Sept. 5, 2006
When Dr. Ralph Samples was asked to coach golf at Lipscomb University in the spring of 1968 he agreed to do it for one year.
This past spring he finally ended that one-year commitment after 39 years at the helm. Friends, family and former members of the Lipscomb golf teams are invited to attend "The Ralph Roast" honoring the accomplishments of that long career.
The roast is scheduled for Sept. 23 beginning at 6 p.m. at Allen Arena. Tickets are $20 apiece with the proceeds to be used to benefit the Ralph Samples Scholarship Fund for Student Athletes.
Samples won't be completely leaving the program. Dr. Steve Potts, Lipscomb's director of athletics, has offered Samples the opportunity to spend as much time as he wants around the golf program and the athletic department.
For someone who had no intention of coaching, Samples leaves an impressive legacy. Some of the accomplishments are:
• Teams have won more than 100 tournaments
• Teams participated in 24 NAIA National Tournaments
• President of NAIA National Coaches Association (1984)
• Director of NAIA District 24 for 18 years
• Winner of gold medal as coach of Team USA in World University Golf Championship in San Lameer, South Africa (1998)
• Inducted into NAIA National Golf Coaches Hall of Fame (1988)
• Inducted into Lipscomb Athletics Hall of Fame (1989)
• Coached Will Brewer, winner of NAIA Nationals (1976)
• Coached Katherine Neely, winner of NAIA Nationals (2001)
His teams traveled extensively, participating in tournaments in St. Andrews, Scotland, Hawaii, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
Samples has a Bachelor's degree from Lipscomb, a Masters from the University of Chattanooga (now UT-Chattanooga) and a Doctorate from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
He is a native of Cleveland, Tenn., where he played football for Bradley County High School. He and his wife, Mimi, have been married for 47 years.
To pay for tickets or to make a donation by debit or credit card call Greta Harber at 615-279-5899 or 800-333-4358, ext. 5899. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.