Director of athletics Rusty Hollingsworth and president Dr. Michael V. Carter announced the hiring of Brent Vernon as the new men’s basketball coach at Campbellsville University.
Vernon, 34, an assistant coach at Campbellsville University for the previous four years, is replacing Keith Adkins after he resigned on May 31 to take a head coaching position at Life University in Marietta, Ga.
“I am excited to announce that Brent Vernon has accepted our offer to become the next head men’s basketball coach at Campbellsville University,” said Hollingsworth. “Coach Vernon has the qualifications that our search committee discussed as we began this process. His 10 years of experience as an assistant coach at two Mid-South Conference schools will certainly be a great help in his new role as the head coach at Campbellsville University. We look forward to working with him as he leads the Tiger basketball program.”
“After a national search which brought over 60 names to our search committee, I could not be more pleased to have Brent Vernon as the unanimous choice of our search committee,” said Carter. “Brent Vernon is an exceptionally fine young man who knows basketball and has the ability to move Campbellsville University Tiger Basketball forward. He is a young man of character and believes in the mission of our university.”
Vernon was welcomed as the new head coach in front of family, friends, fans, Campbellsville University faculty, staff and coaches, supporters and media representatives.
“Let me say thank you to Dr. Carter and the search committee for their commitment to Tiger athletics and the time and effort it took to get us to today’s press conference,” said Hollingsworth.
In the previous four seasons, Vernon has helped lead the Tigers to two NAIA National Tournament appearances, one Sweet 16 appearance and a Fab Four showing this past year. During his time as an assistant, the Tigers have won a Mid-South Conference regular season championship and a tournament title in 2015.
“First I would like to thank Dr. Carter, Rusty Hollingsworth, and the entire committee for having the faith to appoint me as the next basketball coach,” said Vernon.
“It is such an honor to be able to get my first head coaching position at an institution such as Campbellsville University. Following in the footsteps of coaches such as the late Lou Cunningham, Travis Ford and Keith Adkins is something that is hard for me to put into words. It is a task that I will not take for granted, and I will work extremely hard on and off the floor to make this university proud.”
Vernon came to Campbellsville in 2012 and had double roles as assistant basketball coach and head women’s golf coach. Known as a hard worker and recruiter, Vernon didn’t see the job as more work but saw them as an opportunity to help both programs get back to the highest level in the Mid-South Conference and also the NAIA.
In his role as the recruiting coordinator for Tiger basketball, Vernon brought in five of the previous six NAIA All-Americans who have come through the program. Sekou Harris and Dii’jon Allen-Jordan were the last two in 2015-16, as both helped lead Campbellsville University to its first NAIA Fab Four since 2008. Other notables are D’von Campbell, Damontre Harris and Eric Gaines. Harris was one of the biggest recruits for Vernon, as he brought him in after playing at the University of Florida and University of South Carolina.
“Brent has demonstrated his ability to recruit and to be a part of a winning program,” continued Carter. “I think he will bring the type of excitement to the game that will attract players and fans. I am thankful for his desire to see the Tiger basketball program carry on our proud tradition and see our players graduate and be champions of character.”
Outside of basketball, Vernon also made a splash in his second year as women’s golf coach to bring in state champion Cassidy Scantland.
In their first year together (2013-14), Scantland won the MSC Championship and was named the MSC Freshman and Golfer of the Year, while Vernon earned Coach of the Year honors. Scantland is now the most decorated Lady Tiger to come through the program with 11 tournament wins, being named an NAIA All-American and MSC Golfer of the Year twice and qualifying for the NAIA National Championship three times.
“There’s no time to waste,” said Vernon.
“My first priority was reaching out to our current players, which I have already done, and those conversations have gone absolutely great. From here it’s about going straight to work. I will now finalize our roster, as well as assemble a staff, and finish completing our schedule. We have no time to waste at this point, and this is already starting to take shape.”
A former two-sport player at Williamsburg High School, Vernon attended then Cumberland College on a golf scholarship in 2000. After one season on the golf team, he began his coaching career as a student-assistant men’s basketball coach for two seasons before playing two years. He coached for the Patriots until 2009 before returning to Williamsburg as an assistant basketball coach until the spring of 2012.
Vernon is the son of former University of the Cumberlands director of athletics, Randy Vernon, and his older brother Mark is an assistant on the Patriots basketball team. He is married to Jamie Walker Vernon, daughter of former Campbellsville basketball player Roy Walker, and the two have two children Bryce and Jaylee.
“I want to thank my best friend and wife, Jamie, who has always supported me and had my back throughout this journey,” said Vernon.
“Without her being the rock of our family, none of this would be possible. I would also like to thank my mom and dad for all they have done and for instilling in me the values that I have. Last, but not least I want to thank my friends. This community has welcomed my family with open arms since the day we moved to Campbellsville. That is what makes Campbellsville University and the community so special. You feel like you have been a part of this great place for so long in such a short period of time. It’s what my family and I love about Campbellsville.”