Jessica Holman Hired As Belmont Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach

Nashville native and Vanderbilt alumni Jessica Holman has joined the Belmont women’s basketball team as an assistant coach.

Holman grew up on Compton Ave. directly across from Belmont’s campus and attended Hillsboro High School where she was a finalist for Tennessee Miss Basketball.

“I’m excited to welcome Jessica Holman to our coaching staff,” says head coach Bart Brooks. “Growing up across the street from Belmont and competing collegiately in the SEC, she’s been deeply rooted in the Nashville community her entire life.  Jessica embodies everything that’s important to our program at Belmont; she’s an incredibly smart and talented person with the humility of a servant leader. Our student-athletes will benefit greatly from Jessica’s guidance in basketball and beyond, and I can’t wait for our alumni and fan base to meet her!”

Holman was a four-year letterwinner at Vanderbilt University where she received a bachelors degree in Human & Organizational Development and her master’s degree in education with a concentration in Community Development & Action. Holman won 102 games at Vanderbilt and was part of four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams, including Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2008 and 2009. She was also a candidate for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which honors the attributes of NCAA Division I senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.

Holman joins the Belmont women’s basketball program after spending the previous nine-plus years as Senior Director of Employee and Community Relations for Harvest Hands CDC, a Christ-centered non-profit dedicated to educational opportunities, healthy living, spiritual formation and economic development in South Nashville.

Belmont To Play In ESPN Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament

The Belmont Bruins will participate in the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida the week of Thanksgiving.

The event will take place November 25-28 from HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida with all games broadcasted on the ESPN family of networks. Joining Belmont in this year’s eight-team field will be Alabama, Dayton, Drake, Iona, Kansas, Miami (FL), and North Texas.

“We’re tremendously excited to be in the ESPN Events Invitational,” says Belmont head coach Casey Alexander. “It is an honor to participate in such a prestigious event that will provide our program with national exposure. As is the case with ESPN Events, this is an impressive field comprised of programs that are proven winners. We look forward to having Belmont fans join us in Orlando during Thanksgiving week.”

This past season, Belmont went 26-4, which included 21 consecutive victories, 30 consecutive conference victories (over two seasons, including tournament), national Top 25 poll votes eight consecutive weeks and the program’s 12th regular season conference championship in 16 years.

Titans Sign Former Vanderbilt Receiver Kalija Lipscomb

Kalija Lipscomb. Photo: by Joe Howell. Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

The Tennessee Titans have signed former Vanderbilt wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb to the team’s roster. Lipscomb joined the team’s rookie minicamp over the weekend as one of four tryout players and was signed on Monday.

In four years at Vanderbilt, Lipscomb caught 198 passes for 2,356 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was signed by the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft and has spent time on practice squads with both the Chiefs and Packers. Lipscomb (6-1, 201) participated in the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl and the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

The signing comes after the Titans waived receiver Rashard Davis and linebacker Davin Bellamy (non-football injury).

In addition to Lipscomb, former Memphis quarterback Brady White, cornerback Josh Nurse (Utah), and running back Otis Anderson (Central Florida) also took part in the minicamp on a tryout basis, but were not immediately signed.

Belmont Men’s Basketball Coach Casey Alexander Named Coach Of The Year

Casey Alexander. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics

Belmont men’s basketball coach Casey Alexander has been named Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA.)

Alexander led the Bruins to one of the best regular seasons ever winning 30 consecutive Ohio Valley Conference victories and ending the season with a record of 26-4. The Bruins also had the most wins in the country tied with eventual NCAA Tournament finalist Gonzaga.

An alumni of Belmont, Alexander become head coach in 2018 replacing legendary head coach Rick Byrd who won over 800 games in 30 years with the Bruins. Since then, Alexander led Belmont to a 52-11 record, consecutive Ohio Valley Conference regular season championships, and the 2020 OVC Tournament title

Alexander was also a candidate for the Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year and finalist for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award, the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award, and the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

Alexander’s award comes just a day after women’s basketball coach Bart Brooks was awarded women’s Coach of the Year by the TSWA.

Belmont Women’s Basketball Coach Bart Brooks Named Coach Of The Year

Belmont women’s basketball coach Bart Brooks. Photo: Courtesy of the Belmont Vision/Bronte Lebo.

Belmont women’s basketball coach Bart Brooks has been named 2020-21 Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA.)

Brooks led the Bruins to their third Ohio Valley Conference Championship in four years as well as the program’s first ever NCAA Tournament win, beating No. 5 seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs 64-59. They are the first OVC team to win a NCAA Tournament game since 1990.

The Bruins’ record of 21-6 was the sixth consecutive season where they won 20 or more games. Brooks picked up his 100th win in the NCAA Tournament and he ranks 10th nationally in win percentage (.794) among active head coaches.

Brooks, a Wyoming native, joined the program in 2017 from DePaul as an assistant coach. He has become the third-fastest head coach to 100 career victories in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.

College Corner: Vanderbilt NFL Draft, Belmont Tennis, MTSU Golf

Vanderbilt’s Dayo Odeyingbo Drafted By The Colts In The 2021 NFL Draft

Dayo Odeyingbo. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Former Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the 54th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday (April 30).

A three-year starter and All-SEC second team selection in 2020, Odeyingbo played in 44 career games with 29 starts for the Commodores. He collected 125 tackles, 31.0 tackles for loss, 12.0 sacks, one interception, one caused fumble, two fumble recoveries and 22 quarterback pressures. He has the fifth most tackles for loss in program history.

Odeyingbo’s selection gives the Commodores at least one pick in each of the past six NFL Drafts.


Belmont Men’s Tennis Wins OVC Championship

Belmont men’s tennis team. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics/Seth Raborn

The Belmont Men’s Tennis team will be taking on Ole Miss in the NCAA Tennis Tournament in Oxford, Mississippi on Saturday (May 8).

The Bruins punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Tennessee Tech 4-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship, their first ever.

“We are extremely excited to play in the NCAA Tournament,” says Belmont Director of Tennis Mauricio Antun. “We worked hard all these years and to finally see it pay off means a lot for these guys and this program. I am particularly happy for our seniors, who have gotten so close to making the tournament in previous years and will finally have a chance to taste the experience. I would also like to thank all of our former players, who worked hard to put this program on the national stage and they deserved this moment as well.”

Belmont finished the season with a 13-4 record, led by senior and 2021 OVC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year Marko Ilic. Ilic, a three-time All-OVC First Team honoree, ranks fourth in program history in career singles victories with 58.


MTSU’s Men’s Golf Team Wins Conference Championship

MTSU men’s golf team. Photo: Courtesy of MTSU Athletics

The MTSU Men’s Golf team won the Conference USA Tournament Championship on Thursday, April 29, marking it’s third straight championship.

The Blue Raiders punched their ticket to the NCAA Men’s Golf Regionals, after defeating North Texas 3-0.

“I’m just so happy for these guys to get to experience this,” says head coach Mark McEntire. “I’ve told a lot of people that this is the best team I’ve ever coached, and now they get to go showcase what they can do on a national level at NCAA Regionals and hopefully beyond.”

The NCAA Regional selection show takes place Wednesday, at 1 p.m. CST and will be televised on the Golf Channel, while Regionals will be played May 17-19.

Titans 2021 Draft Recap: Focus On Defense


Photo: By Brad Moore/Tennessee Titans. Courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

The Tennessee Titans walked away from the 2021 NFL Draft with eight new players, five of which are additions to the teams’ defense.

The Titans first pick was cornerback Caleb Farley with the 22nd overall pick. The Virginia Tech junior had a great 2019 season with 20 tackles and six interceptions. He led the ACC with 16 passes defended as a sophomore, garnering first-team All-ACC accolades despite missing the final two games due to injury.

Farley’s selection set a tone for the Titans entire draft, signaling that they’d focus on defense. With the teams second pick, 53rd overall, the Titans selected offensive tackle Dillon Radunz from North Dakota State. Radunz adds to an already solid offensive line, but after a season with some injuries, will offer some security on the line.

The Titans went on to draft inside linebacker Monty Rice (round three, pick 92, Georgia), defensive back Elijah Molden (round three, pick 100, Washington), wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick (round four, pick 109, Louisville), outside linebacker Rashad Weaver (round four, pick 135, Pittsburgh), wide receiver Racey McMath (round six, pick 205, LSU), and safety Brady Breeze (round six, pick 215, Oregon).

The Titans additions on offense with receivers Fitzpatrick and McMath address large holes left by the departing of Corey Davis, now with the Jets, Adam Humphries, now with the Washington Football Team, and Jonnu Smith who is now with the Patriots.

These rookies will report to Titans training camp on July 21.

Former Tennessee Volunteer Ron Slay Joins 104.5 The Zone

Ron Slay. Photo: Courtesy of 104.5 The Zone

Former University of Tennessee basketball star Jon Slay has officially joined 104.5 The Zone’s afternoon show 3HL with Dawn Davenport and Brent Dougherty.

Slay, a Nashville native, played high school basketball at Pearl-Cohn High School followed by prep school Oak Hill Academy. He went on to play basketball at Tennessee and as a senior, was named the Associated Press SEC player of the year and a third-team All American. Slay was also named to the All-NBA D-League Second Team. After college he played professionally in Europe and around the globe for more than a decade. He is considered one of the most entertaining basketball players that the Vols have ever had.

“Our listeners have made it clear that they want us to hire Ron Slay, says Paul Mason, Program Director at 104.5 The Zone. “I am happy to say we listened and we are thrilled Ron Slay will be joining Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport on 3HL. 3HL is already a great show, and I look forward to seeing it go to even higher levels.”

“I am both delighted and eager to join the 104.5 The Zone and 3HL families,” says Slay. “I hope to bring joy, energy, and insight to Nashville sports enthusiasts each day. LOCK THE DOOR…LET’S GO!”

3HL is live from every week from Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on 104.5 The Zone FM and on 104.5 The Zone’s website.