Students and employees at University of the Cumberlands are grieving the passing of student-athlete, Grant Brace, who passed away unexpectedly Monday night, August 31. Brace, who hails from Louisville, Tennessee, was a junior at Cumberlands and a Patriots wrestling team member.

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we announce the loss of Grant Brace,” said Cumberlands President Larry Cockrum. “Grant’s life was cut far too short, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew him. I ask the entire Cumberlands family to join me in praying for Grant’s family and friends.”

The Whitley County Coroner’s office is in the very early stages of its review, but there is no indication at this time to suspect that Brace’s death was related to anything other than natural causes.

Brace came to Cumberlands as a wrestler in the fall of 2018. He was a featured varsity wrestler on the men’s team, tallying three falls in his career, including a pin in the 2018 Patriot Open. His last win was a 13-5 Major Decision over Keiser University. Brace previously attended Alcoa High School just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, and was majoring in business administration. He was 20 years old. 

“We are all shocked and saddened by the unexpected passing of Grant,” said Chris Kraftick, Director of Athletics. “He has brought high character and integrity to the Patriots family over the past two years and has always been part of our OneBigTeam. The entire athletic department is devastated by this news, and our hearts and prayers go out to his family, teammates, and friends.”

Additional details of Brace’s death are unavailable at this time and are being investigated by local officials with the city police and coroner’s office. Cumberlands asks that the campus community help to maintain a sense of privacy for the family. 

Classes at the university’s Williamsburg campus have been canceled for Tuesday, September 1. Throughout the day in Gatliff Chapel, ministry and counseling teams will be available to support the campus community through this difficult time. Students, faculty, and staff who need further assistance are encouraged to contact the university’s Counseling Center at counselingcenter [at] or 606.539.3566.