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Wednesday, March 09, 2011Farrell Gean was a dual athletic threat during his time at Lipscomb University, then known as David Lipscomb College. Gean, from Savannah, Tenn., came to Lipscomb in 1968 and played both baseball and basketball. He is the last male Lipscomb athlete to play two sports for four seasons. As a sophomore he set three school hitting records (49 hits, 13 doubles, and seven home runs) and tied for the school record in runs batted in with 43. In 1971 as a junior he was a major contributor as one of the “Miracle” Bisons in baseball. He and Butch Stinson were recognized by the NAIA as two of the top players in the NAIA Tournament over a 20-year period.
Gean, who was also “Bachelor of Ugliness” taught at Lipscomb in the business department before joining the faculty at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., where has taught the past 30 years. Gean was in town for a reunion of the “Miracle” Bisons and spent some time talking with lipscombsports.com.
What sports did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
“I played baseball for Ken Dugan all four years. In basketball I played for coach Dugan my first two years and for Mike Clark my junior and senior years. I played from 1968-72.
“Some people accused coach Dugan of recruiting me for baseball using the basketball budget.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“One memory would be against Western Kentucky in 1970 or 1971 where I hit a grand slam in the first inning. And then the bases got loaded again and I missed a second grand slam by just inches.
“The triple I got in 1971 in the NAIA World Series against Appalachian State to keep us going was a highlight. We were in the loser’s bracket. It was the ninth inning with two outs and nobody on base. We were down 13-10. Ted Jamison singled. Butch Stinson got a hit. It was my turn to step up and I was not about to be the one who ended it. I closed my eyes and swung and brought them in. We eventually won 14-13.
“Collectively, the way we were supported in the World Series and the way we played is a favorite.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“The classroom experiences in the accounting classes stand out. Dr. Axel Swang was quite a classroom performer. I was an accounting major and Dr. Swang, Hal Wilson and Charles Frasier inspired me to study accounting.”>/i>
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“It is about more than just earning a living. It is what is inside that counts.
“The whole environment was great at Lipscomb. When you combined Dr. Swang with coach Dugan you learned about having a strong work ethic. It was kind of a double whammy. “
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
“Axel Swang was my favorite professor. I visited him during this trip. He was such a big baseball fan. I really admired his work ethic.
“He pushed me to follow the C.P.A. route and he encouraged me to do graduate work. He was a great mentor.”
Where do you live now?
“I live in Simi Valley, Calif. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
“The end of April will be the end of my 30th year at Pepperdine. I went there in the fall of 1981. I am a professor of accounting. “They have been awfully good to me out there. The accounting students there are very good. I don’t know if I could have made it as a student there. I have a great view of the Pacific Ocean from my office.”
Tell us about your family.
“My wife, Virginia Young Gean, is from South Carolina. Her Dad, Ed Young, was a United States Congressman from South Carolina. We have been married for 15 years.
“She had her own business for 15 years making women’s suits. She has her MBA. She does some adjunct teaching at Pepperdine.”