Coach Bill Carlyle is in his 37th year as head basketball coach of the Walters State Senators and his 51st year overall.
Coach Carlyle has led the Senators to 14 Eastern Division Championships and played in 8 state title games, winning 5 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 finished 8th in the national rankings. His 2004 and 2005 teams won the TJCCAA Eastern Division, state, and the NJCCAA 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, Kan. 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 2013 team won the NJCAA Region 7 Championship and the college’s sixth trip to the National Junior College Championship. Coach Carlyle has been honored as Coach of the Year 14 times.
A more important statistic to Coach Carlyle: more than 150 of his players have signed with four-year colleges and universities since 1977.
In 1999, Coach Carlyle was inducted into both the Cumberland College Athletic Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Junior and Community Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was inducted into the Morristown High School Alumni 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.
The Senators have averaged winning 20+ games a year over the past 36 years. Carlyle has a record at Walters State of 748 wins and 329 losses. His overall record as a head coach is 991 wins and 429 losses. Coach Carlyle’s record as a head coach and his tenure as an assistant coach combine for a record of 1110 wins and 519 losses.
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. They were defeated in the state tournament by the state champion, Porter High School. 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.
Coach Carlyle’s next stop was in the college ranks with stays at East Tennessee State University (1968-1970) and Oklahoma State University (1970-1977) as assistant coach. In 1970-1971 he was head coach of Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa. The team finished with a 17-7 record, the best in 10 years. The next year, Parsons finished with a record of 18-6, finished the year ranked in the top 20, and ended the year coming in second place in the NAIA tournament. At this time he was selected to appear in Outstanding Young Men in America.
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