|Position:||Defensive Assistant Coach / CBs|
Deane Cheatham joined the Western Carolina defensive coaching staff in the summer of 2018 as the defensive assistant coach, working primarily with the cornerbacks.
Alongside secondary coach Tripp Weaver, Cheatham worked with Ronald Kent Jr., a two-time Freshman All-America selection (Phil Steele, HERO Sports) and Southern Conference All-Freshman defensive team honoree. Kent, who graced the Jerry Rice Award Watch List for the nation's top freshman, tallied 45 tackles and a team-best 12 pass break-ups - a mark that ranked him tied for sixth in WCU's single-season record books and the most by a Catamount since 2002.
A former All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tight end at James Madison, Cheatham came to Cullowhee after a year as a graduate assistant coach at Conference USA-member Marshall. At WCU, he will work alongside former JMU assistant coach, Tripp Weaver, in assisting with the secondary. He will also be involved in video film study, game break-down, and assisting in the press box on game days.
Cheatham spent five-years as a student-athlete at James Madison from 2011-2015, playing tight end and fullback for the Dukes’ offense. He played in 34 games during his collegiate career making 33 starts, finishing with 94 receptions for 1,110 yards and nine touchdowns. He added eight rushes for 25 yards and six kick returns for 124 yards coming in his senior season in 2015.
Named a captain his senior year, Cheatham was a second-team All-CAA honoree after ranking 10th in the CAA in yards per catch (13.7), while also collecting a pair of All-State plaudits from VaSID and the Roanoke Times.
Originally from Mechanicsville, Va., Cheatham played as a prep at Hanover High in where he was a two-way starter at running back and linebacker. He was the Capital District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2010, helping guide his high school team to its first Capital District Championship. Out of high school, he was a two-star recruit according to Rivals.com when he was signed by JMU.
Cheatham is the son of Deane (III) and Cindy Cheatham.