worked in a variety of roles within the golf industry, including as an assistant and head professional at Indian Hills Golf Club in Murfreesboro, The Little Course as Aspen Grove, The Polo Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and Gaylord Springs Golf Club in Nashville. He was an independent sales representative in the golf industry from 1998-2007.

In his Game Operations role, Williams oversees all aspects of set-up and breakdown for home athletic events at football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, baseball and softball, including staffing for ticketing and marketing, security for officials, locker rooms for visiting teams and scheduling for the Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena.

Williams received his bachelor’s in Psychology from Middle Tennessee in 1992 and is currently working on his master’s in Public Service Management at Cumberland.




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Head Softball Coach
(615) 453-6361
CU Softball Field
Athletic Department
B.S., Cumberland University
M.S.S.E.P., Cumberland University

Former All-Conference infielder Stephanie Theall (formerly Gutierrez) joined the Cumberland staff as a full-time assistant in January 2016. This marks her eighth year as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She has spent ten of the last 11 years at Cumberland as either a student-athlete or coach.

Hernandez garnered First Team All-Mid-South honors and Torregano and Courtney Miles earned Second Team All-MSC. Six players were named Academic All-Mid-South.

The Orlando, Fla., native spent a year-and-a-half on the staff at Centre College in Danville, Ky., with the Colonels compiling a 14-18 record in 2015. She coached one Second Team and one Third Team All-Conference player as well as an Honorable Mention All-Conference performer while at Centre.

Gutierrez served as a student assistant at CU during the 2012 season after finishing her playing career and was a graduate assistant for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Cumberland posted a 37-22 mark in 2013, advancing to the NAIA Championship Opening Round for the first time in program history.

Gutierrez earned a bachelor’s in Sports Management from Cumberland in 2012 and a master’s in Sport and Exercise Pedagogy at CU in 2014. She married former Cumberland football player Grant Theall in January 2016.




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Head Womens Volleyball Coach
(615) 547-1253
Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena
Athletic Department
B.A., Coker College

Hannah Vadakin begins her fourth season as a full-time assistant coach with the Phoenix after spending the previous two years as a graduate assistant at Doane College in Nebraska.

In 2018, Vadakin was selected as the AVCA Southern Region Assistant Coach of the Year. She also led the Phoenix Women’s JV team to 11-3-2 record earning themselves Mid-South Conference JV Champions. 

The Centennial, Colo., native played for three seasons at NCAA Division II Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., posting 166 kills, 87 blocks and 36 service aces as a sophomore for the Cobras. As a junior she collected 147 kills, 49 digs, 80 blocks and 25 service aces and finished her senior campaign with 74 kills and 23 blocks.

During the last two seasons at Doane, Vadakin helped Shelbi Mlynczak to a pair of Second Team All-Great Plains Athletic Conference honors while Haley Norvell and Breanna Fye earned Honorable Mention All-GPAC accolades in 2015 and Julie Els was an Honorable Mention selection in 2014. The Tigers finished 19-13 this past season, 9-7 in GPAC action, and were 15-19 in 2014.

At Doane she was responsible for recruiting, managing events, coordinating logistics, fundraising and supervising work study students. She also spent time as the head coach of the Nebraska Juniors for one year and served as an assistant coach at Rock Canyon High School for two summers.

Vadakin attended Littleton High School, earning three letters and Honorable Mention All-State accolades as a senior for the Lions.

She earned her bachelor’s in Business Administration and Political Science from Coker in 2014 and received a master’s in Management from Doane in 2016.



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Assistant Football Coach
(615) 547-1344
Football Athletic Training Building
Athletic Department
B.S., Western Kentucky University

Taurean Smith returns to the Cumberland staff as the defensive coordinator.

Smith spent the last five years at NCAA Division II Kentucky Wesleyan, serving as the associate head coach, defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. In his first season, he helped the Panthers to a 7-4 mark, the best record in program history, just one year after a winless season. He improved the defense in nearly every statistical category en route to the program’s first winning season in 15 years.

Smith was named Interim Head Coach at Kentucky Wesleyan this past August, posting a 3-7 mark.

During his time in Owensboro, 11 KWC players earned All-Conference accolades, including First Team recognition for defensive back Alijah McGhee, who led the Great Midwest Athletic Conference with seven pass break-ups and six interceptions, and Second Team honors for defensive end Dalan Cofer. Smith also coached G-MAC Special Teams Player of the Year Keelan Cole, who now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons at Cumberland, working primarily with the linebackers as well as helping with special teams. His linebacker trio ranked first, third and fifth in tackles for the Bulldogs in 2012, accumulating 16.0 tackles for loss with one sack, one interception and three interceptions. Connor McChurch earned Second Team All-Mid-South Conference honors for the year.

In 2013 the tandem ranked first, third and fourth in tackles with four interceptions, 11 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and 10 quarterback hurries. The group also forced five fumbles while Nathan Jernigan garnered Second Team All-MSC accolades and was also named MSC Freshman of the Year.

Smith coached one season as a graduate assistant at Bethel University, working with linebackers. Stayce Whipple garnered First Team All-Mid-South Conference accolades that year. He was in charge of breaking down opponent film and drawing scouting cards for the Wildcats, who posted an 8-3 overall record, falling in the first round of the NAIA Playoffs.

His coaching career started as a student assistant at his alma mater, Western Kentucky, assisting with linebackers and special teams. He also broke down film and assisted with daily recruiting on campus activities.

Smith played two seasons for the Hilltoppers at inside linebacker for coach David Elson. He played in 24 career games at WKU, compiling 88 tackles as a senior with 5.5 tackles for loss as well as one interception and two forced fumbles. He recorded double-digit tackles in three straight contests, including 13 at Navy, and returned an interception 16 yards against South Florida. He ended his career with 11 tackles against Arkansas State.

Smith posted 49 stops as a junior with one fumble recovery and one pass breakup, including four tackles and a pass breakup versus Virginia Tech. He recorded a team-best 10 stops with a sack against Ball State and notched eight tackles versus Florida International.

He played two seasons at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, earning Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors as a sophomore. He earned First Team All-Region and All-Minnesota Community College Conference honors as a sophomore, registering 118 total tackles, eighth best in the nation, along with seven interceptions and eight tackles for loss.

He recorded 25 tackles against Ridgewater Community College and was credited with 18 stops and two interceptions versus Vermillion Community College. Smith paced the Spartans with 102 tackles along with three forced fumbles as a freshman, garnering Second Team All-MCCC accolades.

He was a three-year letterwinner at Perry High School in Perry, Ga., twice earning the Coaches’ Award. He posted 88 tackles as a senior, helping the Panthers play their first-ever home playoff game, and registered 82 stops with three sacks and two fumble recoveries as a junior. Smith made 64 tackles as a sophomore and also earned three letters in basketball.

Smith received his bachelor’s in Physical Education from Western Kentucky in 2011.


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