Matthew Griffith didn't take the direct route from Lipscomb Academy to Lipscomb University, but he found his way back home where he spent two years on the Lipscomb pitching staff. Griffith didn't take a direct route to a career in architecture either, but he is a senior project manager and account manager specializing in health care facilities. He spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play baseball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches
"I was at Lipscomb from 2003-2004. I actually started out at MTSU. I played there my freshman and sophomore years and then I transferred. I was a right-handed pitcher.
"Wynn Fletcher was the head coach"
Why did you decide to transfer to Lipscomb?
"I literally grew up around Lipscomb. I was pretty much a lifer except for my two years at MTSU. My Dad, Lynn Griffith, still works there. My Mom, Dianne, taught at the high school forever.
"I was comfortable with the school. I knew tons of people there. Tons of kids from the high school go there so I had a bunch of good friends.
"It was kind of a three-fold thing - friends, athletics and finances. A baseball scholarship, combined with my Dad's tuition discount, was a nice little deal for me."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"It was hanging out with my teammates and the bond you get with your teammates. It wasn't so much the games, but the bus trips with the guys, hanging out in the locker room, goofing off before and after practice and hanging out on weekends.
"My senior year Central Florida was ranked in the teens somewhere nationally. They came to Lipscomb to play. I pitched really well in the first game against them, but I lost 3-1. In the next game we beat them so that was kind of a thrill to beat a team ranked in the top 25."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"My Dad wasn't the baseball coach, but honestly it would be him. It was not only college but growing up Dad was always stressing the mental side of sports. I think that always helped me out when I was at Lipscomb when we weren't doing well as a team, but also when I was playing well in baseball growing up.
"When I was at MTSU and I struggled he would always preach to me about keeping my head up and the mental side of preparation. I think that was helpful.
"He also looks at it from a spiritual standpoint with Bible verses and that sort of thing to back up his philosophy.
"Some kids won't listen to their parents growing up. They think they know it all. But Dad always had a good way of knowing the right amount to say and not being overly oppressive. He said the right things at the right time."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"I met my wife, Brittney (Logan), at Lipscomb. We met through a mutual friend. She dated one of my friends for a while. When I started dating her they had already broken up.
"She was an education major so I didn't have any classes with her. We never really crossed paths before I met her. A lot of the girls I knew growing up at Lipscomb High School were her good friends.
"Our first date we went to play putt-putt golf and then went and ate Chinese food."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"As far as a philosophy I know this is not college-related, but I played football in high school for Coach (Glenn) McCadams. The team verse my senior year was Proverbs 16:3 which says `commit to the Lord in whatever you do and your plans will succeed.'
"I loved that verse. I try to apply that to anything whether it is work-related or whatever I am doing."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Jim Thomas was one of my favorites. I thought he was great.
"He was big on presentations in class. We had to do a solo presentation or a group presentation. You hated doing it at the time, but you didn't realize how much that was going to prepare you for real life and the real world.
"I'm an architect. I work for an architectural firm. Presentations and conveying your ideas to clients are paramount in my profession. I didn't realize it then, but his class has served me very well."
How does a mass communication major become an architect?
"I majored in mass communication and minored in graphic design. If you had asked me out of high school I would have told you I didn't really care what I majored in. I was going to play professional baseball. That doesn't work out for a lot of kids.
"I was always interested in art and I was pretty good at drawing. I always liked the idea of constructing things. I kind of leaned towards architecture, but there aren't many architecture programs around here. The closest one is at the University of Tennessee.
"In the back of my mind I wanted to maybe pursue architecture. I kind of leaned more to the art side of it. That is why I took graphic design courses.
"Unfortunately, all of the graphic design studios, which were taught back then by Ralph Thurman, were all in the late afternoon or early evenings. I was all in playing baseball and they would have conflicted with baseball practice.
"I didn't really plan on majoring in communications. It was something that just kind of happened but looking back I am glad I did. It has ended up serving me well with what I am doing."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I am a senior project manager at the Gould Turner Group. I help manage one of our big healthcare accounts. I would say that 70 percent of our work is healthcare related.
"It is working on everything from brand new hospitals to office suite renovations. It is pretty much everything that is health-related. It is a complicated building type. Codes are constantly changing. It keeps you on your toes.
"A lot of it is overall design work. I manage the project from early schematic designs all the way through construction,,,all facets of it.
"I have been here 18 months. I was at another firm for eight years."
Tell us about your family.
"Brittney and I have three children. Logan is our oldest daughter and she just turned seven years old. We have twins, a girl, Harper, and a boy, Knox. They turn four in April."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.