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Vernon Appointed Newest V.P. at Cumberlands


Williamsburg, Ky. - University of the Cumberlands (UC) athletic program has made a name for itself over the years as a powerhouse throughout the Mid-South Conference (MSC) and the NAIA with multiple MSC regular season and postseason championships. UC Athletics Director Randy Vernon has been an integral part in directing the Patriots and in doing so his leadership has not gone unnoticed.

Recently UC’s President Jim Taylor announced that Randy Vernon has been named Vice President for Athletics and Athletic Director for the University. Vernon is the 8th Vice President to be named to the President’s Cabinet.

Vernon became the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Cumberlands in 1979. In his 21 years as head coach, he established Cumberlands basketball as a nationally recognized and respected program. Vernon compiled a career record of 529 wins and 183 losses, for a winning percentage of 74% in 21 plus seasons. Additionally, he reached 200, 300, 400, and 500 wins faster than any coach at any level of college basketball. His teams appeared in the national tournament on eleven different occasions, reaching the elite eight twice and the final four once. Under Vernon's helm, Cumberland annually held a place in the national rankings. His 1985-86 team was ranked #1 for several weeks during the regular season, and entered the national tournament as the #1 seed. Under Vernon, the Indians were always at the top of the conference defensive statistics. The last two years he coached, Cumberland finished ranked #1 nationally in scoring defense. For his coaching skills, Vernon was recognized on multiple occasions as KIAC, NAIA District 32, NAIA Area 7, and Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year. He was elected to the Tennessee Wesleyan College Hall of Fame in 1986 and the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, the same season that saw his team advance to their first ever Final Four.

Vernon's leadership skills and his strong commitment to Cumberlands caused him to be the obvious choice for President Taylor as he made the decision in November 2000 to promote Vernon to the position of Director of Athletics and Assistant to the President. Since being named Athletic Director, Vernon has annually guided Cumberlands 22 athletic teams and 15 head coaches.

During his tenure, archery has been added as a collegiate sport at the University and all athletic facilities have been updated and improved. Also during Vernon’s tenure, the Patriots have earned the MSC President’s Cup 6 times including 4 straight from the 2002-2003 to 2005-2006. They have also finished in 2nd place 5 times including 3 straight times from 2009-2010 to 2011-2012. UC has also been ranked in the Top 25 of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) 10 times in 13 years including 9 straight times from 2000 to 2008. The highest ranking in the NACDA came in 2001 where UC finished 5th.

Also of note is Vernon’s ability to garner support among the town and community for Cumberlands’ athletic programs as evidenced by the increasing number of corporate sponsorships of Patriot athletics each year. In addition, Vernon encourages all coaches and teams to reach out and become involved in the community, and they have done that by volunteering with Mountain outreach to help with community projects, visiting local nursing homes, helping with disaster clean-up, assisting local churches with community projects, and the list goes on.

In making the appointment, President Taylor noted, “Over the years I have observed Randy’s efficiency and effectiveness and his ability to handle our multiple sports teams and coordinate their activities. Since athletics is such an integral part of the campus life of the students at University of the Cumberlands, I felt it appropriate to change Randy’s title to Vice President for Athletics and Athletic Director. While his title has changed, his role and responsibilities will change very little because he has been working at the Vice President level for a number of years. We are grateful for his work and look forward to his many years of continuing service.”

Cumberlands currently offers the following sports for its student athletes: baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling for men and basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling for women. Cumberlands also offers co-ed cheerleading and archery. For more information on any of the athletic programs, please visit

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.