Coach Bill Carlyle is in his 40th year as head basketball coach of the Walters State Senators and his 54st year overall.
Coach Carlyle has led the Senators to 14 Eastern Division Championships and played in 9 state title games, winning 6 championships. His 1996 team was Region VII runners-up. His 2002 team won both the TJCCAA State Championship and the NJCAA Region VII Championship. After a very successful national tournament appearance with the Senators finishing 8th in the nation, the Senators also finished 8th in the national rankings. His 2004 and 2005 teams won the TJCCAA Eastern Division, state, and the NJCAA Region VII Championships earning repeat trips to the national tournament.
The 2008 team finished the year with 32-3 record, an Eastern Division Championship, a TJCCAA State Championship, a Region 7 NJCAA Championship, and another trip to the National Junior College Tournament in Hutchinson, Kanas. The team was ranked 12th in the final NJCAA poll. The 2010 team won the NJCAA Regional Championship and the TCCAA State Championship and a fifth trip to the National Junior College Championship. The 2012 team was runner-up in the regular season and Region VII tournament, but with a zone qualification returning them to the National Tournament. The 2013 team won the NJCAA Region 7 Championship and the college’s seventh trip to the National Junior College Championship. Coach Carlyle has been honored as Coach of the Year 14 times either by the Eastern Division or the TJCCAA Region VII. He has also been named National Coach of the Year District 7 seven times by the National Junior Community College Athletic Association.
The Senators have averaged winning 20+ games a year over the past 39 years. Carlyle has a record at Walters State of 812 wins and 350 losses. His overall record as a head coach is 1013 wins and 459 losses. Coach Carlyle’s record as a head coach and his tenure as an assistant coach combine for a record of 1174 wins and 548 losses. A more important statistic to Coach Carlyle; more than 175 of his players have signed with four year colleges and universities since 1977. He has coached players who have gone on to play professional basketball.
In 1999, Coach Carlyle was inducted into both the Cumberland College Athletic Hall of Fame and later into the Tennessee Junior and Community Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was inducted into the Morristown High School Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was inducted into the Morristown High School Athletic Hall of Fame. And in 2008, Coach Carlyle was inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame during the National Tournament in Hutchinson, KS. He has also been selected as a member of the All-Century Basketball Team at his alma mater Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Before coming to Walters State, he coached high school basketball, baseball, and football. Carlyle was head basketball and baseball coach at Sacramento, Ky., from 1962-1964; assistant coach at Bulls Gap High School 1964-1965; and head boys’ and girls’ basketball coach at Maury High School 1965-1967. He led the girls to the 1966 Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association Girls State Championship and was presented a key to the city of Dandridge upon the team’s return from the state tournament. The record that year was 39-3.
In 1967, the boys team of Maury High qualified for Region One tournament for the first time in the history of the school with a record of 23 - 9. The same year his girls’ team won the regular season championship, the District 4 tournament championship, and the Region 1 championship, and then were defeated in the state tournament. Both years of coaching the girls earned Coach Carlyle a record of 70 wins and 7 losses. He was voted District 4 Coach of the Year.
After a very successful high school coaching and teaching career, Coach Carlyle moved to the college ranks as an assistant basketball coach at East Tennessee State University (1967-1970). He then moved to Fairfield, Iowa to become head basketball coach at Parsons College. His teams produced the best record in 10 years in 1970-71 and the next year finished the year ranked in the top 20 in the NCAA. In the years 1973-1977 he was the top assistant at Oklahoma State University before moving to Walters State in 1977 as head basketball coach.
Anyone who has been a long-time fan of the Senators will remember hearing the name “Sheffield” frequently called on the loudspeaker during home games a few years back. While playing here, Shon Sheffield received all-conference and all-state teams – and was named South Central Region All Tournament Team, Pre-season Player of the Year and Tournament Outstanding Player. The team went all the way to the NJCAA Final Four in his sophomore year.
Now, Walters State welcomes Shon Sheffield back as an assistant coach of the Senators. Since he played in 2002-04, Sheffield has played professional basketball and started a good coaching resume. He most recently served as a graduate assistant for East Central University in Oklahoma. While assisting the men’s basketball team, he maintained a 4.0 GPA and recruited star play Colby Carr. He also coached under Coach Rodney “Mac” McConnell as an assistant at Ranger College in Ranger, Texas. The team went 15-5 in NJCAA Region V.
Coach Sheffield played five years of professional basketball, beginning in 2005, when he averaged 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds a game for the UCC Demons in Cork, Ireland. The team reached the cup finals. From 2—6-2009, he played for the Nordlingen Giants and for the BBC Bayreuth in Germany's Pro A League. The Giants won a league championship while he was on the team.
Coach Sheffield finished out his college eligibility at Tarleton State, where he continued to rack up more honors. Again, he was named to many All-Conference and All-Tournament Teams.
Coach Sheffield was an all-district player for Shelby County in high school.
His master's degree is in exercise and sports studies. He has a daughter, Alexis Monroe Sheffield.
Alcoa High School 1997-2001 1st Team All-State Tennessee
Hiwassee College 2001-2003 Madisonville, TN
Ferrum College 2003-2005 Ferrum, VA
Played in the NJCAA for two years while Hiwassee College was a member of the TJCAA for many years.
Lead Hiwassee and Ferrum College in assist for the years played.
2007-2008 assistant Men's and Women's Coach at Hiwassee College
2008-2011 Head Coach at Hiwassee College Madisonville, TN
2009-2010 Appearance in the USCAA (United State Collegiate Athletic Association) national tournament in Uniontown, PA
Finished the season ranked 6th in the Nation