The Predators And MTSU Announce First Ever General’s Fund Recipient

Pictured: Keyann Reaves. Photo: by Andy Heidt. Courtesy of MTSU.

The Nashville Predators have announced that MTSU student Keyann Reaves is the first ever recipient of the General’s Fund.

MTSU, the Predators, and the late country singer Charlie Daniels joined to create the General’s Fund to help support veterans and their children pay for the expenses of college.

Reaves, a Jackson, Tennessee, native, who’s father served in the U.S. Navy, was awarded after not being able to register for classes last fall.

“My months ran out in October, and I didn’t know,” says Reaves. “I just thought my deferment was late. December comes, and I can’t register for classes because my bill is $3,000. I called everyone I can think of on campus.”

Luckily, one of those calls went to Daniels Center Director, Dr. Hilary Miller, who said Reaves was precisely the type of student for whom the fund was established to assist. The fund, is administered by MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. It also recognizes retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, who now serves as MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives.

“MTSU proudly serves more than 1,100 military-connected students, yet about 20 percent of them no longer have the educational benefits that were earned through service to our country,” says Predators President and CEO Sean Henry. “The General’s Fund will help fill that gap.”

The Money raised through the fund has bridged the financial gap for Reaves, allowing her to continue working on her master’s degree in Chemical Medicine this spring.

Vanderbilt Hires Shea Ralph As New Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Pictured: Shea Ralph. Photo: Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt Athletics has announced the hire of Shea Ralph as the newest women’s basketball head coach.

Ralph joins the Commodores after spending 13 season with the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball program as an assistant coach. As a player at UConn and then as an assistant, Ralph was a part of 12 Final Four Appearances and won seven National Championships.

“It is with great honor and a full heart that I join Vanderbilt University as the next women’s basketball head coach,” says Ralph. “I have always been motivated and inspired by people who have a passionate pursuit of excellence. Vanderbilt’s rich, storied tradition of excellence speaks for itself, but I believe what sets us apart is the people. I am so excited to work alongside our amazing community in elevating our women’s basketball program back to an elite level. Together we will invest in each other and build a greatness that transcends the game of basketball.”

A Fayetteville, North Carolina native became a superstar athlete through playing for UConn and, though suffering from numerous knee injuries, she was a first-team All-American and the Honda Award winner as national player of the year while leading Connecticut to a national championship in 2000.

Ralph began her coaching career as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh, but returned to Connecticut and joined Geno Auriemma’s coaching staff in 2008. During her time with the Huskies, she recruited and worked with players like Paige Bueckers, Maya Moore, and Breanna Stewart while mentoring 21 WNBA draft picks, including nine top-five picks and three No. 1 overall selections.

“Coach Ralph has earned the opportunity to take the reins of our women’s basketball program and transform it into what we all know is possible,” says Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director Candice Lee. “She knows what winning looks like, and she has the background and experience—as both a player and a coach—to develop our student-athletes into champions.”

Ralph is the sixth head coach in Vanderbilt women’s basketball history.