Bobby Brown starts his third season as an assistant coach at Cumberland University, working primarily with the running backs on the Phoenix offense.
Under Brown's tutelage, CU running backs averaged 126.2 yards per game and scored 17 touchdowns during a 7-4 campaign in 2013. Fullback Michael Nwokoji garnered First Team All-Mid-South Conference honors while amassing 523 yards on 120 carries with seven TDs in just seven games before an injury cut his season short. Fredrel Cross posted 450 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards-per-carry in only four contests in the back field.
Last season Cumberland averaged 201.5 yards per game on the ground, with Blake DeBoard leading the running back group with 458 yards and four touchdowns in nine outings, earning First Team All-MSC accolades. Fullbacks Brandon Mallory and George Nwokoji combined for 421 yards and seven touchdowns as well.
The Watertown, Tenn., native is no stranger to the middle Tennessee area, serving nine seasons as head coach at Lebanon High School and eight years as an assistant coach at Trousdale County High School.
While at LHS, he served as Assistant Principal, teacher and head coach for two years and Assistant Principal, Co-Athletic Director and head coach for three years. Brown posted a 44-51 mark at Lebanon, with three teams finishing with winning records: 2003 (6-5), 2004 (9-3) and 2006 (6-5). Four of his teams advanced to the TSSAA postseason.
In 2010 the Blue Devils rushed for 3,042 yards, the high-water mark for the past 25 years, and averaged 26.5 points per game. Brownâs nine-year tenure at Lebanon was the longest at the local school since the mid 1960âs. Prior to his tenure at LHS, he was an assistant coach for eight seasons (six as defensive coordinator) at Trousdale County under Clint Satterfield.
Brown received his bachelor's in Business Education with a minor in Secondary Education and Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University in 1994. He earned a masterâs in Administration and Supervision from Tennessee Tech in 2000. He also received a Specialist in Education Degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech in 2010.
Buddy Brown enters his eighth season at Cumberland after working more than 30 years in Metro Nashville Public Schools. Brown coached linebackers his first two seasons at Cumberland before taking over as the defensive line coach in 2010.
Seven players have earned All-Mid-South Conference honors under his tutelage at CU and the unit has made marked improvements in all areas. Brown arrived at the same time as defensive coordinator and now head coach Donnie Suber. The duo helped transform the defense from one of the worst in the NAIA in 2007 to perhaps the best in 2010 and one of the most consistent nationally for most of the last seven seasons.
Linebackers Todd Holman and Stephon Ransom both earned All-Mid-South Conference honors in 2009 and Holman was named MSC Defensive Player of the Week once during that season. Defensive lineman Melvin Armstrong garnered All-MSC accolades in 2010 and Jarred Williams received the award in 2012 as well. Nick Lennox was voted First Team All-MSC and Simon Moriarty earned Second Team accolades in 2013. Last season Justus Dauscha added to that list with First Team All-Conference honors as well after posting 68 tackles with 16.0 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, two pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.
Brown worked 34 years in Metro Nashville Public Schools, most recently at Hunters Lane High School where he was the defensive coordinator for one season and the offensive coordinator his final four years. Brown also coached the wrestling team at Hunters Lane.
Brown, who served as the president of the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association in 1998, began his head coaching career at Hillsboro High School in 1988 and took over head coaching duties from 1990-93. In 1994 he became the head coach at Antioch High School, his alma mater, where he stayed until 2000.
The 2001 Scholastic Assistant Coach of the Year for Tennessee led Antioch to one region championship and two runner-up finishes. The 1997 team’s playoff appearance was the first in school history and Brown was named the Region 5-4A Coach of the Year as well as the Metro Football Coaches Association Warren Dunn Coach of the Year. He also earned Region 6-5A Coach of the Year accolades in 2000.
Brown received his bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee in 1973 and earned his master’s in Education from Tennessee State in 1979. He is married for the former Cheryl Keller of Nashville and the couple has been together for 38 years.
Brad Bustle begins his third season at Cumberland University, serving as the offensive line coach for the Phoenix.
Bustleâs work with an experienced group on the o-line in 2013 helped CU rank eighth nationally in rushing offense per game (248.6) and 10th in total rushing offense (2,735 yards). Thirty-five of the teamâs 40 offensive touchdowns two years ago came on the ground, while AJ Harmon earned First Team All-Mid-South Conference and Second Team All-America honors and Tucker Cathey garnered Second Team All-MSC accolades.
Last season Bustle worked with a very inexperienced group up front, at times with five freshmen on the field at the same time. The unit helped pave the way for 25 rushing touchdowns and 4.7 yards-per-attempt while allowing just 11 sacks. The Phoenix finished the year ranked 23rd nationally in total rushing offense (2,216 yards) and rushing offense per game (201.50) as well as 26th in scoring offense (30.6) and 28th in third down conversions (40.1).
The Blacksburg, Va., native worked two years as a defensive graduate assistant at Virginia Tech, organizing and running the offensive scout team, organizing weekly defensive scouting reports along with video breakdown. He assisted with linebackers his first season and the defensive line during his second year.
The Hokies lost in the 2011 ACC Championship Game and played in the All-State Sugar Bowl and participated in the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2012.
Bustle spent one season as the defensive line coach at Catholic High School in New Iberia, La., in 2010, grading film along with film breakdown, game planning and calling defensive plays in games. The Panthers reached the LHSAA playoffs that season.
He played collegiately at Louisiana-Lafayette, earning four letters for the Raginâ Cajuns at guard and center in a no-huddle offense. Bustle was voted First Team All-Sun Belt Conference as a junior and senior and voted Offensive Team Captain his senior campaign as well. He was also on the Preliminary Watch List for the Rotary Lombardi Award in 2009.
Bustle signed a free agent contract with the Hartford [CT] Colonials in the United Football League after his college career.
He earned his bachelor's in General Studies from Louisiana-Lafayette in 2009 and worked on his masterâs in Instructional Technology while at Virginia Tech.
Arnold Little begins his third season at Cumberland and his second as an assistant coach with the Phoenix. He served as a volunteer assistant, helping with defensive line, offensive scout team and the JV team at CU in 2013 before stepping into the role of linebackers coach last season.
Redshirt sophomore Nathan Jernigan earned First Team All-Mid-South Conference West honors last season after leading the Phoenix with 99 tackles along with 8.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Little attended Kemper Military Junior College in Boonville, Mo., for one semester, starting at center, before transferring to Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. He started two years at center for the Vikings, earning Honorable Mention All-Heart of America Athletic Conference honors his first season and Second Team All-HAAC accolades in his second year.
He played one year at center and guard for the Madison Mad Dogs in the Indoor Football League after college. He previously worked as a CT Technician at the VA Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., and as a Radiology/CT Technician at Cox Hospital in Springfield, Mo.
Little received his bachelor's in Biology from Missouri Valley in 2000 and also graduated from the Cox Health School of Radiologic Technology in 2006. He is pursuing his Masterâs of Science in Sport and Exercise Pedagogy at Cumberland.
Paul Pitts joined the Cumberland staff as offensive coordinator in March 2018 after serving in the same capacity the last four seasons at the University of the Cumberlands.
The Patriots posted a 20-20 mark with Pitts as offensive coordinator, including 6-4 in 2017 and 7-3 in 2015. The squad averaged 28.9 points per game this past season with five contests of 30-plus points.
The Cumberlands ranked 10th nationally in rushing offense per game (248.1) and 16th in total rushing offense (2481 yards) in 2016, scoring 27 or more points in 6-of-10 contests. The Patriots offense was a juggernaut in 2015 behind Mid-South Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Year Adam Craig, ranking third nationally in rushing offense per game (342.7) and total rushing offense (3247) while averaging 41.0 points per game (sixth in the country) and 458.4 yards per outing (ninth nationally).
In Pitts’ first season in Williamsburg, the squad ranked ninth in the country in rushing offense per game (237.5) and 14th in total rushing offense (2375), scoring 27-plus points five times. The Patriots lost four games that year by a combined 15 points. He produced 13 All-Mid-South Conference honorees during his four seasons at the Cumberlands.
The Newnan, Ga., native served eight years at Shorter University from 2006-13 under Mathis, starting as tight ends coach (2006) before working with receivers (2007) and then co-offensive line/tight ends/tackles (2008-09).
He was the team’s offensive line coach for the last four years with the Hawks. Shorter ranked second nationally in rushing offense per game (310.9) and posted 30.5 points per contest in 2010 and ranked third in the country in rushing (271.9), averaging 30.0 points per outing in 2011, the program’s last in the NAIA.
In 2012, the first transition year to Division II, the Hawks ranked ninth nationally in rushing at 268.5 yards per game and ranked third the Gulf South Conference in rushing (227.9) and second in time of possession while ranking third in total offense in 2013. Fifteen offensive linemen garnered All-Conference recognition from 2008-13.
Pitts also served as Recruiting Coordinator his last four years at Shorter, recruiting one All-American linebacker (Demery Hawkins) and four All-Mid-South Conference honorees, including one Defensive Player of the Year (Hemery) and one Freshman of the Year (Dominique Henfield).
He worked as a student assistant for two years at Gardner-Webb University before transferring to Shorter, where he received his bachelor’s in History and Political Science in 2007 and earned a master’s in Leadership in 2009.
Pitts is married to the former Abby Hogan and the couple has two daughters, Kennedy and Emerson.
Former Cumberland quarterback Broc Loveless returns to Cumberland as a graduate assistant for the 2017 season.
Loveless spent the last two seasons at Division III Milliken University in Decatur, Ill., working with defensive backs in 2015 and wide receivers in 2016. He served as the team’s video coordinator and assistant recruiting coordinator during his time with the Big Blue.
He developed an All-Conference receiver in Gerald Perry, who posted 60 catches for 828 yards and six touchdowns and led the league in receptions per game (7.0) and receiving yards per game (99.0) in conference games only last season.
As a player Loveless played in 32 career games, rushing for 1,520 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing for 1,774 yards and 15 TDs, splitting time throughout his career with Reed Gurchiek. He led the club in rushing and scoring as a junior and senior, collecting 750 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior and 547 yards and eight TDs as a senior. He played in all 22 games in his final two years at Cumberland.
The Spring Hill, Tenn., native led a huge comeback in his redshirt freshman year, with CU posting 21 fourth-quarter points in a 31-26 victory at West Virginia Tech. Loveless rushed 11 yards for a TD early in the period and hit DeJeay Woods for a 41-yard catch-and-run TD with 1:56 remaining to seal the victory. He finished the contest 13-of-25 passing for 184 yards and one TD also threw for 205 yards on 12-of-21 versus Campbellsville University that season.
Loveless rushed for 86 yards and one TD while throwing for another score in an overtime victory at Lindsey Wilson to end his sophomore campaign before becoming a co-starter with Gurchiek his final two years.
Loveless earned his bachelor’s in Health and Human Performance with minors in Strength and Conditioning and Health from Cumberland in 2014. He is currently enrolled in the master's program for Sports Management at Cumberland.
McFarland Murph joins the Cumberland football staff as a graduate assistant for the 2017 season after finishing his playing career at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va.
The West Columbia, S.C., native earned First Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference and Third Team All-Region honors for the Wasps, starting all 10 games at right guard and grading at 92 percent for the season. He garnered First Team All-ODAC accolades while starting 10 games at right guard as a junior, grading at 86 percent, and started 10 games as a sophomore at right tackle.
He also earned First Team All-State honors from the Virginia Sports Information Directors and the Roanoke Times as a junior and senior and was nominated for Best Male Athlete at Emory & Henry as a senior.
Murph was voted Team MVP his final two seasons at Emory & Henry. He was named an All-American by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), received the Porterfield Award for leadership and character in 2016 and garnered Academic All-ODAC honors as a senior as well.
He served as a basketball commentator on WEHC, Emory & Henry’s local radio station, as well as serving as co-host and sports anchor at EHC-TV on campus, conducting interviews with athletes and coaches and giving presentations on sporting events. He worked as an intern in the newsroom at WCYB-TV in Bristol, Va., shooting video for southwest Virginia and east Tennessee along with conducting interviews, editing video and writing scripts.
Murph received his bachelor’s in Mass Communications and Contextual and Support in Sports Management from Emory & Henry in May 2017 and is currently enrolled in the master’s program for Education at Cumberland.