Head Coach Ray Harper has added more than just student-athletes to the WKU basketball program. Kentucky native Chris Shumate has been added to the 2015-2016 roster as an assistant coach.
Shumate most recently spent last season at Tennessee as an assistant coach under controversial Head Coach Donnie Tyndall, and the season prior at Southern Miss—also coaching under Tyndall.
Tennessee fired Tyndall with cause in March after the NCAA opened an investigation regarding allegations of improper financial aid for players and academic problems with JUCO transfers during his two-year stint at Southern Miss.
Shumate has not been publically linked to the investigation, but was not retained by new Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the WKU program and be a part of what Coach Harper and his staff are building here in Bowling Green,” Shumate said in a WKU press release. “Being from Kentucky, I have followed Coach’s career very closely, and everything he values and teaches is important to me as well.”
Shumate, a Louisville native brings eight years of coaching experience at the Division I level between stints at Cincinnati, Southern Miss and Tennessee. He played college basketball at Murray state upon graduation from Louisville Male High School.
“I am thrilled to be able to add someone of Chris’ caliber to our staff,” Harper said in the same press release. “He’s a hard worker and a good family man, and he will add a lot to our program in many ways. I thought it was important to hire someone who knows Kentucky and Tennessee, and I could not have found someone better than Chris.”
Shumate isn’t the only former Volunteer coming to WKU this season either, with transfer Willie Carmichael also making his way to the Hill. Carmichael and Shumate both spent last season with Tennessee as a student-athlete and assistant coach respectively.
Furthermore, Carmichael had originally signed to play at Southern Miss (Under Tyndall and accordingly, Schumate), but Tyndall’s departure from Southern Miss to Tennessee convinced Carmichael to follow suit.
This time around, it was Carmichael who made the first move, announcing his transfer to WKU weeks before the announcement of Shumate’s hiring.
“The name ‘WKU Hilltoppers’ carries a lot of weight in college basketball, and I cannot wait to add to the storied history of this program,” Schumate said.
Shumate’s basketball career:
Murray State (Ohio Valley Conference)- Student-Athlete (1999-2004)The Kentucky Reach (World Basketball Association)- Player (2005)Arkansas RimRockers (NBA Developmental League)- Player (2005-2006)Nebraska Cranes (United States Basketball League)- Player (2006)Cincinnati- Director of Basketball Operations (2008-2009)Cincinnati- Director of Student-Athlete Development (2010-2013)Southern Miss- Assistant Coach (2014)Tennessee- Assistant Coach (2015)WKU- Assistant Coach (Current)