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Hutcheson announces departmental staff changes

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lipscomb Director of Athletics Philip Hutcheson announced four changes to the current staff structure within the department effective immediately.

According to Hutcheson, these changes were enacted to improve organizational effectiveness and lines of communication around current activities and to lay the groundwork for organizational support of new projects and initiatives that are planned for the future.

John Ezell has been named Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Budgets reflecting the growth in his responsibilities over two key areas in the athletics department.  He was previously Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance.

“I am constantly telling people that no one has two tougher jobs than John Ezell and no one could handle them any better than he does,” Hutcheson said.  “Former Lipscomb Director of Athletics Steve Potts used to say, ‘A 95 percent free throw shooter is All-American.  A 95 percent compliant department of athletics is on probation,’ and that is so true.  One only needs to look at the headlines of any sports page in America to realize how many compliance hurdles face an athletics department on a daily basis.  Whether it is ensuring eligibility, monitoring our recruiting activities, approving promotional or fund raising ideas or other daily challenges, John handles it all with an incredible amount of efficiency and professionalism.

“Add to that the responsibilities that he has taken on for keeping the department in line with its budget, especially in light of the economy, rising costs of travel and competition and the desire to remain competitive with one’s peers, and you can easily see how challenging John’s job is.  Through his hard work and his ability to manage these tough roles in such a level-headed manner, John has earned the respect of all who work with him and there is no one better suited to handle both of these vital areas than he is”

Dr. Lin Garner has been named Associate Athletic Director for Academics and Senior Woman Administrator.  Garner will continue to have primary responsibility for the academic progress and support of all 265 student-athletes, along with continuing to fulfill the administrative duties both on-campus and within the conference as the department’s SWA.  She was previously Assistant Athletic Director for Academics and Senior Woman Administrator.

“There is a reason the word ‘student’ comes before ‘athlete’ at Lipscomb and Lin has done a tremendous job in helping the young women and men on our teams make progress toward degrees that will benefit them for a lifetime,” Hutcheson said.  “Our consistent finish in the top three of the A-Sun All-Academic race and the fact that we had 75 percent of our student-athletes finish with a 3.0 or higher GPA last year both point to the emphasis placed on academics at Lipscomb, and Lin is the leader in ensuring that we maintain those high standards.  Add to that her concern for the personal well-being of our student-athletes as evidenced by her leadership of our Student Athlete Advisory Committee and by the number of former players that drop by every week to visit her and one can see what a valuable part of the team she is.”  

Trevor Garrett has been promoted to Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs.  Garrett is responsible for leading the department’s efforts in marketing, promotions, sports information, social media, radio and television rights, ticketing, licensing and merchandising, community affairs and game-day experience.  He previously was the Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs.

“In baseball, when you talk about a five-tool player, you are saying that is a player who can do it all.  Trevor is a five-tool player in our department. His energy, work ethic, organization, creativity, and desire to see Lipscomb Athletics continue to move forward has made him one the key drivers behind so many of the efforts that we’ve undertaken over the past couple of years,”  Hutcheson said.  “While most people are willing to do only what is asked of them, Trevor is one of the rare few that is continually thinking of new ways to make us better.  For every idea that we implement, Trevor has four or five more equally good suggestions we have to store away for another day.  And while he has already contributed in a number of ways to the success we’ve had in raising our profile and growing our fan base, I am confident that the best is yet to come as he continues to work hard to promote Lipscomb within the Nashville community and beyond.”

Andy Lane, who has served as Executive Director of the National Bison Club, has seen his role expand with his appointment as the department’s Associate Athletic Director for Development.  Lane will be the leader for all major gift fundraising efforts for Lipscomb Athletics, and in this role, he will also serve as the point person for the Athletics component of the Lipscomb:Next 2016 plan.  

In addition to his development work, Lane will also organize team reunions, Hall of Fame ceremonies, and any Atlantic Sun Conference Championships that Lipscomb may host, along with other community building events that impact Lipscomb Athletics’ efforts to expand its reach and encourage a growing base of active supporters.

“Andy has excelled in so many different areas of the athletic department in his time here, but I believe that this latest role is proving to be the perfect fit for him,” Hutcheson said.  “Andy has a deep love for Lipscomb, its tradition, its people and its values, and no one appreciates the value of the ‘Lipscomb experience’ more than he does.  Over the years, he has built countless relationships with athletes, coaches, fans, alumni and community members at-large, and he is a master at connecting the things that those people value with those things that Lipscomb values as well.  His love for people and for creating community around the best that Lipscomb Athletics has to offer is evident to all who come into contact with him, and I am excited to have him leading the development efforts that support our programs, benefit our student-athletes and promote our University.”  

Last week Hutcheson announced that Brent High would serve as Associate Athletic Director for Spiritual Formation.