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 eight seasons of experience as a Division I staffer. He is in his second year at Tennessee and works closely with the Vols’ post players.
"Coach Shu takes the time to teach you important little details step-by-step," Vols freshman Willie Carmichael III said. "Off the court, he's the best mentor you could ask for."
In his first season with the Vols in 2014-15, Shumate helped mold an undersized frontcourt—that featured three true freshmen and no players exceeding 215 pounds—into a unit that boasted a positive rebounding margin, ranked second in the SEC in rebounding defense and fourth in offensive rebounding.
Junior forwards Armani Moore and Derek Reese both more than doubled their scoring output from the season before Shumate’s arrival. They were the team’s top-two rebounders, and Moore—standing just 6-foot-5—ranked among the top 10 in the SEC in total rebounding (8th), offensive rebounding (5th) and blocks (9th).
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 of 29.
"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 love him."
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 in 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.