Spire 2022

RAMS Spotlight

After serving Bluefield University for three years, Tonia Walker accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the conference she formerly participated in during her tenure at Winston-Salem State University. Named as the Director of Athletics at Bluefield on July 1, 2019, Walker was elevated to Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics in 2020. Under her leadership the University added new programs in men’s and women’s track and field, and women’s golf. She was the driving force behind a division-wide strategic plan and created the Bluefield University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This group of student leaders which allows all student-athletes the opportunity to communicate with leadership and to develop leadership skills.

Markell Cox was named the next head women’s basketball coach. Cox comes to BU from the University of Arkansas at Monticello where he served as head coach the past two years. Cox takes over the program from Corey Mullins, who was recently named Director of Athletics at BU. Rams Baseball had its best start in recent school history with a 15-game winning streak during the 2022 season. David Meech , outfielder for BU baseball, was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference First Team and the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) College Division All-State second team. Louis Belt was named the next head men’s and women’s tennis coach after previously serving as the tennis head coach at Bluefield State University. Patrick Ridder was named the next head women’s soccer coach with more than a decade of soccer coaching experience, most recently as the assistant coach at NCAA Division II Missouri Southern State University. Alex Smith was named the next head men’s soccer coach after serving as the head women’s soccer coach at the University of Maine at Fort Kent for three years. Men’sVolleyball finished the 2022 season with the most conference wins in school history. Four players were named to Academic All MSC honors: Jariel Diaz, Alvaro Grande, Tony Martin, and Colby Mutter.

Leslie Flores (left) is the Bluefield University 2021-22 Female Athlete of the Year. Flores was named AAC Player of the Year in the 2021 season. A rising senior from South Charleston, Ohio, Flores had 406 kills, 34 service aces, and 432 digs this season.


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