Contact: Dan McShea
Interim Athletic Director
(931) 393-1614

Motlow State Athletic History

2016 TCCAA ChampsAthletics has been an important part of the college experience at Motlow State since the school opened in 1969. The Bucks and Lady Bucks have consistently competed on a championship level in baseball, softball, men's basketball, and women's basketball. The nickname was chosen by the Motlow student body during the fall of 1970.

Motlow competes as a member of the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), competing on the Division I level.

The College athletic program began a new era on Feb. 1, 2016, with C. Scott Shasteen being named athletic director. Expansion continued fall 2016 with the announcement that women's soccer would be added as a Division I fall sport in 2017. Motlow continues to produce the best student athletes both in the classroom and in competition.

Motlow began its athletic program at the inception of the college in 1969 with only two sports - men's basketball and baseball. In 1973, women's basketball joined the ranks of collegiate athletics. Softball became a reality in 1993 in an effort to enhance the Bucks and Lady Bucks program.

Men's golf and men's and women's tennis each had a very successful but short-lived time as sports at Motlow in the 1980s and 90s, but both were discontinued for various reasons.

Women's Soccer

Andy Lyon Women's soccer is Motlow's newest athletic program, with the announcement in fall 2016 that the program would begin in 2017. On September 1, 2016, Andy Lyon was introduced as the school's first soccer head coach. Lyon built the program from the ground up, recruiting his first class of student-athletes, creating a schedule, buying equipment and uniforms, and securing the Johnson Lane Complex in Tullahoma as the team's home field.

In its first season the Motlow soccer team compiled an 8-7-1 record. The first win in program history came on Sept. 15, 2017, in a 4-0 shutout of Southwest Tennessee.

Men's Basketball

It is impossible to reflect on the past, or project the future of Motlow's athletic program, without recalling the people who made it happen. Reflection begins with coach Joe Daves, the initial coach at the helm of men's basketball. Coach Daves' nine-year stint established the Bucks as a competitive team throughout the TCCAA as well as the NJCAA. His team won back-to-back TCCAA Eastern Division titles in 1971-72 and 1972-73, and the 72-73 team was Motlow's first championship team as it won both the regular season and the tournament crown. He compiled a record of 135-117.

Motlow's first athletic team completed an 11-12 record during the 1969-70 season and was led in scoring by Franklin County native Jerry Altgilbers, who scored 484 points for a 21 points per game average. Paul Williams scored the first basket for the Bucks, and led the team with 21 points as Motlow beat Covenant College 74-69 in their first game, played at what was then called the Motlow Fieldhouse.

Daves recruited a number of players who are still considered among the greatest in Motlow history, including All-Americans Jack Battle, Bob Martin and Billy Holt. The three, along with assist and steals leader Larry Mackin, still hold many of the school's all time single season and career records. Battle, Martin and Holt were each named an All-Amercian for the Bucks during Daves' time as the Bucks' head coach. Both Daves and Martin have been inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame.

Jaylen BarfordCoach Charlie Codgill followed Daves as head men's basketball coach during the 1978-79 season and his team finished with a 14-11 record in his lone season at the helm.

Carr McCalla took over the reigns in 1979 and led the Bucks for six seasons, winning 65% of his games and compiling an outstanding 107-58 record. He returned Motlow to championship status, leading the program to two TCCAA Region VII championships during the 1981-82 and the 1983-84 seasons. McCalla, who became Motlow's athletic director from 1986-94, recruited All-American Mike Dailey and coached point guard Joe Gaskins, who followed him as head coach of the Bucks. McCalla was later inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame.

Joe Gaskins, who played for McCalla and is second all-time in career assists at Motlow, became one of the youngest head coaches in the nation when he was named head coach before the 1985-86 season. He rallied the Bucks to finish as co-division champions during his first season. Coach Gaskins led the Bucks from 1985-90 and compiled a 96-48 record. His 1987-88 team won 25 games, setting a new school record that lasted until 2008, and won 16 straight games which remains the all-time high. He recruited all-time leading scorer Tim Fant, who averaged 26.7 points per game and was named an All-American his second season.

Frank Cole took the helm of the Bucks from 1990 until 1998, compiling a record of 128 victories against 98 defeats during his eight seasons. His first team averaged a school record 94.9 points per game, and he recruited All-American John Gales, who remains the fourth leading career scorer in Motlow history.

2000-01 Bucks BasketballLonnie Thompson took the reigns of the Bucks in 1998 and led the team to three consecutive Eastern Division titles before exiting in 2002. His 2001-02 team tied the school record with 25 wins. Coach Thompson left Motlow to become head coach at Cumberland University. Jeff Johnson led the Bucks program from 2002-06.

Bobby Steinburg, who served one year as an assistant to Thompson, took over the reigns before the 2006-2007 season, staying two seasons and compiling a 40-20 overall record while leading the 2007-2008 team to a 28-5 record, the second-most wins in school history. Steinburg recruited some of the greatest players in Bucks' history, including Tyree Evans, Demarco Steptor, Frank Henry-Ala and Cliff Dixon. Coach Steinburg left Motlow to become an assistant coach at Kent State University and is now the Associate Head Coach at Youngstown State University.

Mike Brown coached one season at Motlow and led the Bucks to a 22-8 record in 2008-2009 and the regular season TCCAA championship. Brown was rewarded by being named the TCCAA Coach of the Year, and his top recruit Tim Williams was named an All-American following the season and co-MVP of the conference. Coach Brown left Motlow to become an assistant coach at South Alabama.

Jerry Nichols guided the Bucks from 2009-2013 and produced four of the most successful consecutive seasons in school history. Nichols achieved an 80-31 record, including TCCAA regular season championships in 2011 and 2013 and a TCCAA/Region VII Tournament championship and trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in 2013. Nichols was named TCCAA coach of the year both seasons. Nichols was named Athletic Director of the college in the summer of 2011 and remained in that role until his departure in 2013. Freddie Goldstein, a member of Nichol's first two teams, became the first Motlow player to be named All-American in both of his seasons. Coach Nichols left Motlow to become head coach at Southwest Tennessee Community College and is now an assistant coach at Tennessee State University.

Matt Sligh became the 11th head coach in Bucks' basketball history in July 2013. He came to Motlow after three successful seasons as the top assistant coach at William Jewell College in Missouri. His first recruit, Dequon Miller, was named an All-Amercian in 2014 and freshman Jaylen Barford received the same honor in 2015. Sligh stayed two seasons at Motlow, compiling a 37-20 overall record, before departing in April 2015 to become an assistant coach at Missouri State University in Springfield. He is now an assistant coach at Kent State University.

JT Burton was named the 12th head coach in Motlow men's basketball history on June 4, 2015. Burton spent the previous season as the Director of Player Development at Tennessee under former Volunteer head coach Donnie Tyndall. Burton had the most successful first season among Motlow's 12 men's basketball head coaches, leading his team to a 25-7 record. Jaylen Barford was named a 1st Team All-American and the Player of the Year in the TCCAA. Burton's second season resulted in the best year in school history. The 2016-17 Bucks won 30 games and advanced to the elite eight in the NJCAA tournament. Rashawn Fredericks was named Freshman of the Year and Burton Coach of the Year, while Javion Hamlet received second team All-American honors. Burton resigned on April 10 to become an assistant coach at Morehead State University and is now the head coach at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN.

Arthur Latham was named the 13th head coach in Motlow men's basketball history on April 28, 2017. Latham spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach on J.T. Burton's staff at Motlow, helping guide the Bucks to the most successful back-to-back seasons in school history. Prior to that, Latham spent five years as an assistant coach at St. Catharine College, Kentucky.

In his first season as head coach, Latham led the Bucks to the TCCAA/Region VII tournament championship and a trip to the national tournament. Sophomore Rashawn Fredericks was voted TCCAA Player of the Year and named a first team NJCAA All-American. Isaiah Hart was named third team All-American.

Men's basketball has had three former Bucks elected to the TCCAA Hall of Fame: Head coach and athletic director Joe Daves, head coach and athletic director Carr McCalla, and player Bob Martin.

Women's Basketball

Lady BucksEleven former coaches have set the tone for women's basketball in Lady Bucks country during the previous 40 years. The women's program began in 1974 under the leadership of Coach Pat Sarver, who built the program from scratch and coached the first two seasons of play, compiling a 23-19 record. The original Motlow women's team was known as the Buckettes.

Coach Sarver established a standard of excellence for the program from the beginning, recruiting outstanding players who still hold high positions in the Motlow record book. Karen Carter played from 1974-76 and had an outstanding career, averaging 17.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. She was named as the Lady Bucks' first All-American following her sophomore season. Carla Tart led Motlow with 27 points in their first game, a 52-51 loss to Columbia State.

Jackie Koss then led the Lady Bucks for eight years from 1976 to 1984. Koss took the young program to new heights, including a combined record of 42-9 from 1977-79. Her Lady Bucks teams went 111-57 during her time at the helm, and included Motlow's second All-American. Aljeanette Bramlett is one of only two Lady Bucks in history to average over 20 points per game during her career.

Coaches Daves (1984-85), Jackie Reavis (1985-86), and Johnny Hill (1986-88) served one and two-year terms, respectively, followed by Gary Vanatta's single season which ended in 1989.

Lady BucksMike Holt, who played for Motlow from 1975-77, then led the program from 1989 through the 1996-97 season and assembled a 118-87 overall record. Holt coached the greatest team in Lady Bucks history during the 1989-90 season, a team that set the school record for wins with 27, including 18 in a row. All American Roschelle Vaughn had the greatest single season of any player in school history, averaging 25.2 points and 13.4 rebounds per game.

Karen Serra took the reigns of the women's basketball program in 1997 after a successful stint at Portland, TN high school. Serra spent 14 seasons at the helm of the Lady Bucks, developing a consistent, competitive program and completing her tenure with a 226-231 overall record. Serra's 2004-05 team won 25 games and included All-Americans Leanne Pelham and T'Qwanda Pendergrast.

Jerry Nichols served as the interim women's coach during the 2011-2012 season, compiling an 11-13 record.

In July 2012 Motlow announced the hiring of Aaron Holland as its tenth women's basketball coach. Holland came to Lynchburg from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., where he worked for head coach John Brady for five years. Holland compiled a 7-43 record in his two seasons at Motlow.

In July 2014, the College announced that former player and assistant coach Dominic Tharpe had been hired as the eleventh head coach in Motlow women's basketball history. Tharpe played for Lonnie Thompson at Motlow from 1998-2000, was an assistant under Bobby Steinburg from 2006-2007, and spent 18 months as head coach of the Lady Bucks before resigning in January, 2016. He compiled a 14-26 record.

Bart Walker became the 12th head coach of Motlow's women's basketball program on April 13, 2016. Walker brought a dozen years of head coaching experience, including TCCAA/Region VII championships at both Hiwassee College and Chattanooga State. In his only season at Motlow, Walker led the Lady Bucks to a 27-6 record and the program's first trip to the NJCAA women's national tournament. Walker resigned on April 24, 2017, to accept the head coaching position at Northwest Florida State College.

LaTanya Collins became the 13th head coach of the Lady Bucks on July 17, 2017. She brings experience on both the high school and the college level. The Lady Bucks won four of their final eight contests in Collins' first season to finish with an 8-20 record, and Janna Lewis was named TCCAA Freshman of the Year and member of the TCCAA All-Star team.


2000 JUCO World SeriesBaseball got underway in 1970 under Coach Joe Johnson, who won only three games in his single season. The first game was played Mar. 25, 1970 at Dyersburg State. Home games were played at Tullahoma's Municipal Stadium until 1972, when the field that would become the Driver Complex was completed on the Moore County campus.

The spring sport continued the next three years under the leadership of Coach John Stanford, who established the program as a consistent conference contender by winning the conference and being named Coach of the Year in 1972. Catcher Eddie Daves became Motlow's first baseball All-American that same season. Stanford went 58-31 in his three years as head coach.

Coach Jackie Reavis then took the reigns from 1974 to 1982, winning 71 percent of his games and compiling a sparkling 261-107 record. His 1975 team still holds the school record with a .818 winning percentage (27-6), and his Bucks teams won Eastern Division titles in 1974, 78, 79 and 81. In a pitcher's era, Reavis recruited some of the best in Motlow history. Among them was Mark Shuler, who set a school record with 11 wins that was not broken until 2000. Shuler became Motlow's first 1st-Team All-American in 1978. John Stefero played at Motlow in 1979 and became the first Motlow alumnus to play in the major leagues. Reavis was elected to the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002.

Don RhotonBucks baseball then experienced turbulence for the next four years, when the baseball program was non-existent.

Johnny Hill, who played for Motlow in 1973-75 and was an assistant coach in 1981, revitalized the program in 1987 and led the team for two seasons. Hill was 53-46 during those two seasons and recruited Moltow's most famous baseball player. David Weathers played for the Bucks in 1988-89 and went on to enjoy an 18-year major league career that included one World Series title with the Yankees. Weathers' jersey was retired by Motlow in 2011 and he was elected to the TCCAA Hall of Fame in 2016.

Don Rhoten took over in 1989 and won 664 games, including multiple state titles and a 2000 trip to the World Series, before retiring following the 2006 season. Although Rhoton's accomplishments are too many to mention, his teams won seven consecutive Eastern Division titles from 1994-2000. The 2000 team set a school record for wins with 57, including 17 in a row, and lost to San Jacinto, TX in the national championship final.

Bryan Morris Rhoton recruited multiple players who earned All-American honors, including Jason Evans in 1995, Arteaga in 2000, Rocky Evans in 2001, Nathan Marty in 2003 and Bryan Morris in 2006. Arteaga, Motlow's greatest offensive player, holds multiple career and single season batting records including home runs, runs batted in, hits and runs scored. Rocky Evans set both the single season and career records for pitching wins, and Morris went on to become Motlow's third former player to reach the major leagues, when pitched for Pittsburg, Miami and San Francisco.

Dan McShea took over the program to begin the 2007 season. He has compiled a 289-328-1 overall record in 12 seasons, including a 40-24 overall mark in 2014 when the Bucks finished runner-up in the TCCAA/Region VII Tournament and advanced to the East Central District tournament for the first time since 2000. Sophomore Tyler Murphy set the all-time single season batting average record of .459 and was named a 1st Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2012. Coach McShea was named Motlow's interim athletic director in July 2015, where he served until Nov., 2015. He was again named the interim athletic director on Aug. 13, 2018.


Softball began in 1993 with coaches Jackie Reavis and Mike Holt leading the new venture. Current Lady Bucks Head Coach Janice Morey played for Reavis and Holt.

Angela Tulley guided the program for two highly successful seasons in 1996 and 97, compiling a 58-25 record. Her 1997 team was the first Motlow softball squad to finish runner-up in the TCCAA tournament and starred former Lady Bucks head coach Tori Raby.

Kayla ColeMotlow alumnus Gary Barfield began his tenure as softball coach prior to the 1998 season and compiled a sparkling 526-233 record in 14 seasons, including winning the TCCAA tournament championship in 2009 and advancing to the NJCAA National Tournament. Barfield also served as Motlow's Athletic Director prior to Nichols' appointment.

Barfield's 2001 team set a school record with 58 wins, and his former players hold almost every spot in the school record book. Barfield recruited all five of Motlow's All-American softball players, including Jo Sharp in 2000, Amanda Potuk in 2001, Tabitha Phelps in 2002 and 2004, Whitney Darlington in 2006 and Kayla Cole in 2009.

In June, 2011, former Lady Bucks star Tori Raby was named head softball coach. Coach Raby came home to Motlow following a successful seven-year run as head coach at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, compiling a 202-154 record. The Lady Bucks compiled an 84-107-2 record during Raby's four seasons.

Former Lady Buck player Janice Morey was named the school's sixth softball head coach on Nov. 1, 2015. Despite inheriting a full roster and being unable to recruit any additional players, Morey's first squad overcame a sluggish start and finished the season with a 28-24 overall record. Third baseman Aubrey Crowell was named 1st Team All-Conference. Morey has compiled a 67-79 record in her three seasons as head coach, including a 26-20 mark in 2018.


CheerleadersWe attribute much of our success to the long-time supporters of Motlow athletics. We tip our hats to these supporters because the Motlow program could not be what it is without them.

The Bucks and Lady Bucks basketball teams play at Copperweld Arena inside Nisbett Center. The Nisbett family has supported Motlow athletics since the college opened, and continues that support today. The Bucks baseball team's home field is the Driver Baseball Complex.

Motlow's student-athletes represent themselves and the college well in the classroom, in the community, and in competition. Several of our student-athletes have gone on to promising careers as professional athletes, coaches, and leaders. We believe their experiences at Motlow contributed to their success.