When he was eight or nine years old Mike Dugan was driving by Onion Dell Field after church. Mike asked his father, Ken, the legendary baseball coach for Lipscomb, if he could be a Bison someday. The answer was "yes, if he was willing to work hard enough". Mike always felt he was destined to be at Lipscomb and he fulfilled that feeling as a member of the baseball team. He spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com about his college experiences.
What years did you play baseball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played baseball from 1986-89. I was a catcher. My coach was my Dad. Al Austelle was the assistant coach."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"It has to be playing for Dad. He put a lot of time and energy into coaching and made a lot of sacrifices.
"It seems like I pretty much grew up on a baseball field. I pretty much was born on a field. I would spend all my days out there. After school I would walk over and meet my Mom (Diane) for games or I would walk over to practice to see my Dad.
"I knew all of the players. It was hard to beat. I was fortunate enough to grow up in that environment.
"I distinctively remember when I was younger we were driving by the field after church which we did quite often. I asked Dad, `Do you think I will ever be a Bison'? I remember he said, 'yes if you work hard enough you can'.
"I remember by senior year how special it was when Dad asked me to be a part of the baseball team."
Being recruited by your father had to be an interesting situation. What was it like?
"It was very interesting. I felt like Dad didn't want to influence me one way or the other.
"I think if you really look at it Lipscomb was the place where I was supposed to be. Luckily, I realized that and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
"I played at Lipscomb Academy. There were a few games during my high school career where I would look up in the stands and see some of Dad's players sitting in the stands. I thought it was weird. After the games they would wait around and talk with me to try to get a feel for what I was thinking. I guess he let some of his players do some of his work for him.
"I think if you look back Lipscomb is where I was always going to come. I was meant to be here."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Dad obviously had a big impact, but having said that, I think my Mom did as well. Being a collegiate coach takes an enormous amount of time. Dad was gone a lot and it left my Mom to make sure my brother, Kurt, and I were where we needed to be.
"There was one week where between my Dad's games, my games and my brother's games she saw like 18 ball games or at least some part of them.
"I knew Mom was going to always be there. You could always hear her cheering.
"Playing for your Dad can sometimes have its moments. Mom was the one I could talk to after games.
"When I arrived here I remember two or three weeks into the fall schedule I saw the commitment my father had to put a good team on the field and the time that it took to accomplish everything he accomplished.
"If I took nothing else away from my four years here that meant a lot for me to see the energy and effort he put into the team behind the scenes.
"Mom was the biggest fan of all of us. I don't guess any of us could have made it through baseball if it hadn't been for her."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"I would have to say living in the dorm with all of the other athletes. In the '80s all of the athletes lived on the seventh floor of High Rise. We got to know each other very well. A lot of us were going through the same experiences.
"I created some incredible friendships. I had the same roommate, John Williams, for four years in a row. He is one of my best friends. There are some great memories of being in the dorm.
"I took Spanish with Philip Hutcheson. I remember my roommate, Philip and I would study together a lot. It was fun times."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"When I picked Lipscomb as where I wanted to go the Christian education played such a big role in my life and it continues to do that. My kids are at Lipscomb Academy. I have such an incredible situation now looking at their experiences in chapel and in Bible classes.
"Their teachers, and the people here, are what make Lipscomb so special. My wife and I and the kids are on campus almost every day.
"The people here when I was in school influenced my life and the people here now are continuing to influence my life."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I would have to be Dr. Marlin Connelly. I was a speech communication major. He was my guidance counselor and helped guide me through my four years here. He was a big baseball fan. He attended a lot of our games.
"I enjoyed his classes. I appreciated the guidance he gave me. He had some great stories. That was one of the things that kept everybody so engaged.
"I felt how much he enjoyed teaching through our one-on-one conversations. He was very interested in me. As a young kid that meant a lot.
"He was also our neighbor when I was growing up. He and his family lived one door down. His son, Andy, was my age and we hung out together. I was always at Dr. Connelly's home.
"One day when I was eight or nine years old my Dad had a chain saw accident. He fell out of a tree and was basically bleeding to death. Dr. Connelly witnessed it and ran over and saved Dad's life by putting a tourniquet on his arm."
Where do you live now?
"We live in Nashville, about a mile from campus."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I am a public health manager. I work for a division of AstraZeneca, a pharmaceuticals company. I sell vaccines for them. I have been there seven years. I cover Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia."
Tell us about your family.
"My wife, Amory, and I have been married for 15 years. We have two sons. Will is 11 and Jack is eight. They love baseball and basketball. They are into all sports. We spend our time chasing them around."
My email address is email@example.com.