University of the Cumberlands
2016-17 Men's Basketball Coaches
Donnie Butcher Image
Donnie Butcher
Head Coach - 17th Season

Don Butcher, a native of Paintsville, Kentucky, began his coaching career in 1989 when he became an assistant coach at Cumberlands. His collegiate playing days were spent at Georgetown College. Twelve and a half years later, in November of 2000, he became the head coach of University of the Cumberlands making this his 17th year. During his first year as head coach, he was named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year with a 21-13 record. In 2003, Coach Butcher was named Co-Coach of the Year, while also receiving Coach of the Year in 2010-2011 season. Coach Butcher's career record now at Cumberlands is 347-165. He has been to the NAIA National Tournament twelve times, in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 as the head coach.

Coach Butcher came to Cumberlands because he felt it was, "A great place to work and a great place to be a student. Both the faculty and staff here want the students to succeed and you don't find that at every school. There is a proud tradition and they want to see it continue. All the coaches at Cumberlands should be grateful for the pledge of excellence the administration has made."

Coach Butcher feels the best thing about being a coach is, "working with and helping to mold young men. Teaching them that it is okay to ‘keep on keeping on!' by putting in an honest day's work even when you may see very little benefits from that day's work." He admits that the worst thing about being a coach is, "Players graduate and I lose contact with them." And the biggest disappointment is "every year we seem to lose our last game. I want one of my teams to be able to say they are the Champions!" Perhaps, most critical of himself, Coach Butcher says, "I'm not sure I've ever coached a good game. I am still trying to get one right." Coach Butcher says his best advice to athletes is to "get your college degree. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!! Whatever you end up doing with your life, do it with pride."

Coach Butcher resides in Williamsburg with his wife of 26 years, Bonnie, and his two sons, Don Russell, Jr., 24, and Daniel Raymond, 22.
Rodney Clarke Image
Rodney Clarke
Assistant Coach - 4th Season

Rodney Clarke is entering his 4th season as an Assistant Coach for the Patriot Men’s Basketball program.

Clarke, a native of Mobile, Alabama, is a graduate of University of the Cumberlands (then Cumberland College) in 2004 where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Movement and Leisure Studies.  During his time here at Cumberlands, Clarke and his team made three straight appearances in the NAIA National Tournament in 2001, 2002, and 2003. As a player, his team tallied a record of 72-29 in Clarke’s three seasons.

After his playing days were over, Clarke took to the coaching ranks where he coached at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, Alabama.  While at John Carroll for three seasons, Clarke helped guide the Cavaliers to an astonishing 106-17 record.  Clarke has also coached two NCAA Division I athletes including Ryan Fitch from West Alabama and Alabama standout Andrew Steele.

Clarke and the Patriots have earned three consecutive trips to the NAIA National Championship Tournament in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In the national tournament, the 2015 team made it to the Sweet 16, while the 2016 team made it to the Elite 8.

Coach Clarke is a father of three, Tyler (17) and twins, Versailles and Zharion (14).

Ethan Faulkner Image
Ethan Faulkner
Assistant Coach - 1st Season

Ethan Faulkner is entering his 1st season as an Assistant Coach for the Patriot Men’s Basketball program.

Faulkner, a native of Sandy Hook, Kentucky, is a 2014 graduate of Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Physical Education.  During his time at Northern Kentucky, Faulkner was a team captain for two years while playing in 117 games with 73 starts in his career. He currently stands in the top 10 in all-time career assists and 11th in all-time free throw percentage at his alma mater. Another notable collegiate achievement is the 2011-2012 All-GLVC selection he received.

Before attending NKU, Faulkner attended Elliott County High School where he scored over 2500 career points. He was also a two-time 16th Region Player of the Year, three-time 16th Region Tournament MVP, and three-time Kentucky All-State Selection. During his time at Elliot County, his team saw three 16th Region Championships/Kentucky State Tournament appearances with a Final Four presence in 2009.

After his playing days were over, Faulkner took to the coaching ranks where he was an assistant coach at Northern Kentucky.  During his time at NKU, he coached an A-Sun Freshman of the Year and two 2nd Team All-Conference players. Next, Faulkner was an assistant coach for Mount Vernon Nazarene University. While at MVNU, Faulkner coached a Crossroads League 3rd Team player and an All-Newcomer Team player.

When asked about his thoughts of joining the UC basketball program, Coach Faulkner said, “I am humbled and honored to be joining the Men's Basketball program at University of the Cumberlands.  I couldn't be more excited for the opportunity to learn from a successful coach like Coach Butcher.  This program is full of tradition and I look forward to playing a small part in continuing to uphold the standard of excellence that has been established here for many years.”