NASHVILLE – After five years of working with the Purple and Gold, Steven Mason has officially been added on as a full-time assistant coach for the Lipscomb cross country and track and field squad.
Mason has spent the past five years as the strength and conditioning coach for cross country and track and field, and the past two seasons performing the same role for the women’s soccer team. He has also worked as the XC/TF missions coordinator during his stint with the teams.
"Steven has been an essential part of our program for a long time now,” Lipscomb Director of Cross Country and Track and Field said. “It was very important for me to be able to bring Steven on full time.
“I want to say a huge thank you to my Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson and to Lipscomb Administration for allowing me to put this together so we can keep him in the program and expand his impact. He will serve in many different ways for us, including the new role of assistant coach for cross country and track and field, helping primarily with the distance runners. He will continue to work with the entire men's and women's cross country and track and field teams as our strength and conditioning coach.”
During his time with the Bisons, Mason has planned, organized and led seven Lipscomb XC/TF team mission trips over the past six years to Los Angeles, Belize, Jamaica, and twice to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He will lead the 8th team mission trip this December, back to the Dominican Republic.
"Steven has also been an essential part of our team’s spiritual growth,” Taylor said. “Seven years ago I announced a spiritual growth plan for our teams. One aspect I talked about was mission trips, but I really didn't have a plan to make those happen right away. Steven approached me and asked if he could lead a team mission trip that summer. I told him to go ahead and try to make it happen. He made it happen.
“This coming December he will lead our eighth XC/TF team mission trip. His leadership and direction for our missions program has been vital. It has helped create life changing opportunities for our teams. I'm very excited he will continue to lead our mission trips.”
During his Bison athletic career, Mason competed in the 400m, 800m and javelin from 2009-2011. He has also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise and nutrition science while at Lipscomb, earning Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) certifications and a sports massage therapy degree along the way.
"Steven has developed himself into one of the best collegiate strength and conditioning coaches in the nation for cross country and track and field,” Taylor said. “Four years ago he came and asked me what we really needed in strength and conditioning to be amazing. Then he went out and studied, read, asked experts, and developed incredible and unique programs that have given our athletes a physical advantage specific to the sport and their events.
"His desire to learn and grow is very important. I really appreciate that he is always trying to make himself better so he can make our athletes better. He wants to be the best he can possibly be. He wants our athletes to be amazing. He is confident in his abilities and knows his stuff, yet he is humble and believes he can always learn more.”
Mason is excited for the opportunity to become a full-time of Taylor’s staff and also to continue to be a part of the program he has helped for nearly a decade.
"I am extremely excited to be joining the Lipscomb cross country and track and field staff,” Mason said. “Coach Taylor is an incredible coach, who models excellence, commitment, and integrity in every way. It is humbling to be a part of such a successful program with a rich history of excellence in athletics, academics, and most importantly in spiritual leadership and discipleship.
"Over the past several years, I have grown to know Coach Taylor on both a personal and professional level. He is a coach who truly cares about his athletes, both on and off the track or course. He has an incredible ability to recognize talent and develop that talent from average to great. It is why all of his programs have been successful in the past and it is one of the main reasons I decided to join his staff. I want to be surrounded by coaches and individuals who make me a better person and help me further develop my own coaching expertise.”
In addition to his experiences with the Purple and Gold, Mason is married to former Lipscomb distance runner Louisa Van Batavia (now Mason) who is a volunteer assistant with the cross country and track and field teams, giving Mason a well-rounded connection to the Bison family.
"Very few people get the opportunity to work with a team that has it all: an excellent coaching staff, talented athletes, incredible academics, and an athletic department that focuses on spiritual development and success in their athletes and staff members. I am honored to be a part of the Lipscomb athletics family and am excited to see what is in store for the cross country and track and field program.
"I am confident that Lipscomb cross country and track and field will continue to rise in success athletically. It is an incredible opportunity to coach so many talented athletes and work alongside Coach Taylor to help achieve the vision of an NCAA Division I Championship. I fully believe we are on the verge of greatness as a program."