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Where are they now? Daniel Hangstefer

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Former Lipscomb tennis play Daniel Hangstefer has been busy this summer. He will be begin his first season as the head coach for both the men’s and women’s tennis at Metropolitan State University of Denver  (Colo.), an NCAA Division II school, this fall. But before he does that he will be spending the next couple of weeks in Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the United States team at the Summer Deaflympics.  While waiting to board his flight from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Bulgaria Hangstefer spent some time talking with lipscombsports.com.

What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches? What was your major?

"I played tennis from 2006 to 2010.  Lynn Griffith was my first coach and Andrew Harris also coached me.

“My major was communications.”

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

“I have a lot of fond memories. Lipscomb was the best four years of my life. I had a ton of fun there. I also learned a lot there.

“I remember every one of the spring break trips that we took as a team. The spring break trips were my favorites.

“I remember early morning workouts with the team at 5:45 a.m. I remember eating with the team in the cafeteria after practice. It was four years of experiences that I won’t ever forget.

“The good times I had there have inspired me as a coach. I want the players I coach to have a great time in college.”

Why did you choose Lipscomb?

“One of the biggest things I liked about Lipscomb when I visited was the atmosphere. I really liked the chemistry on the team.

“I had a lot of respect for coach Griffith when he recruited me. I liked his beliefs and the things he had to say when I was there.

“My whole family had gone to UT-Chattanooga. I wanted to do something different. Lipscomb had everything I was looking for.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

“I would say coach Griffith. The thing that I liked about coach Griffith was that he was very direct and to the point. He didn’t beat around the bush when you talked to him. Whenever I talked to him it was like a breath of fresh air. It might not always have been the things you wanted to hear, but it was always something that you appreciated hearing. I admire him a lot for that.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“I was really close to my teammates. We did everything together. One of the things I enjoyed the most was going downtown with my teammates, eating barbecue and hanging out.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“I would say being able to communicate with people. I learned how to sit down and communicate things that you might be going through or talk about things that you might need to talk through. That is one skill I think everybody needs to learn. If there is something going on you need to talk about it. You can’t just hold on to things internally.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

“I had Dr. Paul Prill for a lot of my communications classes. I always enjoyed his classes tremendously. We talked about everything in class. We didn’t always agree on ideologies, but I loved discussing all types of things with him.”

Where do you live now?

"I moved to Denver, Colo., this week.

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

"I am the new men's and women's tennis coach for Metropolitan State University of Denver. It was announced July 18. There are a lot of opportunities to be really successful in Denver.

"For the past three seasons I was an assistant coach at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

“I never really knew what my career was going to be until my senior year at Lipscomb when I figured out that coaching was what I really wanted to do. I had such a great overall experience as a player. I want to provide that same experience to my players.

“But in the last three years the reasons I wanted to coach have changed. I want to have an impact on the lives of my players. Coaches are probably the second most influential people in the lives of athletes, except for their parents. I have learned that as coaches we have a huge responsibility to direct and lead people in their lives.”

(Editor's note: After the 2013 season he was named Intercollegiate Tennis Association South Central Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year.)

Tell us about your family.

"I am single."

My email address is dhangste@msudenver.edu.