One quick conversation will reveal a character of humility, appreciation, and deep family values. Barry Dean grew up in Nashville, where he has stayed throughout his college and professional career. He’s a husband, a father and grandfather, and a partner at a booming CPA firm. This week he spoke about favorite memories and Lipscomb teammates in a conversation with LipscombSports.com.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
I played basketball for Mike Clark one year (1972-73) and Charles Strasburger one year (1973-74). Charlie Pearman and Mark Massey were the assistants.
What teammates were most memorable to you?
I have very good memories of several teammates, and all for different reasons. Bob Burton was a senior when I was a freshman, and we were about the same height but he was a lot bigger -- he was like my big brother. He took me under his wing and made me, a freshman, feel like I was somebody. We also shot a lot of pool together.
The next teammate that comes to mind is Clyde Whitworth. He was just a funny, fun-loving guy who played the same position as me, so we often guarded each other in practice, and I suppose that formed kind of a bond. I also credit him with getting me started in Accounting. I was studying Business, but he told me, “Dean, major in Accounting and you can be an F.B.I. agent.” I didn’t follow the F.B.I. route, but I took Charles Frasier for that first Accounting class and I was hooked.
Bobby Ferrell was a roommate as well as a teammate, so we became good friends – so good, in fact, that he was in my wedding. Bobby was a basketball junkie who wanted to play every chance he got. He was one year older than me, but I guarded him in high school – he was playing for Donelson and I was at Hillwood. When we finally met up on the college team and everyone talked about what a great scorer he was, I said “Ferrell, you weren’t that hot. I shut you down in high school.” He said, “Dean, I put up 32 points on you!” “Yeah,” I added, “but you were averaging 33.” I figured I held him under his average, and that was better than most people did.
And finally, Cooper Wood is my definition of a player who just loves the game. We ended up playing together long after college. He would find a league and put together a team – Paul Compton, Frank Bennett, Butch Stinson and others – and we played together at John Trotwood Moore into our late 20s.
What degree did you earn?
I graduated from Lipscomb with a B.S. in Accounting in 1976.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
I looked at several schools – Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee, Lipscomb and MTSU – but I really wanted to play basketball, and Lipscomb was the best fit. I also liked the fact that Lipscomb was a Christian school. Coach Clark offered me the chance to play at Lipscomb, so I took it.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
I suppose the games against Belmont are my favorite athletic memories. Their teams always had a lot of local guys, like ours, so it was a really good rivalry – players who had faced each other in high school taking it to a higher level with more fans and more at stake. My sophomore year they were really better than us, but we beat them two out of three games and upset them (84-77) at their gym. That game was on TV, which was rare at the time, so it was a big deal to us.
In addition, my future wife, Janet, started at Lipscomb and was pursuing her nursing degree at Belmont. The rivalry was strong enough that our players weren’t supposed to go to their campus during game week, but I did anyway, and that added to the spice.
And finally, on most game days I would receive a phone call from Chuck Ross. He would want to know what number I was wearing that night, and then he would begin to ask me questions about another teammate, Calvin Bailey. Eventually I would find Calvin and hand the phone to him. I would never tell him who was calling, because I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have taken the call. Afterward, he made me pay for it though. He was a senior and I was a freshman, and I imagine he didn’t consider that proper respect.
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
Two teammates, Bob Burton and David Martin. They were both seniors, and they mentored me and taught me what a freshman needed to know.
What are your non-athletic memories from your time in school?
My non-athletic memories are probably the same as most students from our time – I’ve learned to value the relationships and have really learned to appreciate the friendships more than anything else. You can spend a lot of time with friends when you consider dorm life, chapel, intramurals, cafeteria, and for me, Alpha Kappa Psi (business fraternity) after I finished playing basketball. All those relationships are great.
There are stories involved in all those relationships, and as Ronnie Hunter told me one time, “You know, when you go through life you need to have stories to tell.” He probably borrowed that from someone, but it’s true, and the college years are good times to cultivate friendships and to create stories to tell.
What are the most valuable lessons you learned in your time on campus?
- Protect your reputation because it has tremendous value.
- Be a person of integrity.
- Realize that all your actions have consequences – good and bad.
- Pay special attention to those you spend time around – you’ll be known by that company.
Several of these are why Lipscomb was appealing to me. It’s so important to place yourself in an environment that increases your odds of being around people who make you better. I know that no place is perfect and that I can learn from all types of people, but at that stage of life Lipscomb was the very best place for me because it encouraged me to cultivate friendships that made me better.
Who was your favorite professor?
Charles Frasier was my favorite, by far. He made accounting interesting, he talked business all the time, and he was a fun-loving, positive guy – a good guy to be around. In addition, he is a very spiritual man – an ideal mentor for me. We spent 32 years practicing accounting together as partners.
How did Frasier, Dean & Howard come about?
Charles was my professor, of course, and he had a small accounting firm. When I graduated, I went to work as an accountant for a larger firm for a couple of years, but Charles and I went to church together and he eventually asked me if I’d ever thought about working at a smaller firm. I asked him “how small?” and he answered, “Pretty small … it’s me and a part-time secretary, and I’m there about half the time.” He was right, it was pretty small, but we got together and never looked back.
We grew pretty quickly. I joined him in 1978, David Howard joined us from Deloitte & Touche in 1983, and we had ten partners and approximately 50 professionals when we were acquired last November by Cherry Bekaert LLP. They’re a great firm -- the second largest CPA firm in the Southeast and the 25th largest in the U.S. – with solid resources. It was an ideal partnership at an ideal time.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for 41 years to Janet, who actually lived about two blocks from me off White Bridge Road as an infant, but our families never met. Her family moved after about one year to Louisville, and we met about 17 years later at Lipscomb. She is a “retired” Registered Nurse, although every RN will tell you they are never retired because everybody asks them nursing questions.
We have two adult daughters. Kristy is married to Patrick Crawford, and they have two daughters: Addison and Ansley. Lindsay married Daniel Meek, and they have a girl and a boy: Savannah and Sawyer. They all live near us in Franklin.
Favorite food: Sea bass
Favorite TV show: “This Is Us”
Favorite scripture: 1 Peter 5:7 – “Let Him have all your worries and cares for He is always thinking and watching over everything that concerns you.”
Favorite sports team: Auburn football
Pet peeve: Texting – can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
Person I most admire: My father. He’s just solid, consistent, steady, and always there. He’s a quiet leader whom I really admire.
Favorite season: Fall
Pick one – salad or dessert: Dessert
Dream vacation spot: Italy
Early morning or late night person: I’ve flipped. I used to be a night person, but I’ve become a morning person.
You can reach Barry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org