Tennessee's Tyndall Announces His New Coaching Staff

Pinkins, HOward, Shumate Are The Assistant Coaches

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall formally announced his full-time coaching staff Wednesday.

Al Pinkins, Adam Howard and Chris Shumate have been named assistant coaches. Jareem Dowling will serve as director of player development, and Justin Phelps is the director of basketball operations.

Tyndall also hired Todd Moyer as the program’s strength and conditioning coach.

Dowling, Howard, Moyer and Phelps were all on Tyndall’s basketball staff at Southern Miss. Pinkins joins the Volunteers after three years at Ole Miss.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the staff that we’ve assembled here at Tennessee,” Tyndall said. “Every one of these guys is a great mentor and role model for our student-athletes. This is a young, ambitious staff that will never be outworked, I can assure you.

“I think our fans our really going to enjoy getting to know each of these guys. And along those same lines, I know we as a staff are eager to embrace the Tennessee fan base and build a fun and interactive relationship with the greatest fans in the world.”

Veteran athletic trainer Chad Newman will continue to serve the program’s sports medicine needs, as he enters his 20th year at UT.

Complete bios on each new staff member:


As soon as Donnie Tyndall accepted the head coaching job at Tennessee, he targeted Al Pinkins to join the Volunteers’ full-time coaching staff. Tyndall and Pinkins were assistants together for three seasons at Middle Tennessee from 2003-06.

Considered among the brightest rising coaches in the profession, Pinkins was hired at Tennessee in April 2014, after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant on Andy Kennedy’s staff at Ole Miss. He was instrumental in the Rebels’ run to the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship and subsequent NCAA Tournament appearance.

A native of Camilla, Ga., Pinkins works closely with the Tennessee post players while also serving as the staff’s recruiting coordinator.

“Al and I worked together at Middle Tennessee State, and there’s not a better person in this profession,” Tyndall said. “He has great contacts throughout the Southeast. And, in my opinion, he’s one of the best recruiters in all of college basketball.”

While at Ole Miss, Pinkins coached the program’s all-time leading rebounder, Murphy Holloway, and all-time leading shot blocker, Reginald Buckner. Holloway was an All-SEC first-team selection in 2013, and Buckner earned SEC All-Defensive Team recognition that same year, as Ole Miss tied a school record with 27 wins.

In Pinkins’ first season with the Rebels in 2011-12, he helped lead Ole Miss to 20 wins and an NIT bid. His work with the post players saw Terrance Henry earn All-SEC status for the first time in his career, Holloway named All-SEC honorable mention and Buckner named to the SEC All-Defensive team.

Pinkins’ tenure at Ole Miss was immediately preceded by eight seasons at Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro. He was intimately involved in all aspects of the Blue Raiders program, particularly recruiting throughout the South and developing MTSU’s frontcourt personnel.

Working under head coach Kermit Davis at Middle Tennessee, Pinkins was instrumental in the development of two-time first-team All-Sun Belt forward Desmond Yates, who reached the 1,000-point milestone as a junior. Pinkins also helped develop 6-foot-10 center Theryn Hudson into one of MTSU’s all-time leaders in field-goal percentage.

Tireless on the recruiting trail, Pinkins played a key role in landing a 2007 Middle Tennessee signing class that was rated No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference and No. 48 nationally by HoopScoop. That class also was rated the 13th-best among mid-majors nationally by Rivals.com.

Pinkins played on nearly every level of college and professional basketball and brings that wealth of experience to Tennessee. Prior to his collegiate success, Pinkins was a standout prep performer at Mitchell-Baker High School in Camilla, Ga. He helped lead his team to back-to-back state championships in basketball during the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons, and he also quarterbacked the MBHS football team to the 1990 Georgia state championship.

Pinkins began his collegiate playing career at Chipola Junior College in Florida in 1993-94, averaging 17.5 points and eight rebounds per game during his two-year career. He then moved on to NC State, where, despite battling injuries, he averaged 9.5 points and seven rebounds.

After his collegiate career wound to a close, Pinkins played professionally, starting with Team Baleno in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1998. He averaged 22 points and nine rebounds over the course of the season.

Pinkins also played for the Raleigh (N.C.) Cougars in the USBL in 1998, (14 ppg, 8 rpg), and for Minot (N.D.) in the International Basketball Association, where he earned Most Valuable Player honors (19 ppg, 9 rpg).

Following his IBA stint, Pinkins played overseas for the Qatar Basketball Association in Doha, Qatar. (29 ppg, 11 rpg). He then played in the Chinese Basketball Association in Shenyang (11 ppg, 8 rpg).

Pinkins received his bachelor's degree in Sociology from NC State in 1998. He and his wife, Kara, have three sons - Patton, Pryce and Penn.


Assistant coach Adam Howard accompanied Donnie Tyndall to Tennessee after spending the previous four seasons as a full-time assistant on Tyndall’s staffs at Southern Miss and Morehead State.

Howard’s time working side-by-side with Tyndall dates to 2009, when he joined the Morehead State staff as a graduate assistant.

A native of Ashland, Ky., Howard works closely with Tennessee’s perimeter players.

“Adam has been with me for each of the last five years,” Tyndall said. “He’s a young, ambitious, tireless worker. He reminds me of myself at that same stage in my career. He eats, sleeps and drinks basketball.

“He is an outstanding coach on the floor, and he’s a tireless recruiter as well.”

Howard played an instrumental role in an unprecedented two-year run at Southern Miss during which the Golden Eagles posted a 56-17 (.767) record and earned a pair of postseason berths. Three players during that span garnered All-Conference acclaim.

In 2013-14, Southern Miss posted a school-record 29 wins (29-7, 13-3 C-USA), claimed a share of the Conference USA championship, built a perfect 15-0 home record and earned a year-end RPI in the low 30s.

The 2012-13 campaign saw the Eagles post a 27-10 (12-4 C-USA) record and capture the program’s first postseason victories since 1988 as Southern Miss marched all the way to the NIT quarterfinals.

Howard began his collegiate coaching journey with three seasons on Tyndall’s staff at Morehead State, including one as a graduate assistant and two as a full-time assistant coach.

He was on board for the Eagles’ 2010-11 campaign, which saw Morehead State finish 25-10 overall, 14-1 at home and 13-5 in the OVC. Morehead won the OVC Tournament that year and went on to upset fourth-seeded Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.

Howard worked with two Eagles that season that went on to sign professional basketball contracts. All-American Kenneth Faried, a two-time OVC Player of the Year and the NCAA's all-time leading rebounder, was drafted 22nd overall by the NBA's Denver Nuggets. Demonte Harper went on to play for KK Cibona VIP Zagreb in Croatia's top pro league.

Howard was a four-year letterman at Western Kentucky from 2004-08. He played for head coach Darrin Horn, and WKU advanced to postseason play in three of Howard’s four seasons as a Hilltopper.

During Howard’s senior season, Western Kentucky advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament by defeating Drake and San Diego before falling to eventual Final Four participant UCLA.

Howard also tasted postseason play as a player in 2005 and 2006, as WKU earned NIT bids in both years.

In Howard’s four years as a Hilltopper, Western Kentucky won 96 games, and he was awarded the Danny Rumph Most Outstanding Teammate award for three straight years (2006-08). The award honors Howard's former teammate and friend, who passed away from cardiomyopathy after suffering heart failure during a pickup game in 2005.

Howard first met Tyndall in 2008, when Howard worked as a host at the Cancun Challenge, in which Tyndall’s Morehead State squad participated.

Prior to joining Tyndall’s MSU staff, Howard worked as a counselor at the Freshman All-American Camp for the top 150 freshmen-to-be in the country. He also assisted with the Derek Smith 16U AAU team.

Howard graduated from Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Ky., and earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Western Kentucky in 2008.


After their lone season together at Southern Miss culminated in a 27-win season and conference title, head coach Donnie Tyndall brought assistant coach Chris Shumate (pronounced: SHOO-mate) with him to Tennessee in April 2014.

Shumate hails from Louisville, Ky., and boasts seven seasons of experience as a Division I staffer. He works closely with Tennessee’s post players.

“Chris was a tough, hard-nosed player at Murray State, and he’s carried those same qualities over to his coaching career,” Tyndall said. “He is detail-oriented, driven to be successful and a relentless recruiter.

“Chris has a passion for working with young people, and our players will love him.”

During the 2013-14 campaign on Tyndall’s Southern Miss staff, Shumate helped usher the Golden Eagles to a school-record 29 wins (29-7, 13-3 C-USA), a share of the Conference USA championship, a perfect 15-0 home record and a year-end RPI in the low 30s.

Shumate transitioned to Southern Miss after having spent six years on staff at Cincinnati. He served two seasons as the director of basketball operations before becoming the director of student-athlete development in 2009. In that role, he coordinated many of the program's daily operations, including academics and gameday preparation.

Prior to joining the Bearcats’ staff, Shumate played two years of professional basketball the NBA D-League with the now-defunct New Mexico and Arkansas organizations.

As a standout player for coach Mick Cronin at Murray State from 1999-04, Shumate was a two-time All-OVC selection and finished his career ranked 24th on the Racers’ all-time scoring list with 1,207 points.

He also ranked among the school’s all-time leaders in 3-pointers made (170, eighth), steals (125, tied for 10th), assists (252, 14th), blocks (37, 15th) and field goals made (459, tied for 20th).

As a junior, he scored a career-high 31 points on 13 made field goals during a win over West Florida. He also placed himself on several single-game statistical leaderboards, as he posted games with six 3-pointers made, 10 assists and six steals.

As a senior and team captain in 2003-04, Shumate helped lead Murray State to a 28-6 overall record, an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship and a subsequent NCAA Tournament berth.

He averaged 10.3 points and shot .478 from the field during his career.

Shumate graduated from Murray State with a bachelor's degree in Business in 2004. He and his wife, Meredith, have three children - Addison, Chloe and Gates.


After three outstanding seasons together that yielded 74 victories – nearly 25 wins per year – Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall saw fit to bring Jareem Dowling to Rocky Top in April 2014.

A native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Dowling holds the title of Director of Player Development. Key among his several responsibilities is his role of academic liaison to UT’s Thornton Athletics Student Life Center.

Tyndall first hired Dowling as an assistant coach at Morehead State prior to the 2011-12 campaign, and Dowling followed Tyndall to Southern Miss – occupying that same role – for the next two seasons leading up to their transition to Tennessee.

“Jareem is fantastic in all phases of the game,” Tyndall said. “He builds phenomenal relationships with our student-athletes. He also has a wealth of international basketball contacts which I believe will be valuable to our program down the road.”

With Dowling on the bench – while also serving as recruiting coordinator – Southern Miss authored an unprecedented two-year run during which the Golden Eagles posted a 56-17 (.767) record and earned a pair of postseason berths. Three players during that span garnered All-Conference acclaim.

In 2013-14, Southern Miss posted a school-record 29 wins (29-7, 13-3 C-USA), claimed a share of the Conference USA championship, built a perfect 15-0 home record and earned a year-end RPI in the low 30s.

The 2012-13 campaign saw the Eagles post a 27-10 (12-4 C-USA) record and capture the program’s first postseason victories since 1988 as Southern Miss marched all the way to the NIT quarterfinals.

In his lone season at Morehead State, Dowling assisted with all aspects of the program, including recruiting, practice and game preparation and player development. He also was responsible for monitoring the academic progress of all student-athletes in the program.

Dowling served three seasons in a similar capacity at Slippery Rock (Pa.) from 2008-11. Dowling helped the Rock to three consecutive winning seasons, including 21-win campaigns in 2008-09 and 2010-11.

At Slippery Rock, Dowling was the top assistant to head coach Kevin Reynolds, who had previously served as an assistant on Tyndall's staff at Morehead State.

Prior to his tenure at Slippery Rock, Dowling was an assistant under legendary junior college coach Bill Lewit at Cecil College (Md.). Dowling's recruiting and scouting acumen contributed to a stellar 97-6 overall record in three seasons from 2005-08.

Cecil College won three Maryland state regular-season championships, three state tournament titles, two regional championships, two Holiday Tournament championships and the 2006 NJCAA Division II national championship during Dowling's tenure. The Seahawks also finished the season ranked No. 1 in the nation in each those three years.

Dowling also boasts multiple years of high-level international coaching experience, dating to 2007, when he was handpicked by Virgin Islands Basketball Federation (VIBF) president Usie Richards for a coaching position at the junior level.

During his seven years with the VIBF, he has led Virgin Islands national teams to two silver medals and a pair of bronze medals. The country’s national program has evolved from fledgling to one that is now ranked among the FIBA top 50 and 11thin the Americas.

Dowling served as head coach of the U.S. Virgin Islands U17 Junior National Team in 2008 and led that squad to a silver-medal finish at the Caribbean Basketball Championship in Antiqua and Barbuda.

That same year, Dowling completed a stint as an assistant with the USVI Senior Men’s National Team under coaches Jim Harrick and Tevester Anderson. That team captured a silver medal in the Centrobasket Championship for Men in Chetumal and Cancun, Mexico.

In 2009, Dowling again led the Junior National squad to a bronze-medal finish in the Centrobasket U17 Championship in Aguas Calientes, Mexico, qualifying for the FIBA Americas U18 Championship for the first time since 1978.

His Virgin Islands national squads have participated in FIBA events in Puerto Rico, the United States, Antigua, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Brazil – giving Dowling beneficial basketball contacts around the globe.

From his native St. Croix, Dowling moved to the continental United States as a teenager. He led Howard High School in Wilmington, Del., to the Blue Hen Flight B championship game and the state semifinals as a senior. Dowling earned honorable mention All-State and first-team All-Conference honors that season while also securing a spot in the Delaware State Blue and Gold All-Star Game.

Dowling went on to become a two-year starter at Cecil, leading the team to the 2000-01 Maryland junior college regular-season championship. He earned All-Tournament honors in addition to receiving the team’s Hustle and Defense Awards.

After an injury in 2001-02, Dowling led the Seahawks to the Region XX Championship and the NJCAA Division II semifinals in 2002-03. Cecil posted a 51-11 record during Dowling’s two seasons there, he earned an Academic Scholar Student-Athlete Award and he played with nine eventual Division I players.

Dowling then transferred to Maryland Eastern Shore, where he was a two-year starter. He scored a career-high 22 points and made five 3-pointers in a game against Baylor. While at UMES, he also participated in the NCAA Leadership Conference.

Dowling earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UMES in 2005, and he received a master’s degree in Sports Management from California University of Pennsylvania in 2011.


Justin Phelps is in his first year as Tennessee’s Director of Basketball Operations. This is his third year occupying that role on head coach Donnie Tyndall’s staff, as the pair worked closely together at Southern Miss from 2012-14.

Phelps oversees all day-to-day operations within the basketball office, coordinates game scheduling, serves as a liaison to several branches of the university and athletic department and also administers the program’s summer basketball camps.

“Justin is one of the most detail-oriented and organized people I’ve ever been around,” Tyndall said. “His organizational skills and ability to think outside the box in areas such as social media and marketing will only help us to grow our program.”

With Phelps directing administrative aspects of the Southern Miss program for two seasons, the Golden Eagles posted a stellar 56-17 overall record, won a school-record 29 games while going undefeated at home (15-0) in 2013-14, claimed a share of the 2014 regular-season Conference USA Championship and turned in a 2014 year-end RPI in the low 30s.

Phelps spent the 2011-12 season as director of operations on coach Darrin Horn’s staff at South Carolina. While with the Gamecocks, Phelps was responsible for all of the business operations of the program as well as serving as an academic liaison. During that time, the program posted record academic achievements and a perfect APR score.

In 2010, Phelps served as the founder and director of the All-American Junior College Showcase in Las Vegas, Nev. The event was attended by more than 200 NCAA Division I coaching staffs.

While in Las Vegas, he also served as the vice president of marketing and expansion for National Youth Sports, an organization involved with all facets of youth sports leagues across Nevada, California, Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas and Oregon.

Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Phelps spent four years on the hardwood at Kent State working under coaches such as Jim Christian (now head coach at Boston College), Geno Ford (now head coach at Bradley), Robert Murphy (now head coach at Eastern Michigan) and Rob Senderoff.

During Phelps’ time at Kent State, the Golden Flashes won at least 20 games each year and made four postseason appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2006. The Flashes also had an 89-40 overall record and won three Mid-American Conference Championships.

Antonio Gates, who is now a Pro Bowl tight end for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, also starred on the hardwood at Kent State during that time. The Flashes also became of only six programs in the nation during that span to record 10 consecutive seasons of 20 or more victories, joining Creighton, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga and Kansas.

A 2001 graduate of Amelia High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Phelps earned his degree from Kent State in 2006.

He is married to the former Lisa DiPietro of Steubenville, Ohio.


In April 2014, Todd Moyer was handpicked by head coach Donnie Tyndall to serve as Tennessee’s associate director of strength and conditioning for men’s basketball.

Tyndall was already familiar with Moyer’s prowess as an athletic performance specialist, as Moyer served in the same role at Southern Miss during the 2013-14 season.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with several outstanding strength coaches in my career,” Tyndall said. “Todd Moyer is quite simply the best I’ve ever been around. He’s passionate about his job and in his dealings with our players. He will be phenomenal here at Tennessee.”

Moyer has trained several successful professional athletes, such as Cliff Avril (Seattle Seahawks), Quentin Groves (Cleveland Browns), Kory Lichtensteiger (Washington Redskins), Daniel Murphy (New York Mets) and Shaun Suisham (Pittsburgh Steelers).

Before his lone season at Southern Miss, Moyer spent eight years at the Jacksonville University, the last five of which he held the title of head strength and conditioning coach.

Moyer served as an intern at the Jacksonville in 2005-06 before taking an assistant strength and conditioning coach position at Wayne State in Detroit, Mich.

After completing a year at Wayne State, Moyer moved back to Jacksonville and joined Velocity Sports Performance while also volunteering his time at JU. He also served as a volunteer strength and conditioning coach with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars for two summers.

Moyer was a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Bowling Green, from 2004-05. He preceded that post with stints as a strength and condition intern for the USF football program in 2003 and the Detroit Tigers/Oneonta Tigers that same year.

Moyer earned his bachelor's degree as an Exercise Specialist from Bowling Green in 2002, and he also received his master's in Developmental Kinesiology from Bowling Green in 2005.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)


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