The University of the Cumberlands Football team was recognized on Saturday, January 12th during half-time of the men’s basketball game versus Mountain State University. The Patriots were presented with the Mid-South Conference East trophy by former UC football coach Tom Dowling for their conference title during the 2007 season.
Cumberlands finished the season with an overall 8-3 record and a 4-1 MSC record. One of the most decisive games for the MSC championship was the University of Virginia - Wise (UVAW) game that took place on November 3, 2007.
The MSC Championship trophy is named after Cumberlands former coach, Tom Dowling for his great appreciation and achievements toward the sport. Dowling began the football program at Cumberlands in 1985, led the team to a perfect 10-0 season in 1988 and their first NAIA Play-off appearance before leaving Cumberlands in 1996 to become the inaugural Commissioner of the Mid-South Conference. In acknowledgement of Dowling’s retirement, the Conference honored him by naming the trophy in his honor.
It has been 19 years since the Cumberlands’ football team has taken home the MSC East trophy. Current Patriot Coach John Bland said, “It is great for Tom to be a part of this event, as well as everyone else that is a part of this school,” said Bland. “We are accepting this trophy on behalf of all the UC football teams over the past 19 years. They worked and fought hard as well.”
Coach Bland thoroughly enjoyed this past season and hopes that his players are able to learn and grow from their experiences this year. “I want them all to take away from this past season the experience of being a winner,” states Coach Bland. “Winning a championship is the ultimate prize, but it is what God has accomplished through each one of us. All of the pride and honor should go to Him.”