Jeremy Lewis Named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Cumberland University

Photo Courtesy Cumberland Athletics

Cumberland University Director of Athletics Ron Pavan announced Monday the hiring of CU alum Jeremy Lewis as the men’s basketball coach for the Phoenix, effective immediately.

Lewis has spent the last nine years as the head coach for women’s basketball at Cumberland and the last 17 years at CU as a player, graduate assistant, full-time assistant coach or head coach with the men’s and women’s programs. He has been a part of eight of Cumberland’s 11 NAIA National Tournament appearances in school history between the two programs, including all three for the men and five of the eight for the women.

Lewis replaces Lonnie Thompson, who retired in late February after 16 years with the Cumberland program. The Phoenix posted an 11-18 overall record in 2017-18, including 11 losses to Mid-South Conference opponents, nine of those by a combined 48 points, as well as a 5-10 mark against ranked opponents.

“Jeremy Lewis has been a big part of the winning traditions in both the men’s and women’s basketball programs at Cumberland as a player and coach,” Pavan said. “He understands the culture of the program as well as the Mid-South Conference. We feel like he will do an outstanding job.”

The Hendersonville, Tenn., native just completed his ninth season as head coach for the Phoenix women, posting a 20-12 record and reaching the NAIA National Tournament for the fourth time in six seasons. The Phoenix also played in the national tournament in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Lewis led the program to one of the most successful years in school history in 2012-13, finishing 33-3 overall and No. 4 in the final rankings, the most wins in school history. The Phoenix won the Mid-South Conference regular season and tournament titles and reached the NAIA Fab Four for the second time in program annals.

He was voted Mid-South Conference and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Russell Athletic/Region 5 Coach of the Year during the campaign. CU made its first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament since 2007.

“Ron gave me the opportunity to become a head coach nine years ago with the women’s program and that time and experience has been invaluable,” Lewis said. “Coaching the men’s team brings different challenges but I have the same set of winning expectations moving forward. I was a part of winning teams as a player and coach and want to bring the program back to that level of excellence.”

Four different players have garnered six All-America honors under Lewis’ tutelage, including Jessica Page, Nicole Bowers (twice), Chelsey Hall (twice) and Casie Cowan, while the Phoenix have earned 21 All-Conference honors during his nine seasons as head coach. In addition, 41 players have been named Academic All-Conference with eight posting NAIA Scholar-Athlete accolades.

Before becoming the women’s head coach, Lewis served four seasons as a full-time assistant for coach Lonnie Thompson and the CU men’s team. During his four seasons as an assistant coach, the Phoenix compiled a 68-56 overall mark, including 46-18 in the final two seasons with consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament in 2008 and 2009.

Lewis spent three seasons as the starting point guard at Cumberland from 2002-04 before serving one season as a graduate assistant for the Phoenix women’s basketball staff in 2005, which reached the NAIA National Tournament with a 26-9 record. As a player he was named Honorable Mention All-Conference as a junior and senior and garnered NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Conference accolades as a senior. He was the starting point guard on CU’s team that reached the Round of 16 and won the TranSouth Conference regular season championship in 2004.

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