On the ninth day of Giving Tuesday my Piedmont shared with me NINE scholarship athletic programs.
In the words of Carolina University Director of Athletics, Dr. Steve Condon, “The intercollegiate athletic department is an ongoing presence in the National Christian Athletic Association. We continue to invest in facilities and personnel. CU is also continually growing the athletic department by recruiting and retaining high quality student athletes. As a testimony to our success, we have several regional championships thus far. Our departmental goals include competing and winning at a national level and retaining and graduating 90% of our student athletes.”
CU Asst. Athletic Director and Asst. Women’s Volleyball Coach Shealynn Miller describes the important role of student athletics at Carolina University: “With the majority of our on-campus student population involved in athletics, the school has developed a familial atmosphere. As one of the assistant volleyball coaches, I was amazed by how many students would come out and fill our stands during a match. Fellow-student athletes wanted to be a part of our success. The athletes’ support for one another is unlike anything I have seen.”
The overall purpose of our athletics program is simple. Our goal is to equip our student-athletes to be strong academically, to give back to their community, to excel in their sport, and to become stronger Christians. As a Bruins athlete, our student-athletes compete in a Christ-centered quality athletic program that recruits quality student-athletes and that seeks to guide, inspire, and support our athletes in their pursuit of excellence athletically, academically, and spiritually. We are very excited about how God is using our nine athletic programs currently offered at CU!
- Men’s Basketball: A graduate of Wake Forest and former NBA player, Head Coach Josh Howard is in his fourth year at CU. Coach Howard sees his role as more than just training young men to be good basketball players, he also uses the opportunity to mentor the students God has given him with life skills and spiritual values.
- Women’s Basketball: Coach Toccara Tatum is beginning her second year as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Piedmont International. In Coach Tatums’ first season with the Bruins, she compiled a 16-12 record, advancing the Lady Bruins to the NCCAA Division I South Region Tournament for the first time since 1985. The Lady Bruins ended their season as South Region Runner-Ups.
- Men’s Baseball: Coach Jamie Lowe is in his first year as Head Coach of the Men’s Baseball team. Since graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 1992 Lowe, has enjoyed a 25 year career in baseball around our area. After six years as a head baseball coach in the Forsyth public schools where he recorded a 109-27 record including a run as Metro 4a Coach of the Year five years in a row. Following his success in high school Jamie took over Surrey Community College baseball where he enjoyed a seven year record of 42-14 and was one win shy of the NCAA World Series in 2011.
- Women’s Softball: Amber Bass is entering her second season as Head Softball Coach at Piedmont International. Bass is also the Sports Information Director for fall sports: men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and volleyball.
- Women’s Volleyball: Coach Brenn Ferguson is entering her first season as head coach for Carolina University volleyball team. Coach Ferguson started her volleyball coaching career at Southern California Volleyball Club. Ferguson’s Women’s Volleyball team won NCAA regional competition for the 2nd consecutive year.
- Men’s Soccer: Coach Craig Golding is in his second season as Head Men’s Soccer coach for the Piedmont Bruins. Golding’s soccer team won their first ever NCCAA D1 Regional Championship and qualified for their first ever NCCAA D1 National Tournament.
- Women’s Soccer: Coach Kyle Neal is in his second year as the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Piedmont International. Neal also spend his time at CU assisting the men’s soccer team with Coach Craig Golding.
- Men’s Cross Country: Since 2009, Coach Andrew Hepler has been the owner of Dominate Athletic Performance (previously named Hepler Strength and Conditioning) located in Thomasville, NC.
- Track & Field: Coach Andrew Hepler is USA Track and Field Level 1 Certified on top of being a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) Certified Weight Training Specialist. Coach Hepler provided crucial training oversight that enabled senior Biblical Studies major Clarke Harney to become the NCCAA South Region Runner of the Year and finished in 1st place at Regional competition to bring home the first of three Regional Championship banners this fall.
Your gift today or on “GivingTuesday” will provide student-athletes at Carolina University with the opportunity to be mentored and develop their talents in a Christ-centered environment.