Griffith Breaks 300-Victory barrier As Tennis Coach
Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Lipscomb tennis oach Lynn Griffith in elite company earning him his 300th and 301st career victories at the university.

"I've been very lucky because we have been able to get players who are also good people," Griffith said. "We have been successful, but I don't attribute it to anything special except that we just go to work at getting better.

"I would have to give credit for that attribute to my mother and father. They both grew up on farms during the depression. From the very beginning of my life I always heard, `Griffiths do things right' and it stuck."

The Lady Bisons won their first match of the season beating host Tennessee State University 6-1 Tuesday afternoon. The men won their fourth match of the season blanking TSU 7-0. In addition to the victories, the players also doused Griffith with cold water shower as part of the celebration.

"Coach Griffith is so deserving of our congratulations for his 300th tennis victory," said Dr. Steve Potts, director of athletics at Lipscomb. "It is a true testament to his dedication and commitment to the Lipscomb tennis program. This institution and all of our tennis student-athletes benefit greatly from his guidance and leadership."

Griffith, who also teaches in the Kinesiology department, has coached tennis for 17 of his 23 years at Lipscomb. He took some time off from coaching to watch his sons Matthew and Cole play sports. Matthew is a starting pitcher for the Bisons baseball team.

"The first 100 took five years and then it took seven years for the next 100," Griffith said. "I guess it is slowing down a little."

Griffith is proud of what his players have accomplished in their lives. He counts accountants, three medical doctors and two attorneys among his former players.

Griffith is beginning to feel the weight of time but wants to coach long enough to at least reach 400 victories.

"I guess this is the first year when I really began to feel old from a coaching standpoint," Griffith said. "I recruited Colten Jones and signed him and his father Brad was the first player I ever signed to play here at Lipscomb. I guess having an ex-player's child on the team makes you feel that way."

Like the other sports at Lipscomb tennis has had to make the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I. The Bisons are in their first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

"Ability-wise it has been a transition because there are no bad schools," Griffith said. "There are typically no bad schools. But when we were in the NAIA and playing teams like Berry, Union and Birmingham Southern were always in the top 10 or 15. I see the Ohio Valley Conference and the A-Sun at the level. But the difference now is that we have to play at a top level everyday. That's the biggest thing we have had to learn."