Pippa Passes, KY: After a three-month postponement, Alice Lloyd College introduced the Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The ceremony typically takes place on campus each October during the Appalachia Day Homecoming festivities, but unfortunately, that event was postponed due to COVID-19. At last, on January 30th, 2021, four worthy recipients were finally able to have their names added to this elite fraternity. They were recognized at the Perry Campus Center on “Coach J Court” between the basketball doubleheader against Asbury University. This year’s inductees are David Adams, Brandon Arnold, Cody Hyden, and Ariel Nickell.
David Adams hails from Carr Creek, KY, and is a graduate of Knott County Central High School. He attended Alice Lloyd from 1979-1981, where he majored in Health and PE Education. He later completed his degree and received his Master’s from Morehead State University. He was a two-year member of the Eagles basketball team, as ALC was still a junior college when he attended.
During his playing career at Alice Lloyd, he quickly proved to be a solid contributor at the guard position. In 1980, he helped lead the Eagles to the Elite 8 in the National Little College Tournament. In his second year, he led the squad to the District Title and was named Tournament MVP. In the nationals, he led the team to a third-place finish and was named to the All-Tournament Team for his efforts.
After working in the public school system for several years, he returned to Alice Lloyd in 2005 to become head coach of the ALC Lady Eagles Basketball squad. His 2007 club finished as the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champions and the tournament runner-up. That season, he was voted Conference Coach of the Year. In 2008, he again led the Lady Eagles to a high placement, and they finished the year as the KIAC Tournament Runner-up for a second time.
Currently, he resides in Carr Creek, Kentucky, and is employed by the Knott County Board of Education. He has served his community as an educator for 34 years.
He was accompanied on the floor by his wife Vonda, son Seth, daughter-in-law Savannah, and his grandson Bennett.
Brandon Arnold hails from Bristol, Virginia, and is a graduate of Virginia High School. He attended Alice Lloyd from 2010-2013, where he graduated with a degree in Biology and Kinesiology and minored in Chemistry. As a member of the Eagles baseball team, he was known for his all-around game on both sides of the diamond.
During his 3-year college career, he was a solid hitter and outfielder. In 2012, he was chosen as a Gold Glove winner. Twice, he was named the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) and the USCAA Player of the Week. He was also voted 2nd Team All-Conference, as well as USCAA Honorable Mention All-American.
In 2013, he received similar accolades. Twice, he was named the KIAC and the USCAA Player of the Week. He was also voted 2nd Team All-Conference as well as USCAA Second Team All-American. He was a solid student off the court, named to either the President’s List or Dean’s List each semester he attended.
After graduation, he accepted a position at ALC. He has served as the Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country coach for the past six seasons and also served as the Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach for the past four years. He also became the inaugural coach of the school’s first men and women’s Track program two years ago. At all levels, he has had great success.
He has taken six consecutive women’s clubs to the NCCAA DII National Cross-Country Championships. Twice, they finished as National Runner-up, and twice they finished in 3rd place. His men’s cross-country team has finished in 3rd place on two occasions at the NCCAA DII Nationals, and this season, they were the National runner-up. He has also produced 6 NCCAA Cross Country All-Americans and 3 NAIA National qualifiers. In basketball, two clubs he assisted qualified for back-to-back NAIA DII National Championships, and his third advanced to the NCCAA DI National Championship last season. He also had individual qualifiers to the NCCAA National Track Championship in his first season and assisted the baseball team to the NCCAA World Series in 2017.
Currently, he resides in Pippa Passes, Kentucky, and has served his community for the past six years as a Student Services Department member at Alice Lloyd College. He was just named this year as the Dean of Students and Director of Housing.
He was accompanied on the floor by his wife Char-Leigh, and his daughter, Vivian.
Cody Hyden hails from Blountville, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Sullivan Central High School. He attended Alice Lloyd from 2011-2014, where he graduated with a Sports and Fitness Degree. As a three-year member of the Eagles baseball team, he was known for his solid hitting.
He made his presence felt as a sophomore when he quickly earned a significant supporting role, but his game took off as a junior. In 2012, he was named the KIAC Player of the Week three different times and National Player of the Week. He was also voted 1st Team All-Conference, as well as USCAA First Team All-American. In 2013, he was named the KIAC Player of the Week once more and voted All-Conference for the second consecutive season. In 2014, he showed his versatility after his baseball career came to an end. That season, he joined the golf team and was promptly voted to the All-Conference squad in that sport as well.
Currently, he resides in Bristol, Tennessee, where he has served his community for the past five years as a Member Service Trainer at Eastman Credit Union.
He was accompanied on the floor by his wife, Chelsea, and his children, Bo and Reid.
Ariel Nickell hails from Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, and is a product of Claiborne High School. She attended Alice Lloyd from 2010-2014, where she graduated with a Health and PE Education Degree. As a four-year member of the Lady Eagles, she completely rewrote the record books.
She showed a preview of things to come as a freshman. In her inaugural year, she finished third in the league in scoring and averaged 16.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. This helped lead the club to the championship game of the KIAC Tournament. For her efforts, she was recognized with several Player of the Week honors and was the only freshman in the league named First Team All-Conference.
Her game only elevated as a sophomore. That season, she led the squad to a third-place conference finish while pumping in 22.5 points and grabbing 9.5 rebounds per game. Both of these numbers led the conference, and her scoring average was fourth nationally. Not only was she recognized with numerous Player of the Week honors, and she was voted as the Conference Player of the Year, named NAIA DII Second Team All-American, and voted First Team All-American by the USCAA. Additionally, she was named the Female Athlete of the Year by the entire KIAC.
Her junior year was even more impressive. She propelled the Lady Eagles to 18-wins while leading the nation in scoring at 25.9 points per game. She also finished second in the country in rebounding at 12.9 per outing. Naturally, she recognized with numerous Player of the Week honors, and for the second consecutive season, she was voted as the Conference Player of the Year. Additionally, she was also named an NAIA DII Third Team All-American and chosen First Team All-American by the USCAA. Logically, she was once again named the Female Athlete of the Year by the entire KIAC.
As a senior, she left her mark in Lady Eagle history. On the season, she led the club to another 17-win season while finishing second in the nation in scoring at 25.6 points per game. She also led the country in rebounding with a 13.3 average. In addition to her multitude of Player of the Week honors, she was voted as the Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. Additionally, she was named once again as an NAIA DII Third Team All-American. To the surprise of no one, she garnered the Female Athlete of the Year honor for the third time by the KIAC.
When her illustrious career had reached its conclusion, she had produced staggering numbers. During her 115 games in the royal blue and white, she had poured in an all-time school record of 2,587 points, grabbed a school-record of 1,241 rebounds, and recorded 221 steals. Her career averages during that time were: 22.5 points, 10.9 rebounds, and two steals per outing. These are all records as well. She is the only player in school history to be named First Team All-Conference for four seasons and named NAIA DII All-American for three seasons. She is also the only athlete in school history to be chosen as the KIAC Female Athlete of the Year, and she received that honor three times as well. She also was a solid student who was regularly on the Dean’s List.
She currently resides in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, and has served her community for the past six years as a member of the Bell County Board of Education. She currently teaches at Yellow Creek School, the Lone Jack School, and is the head girls basketball coach of the Claiborne County Lady Bulldogs.
She was accompanied on the floor by her mother, Kim Gipfert.