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Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Ryan Roller is busy settling into his new job as the assistant headmaster for marketing and admissions at the David Lipscomb Campus School. He is working with his father, Mike Roller, who serves as both admissions director and athletics director. Despite moving into a new office, dealing with new situations and people and spending time in meetings Roller paused to spend a few minutes with LipscombSports.com.
What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
"I was fortunate enough to play for two guys who are considered to be really good coaches - Coach Don Meyer and Coach Scott Sanderson. I redshirted under Coach Meyer and got to play four years for Coach Sanderson."
"I started school in 1998. I graduated in 2002 but went on to the MBA program my senior year.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"A couple of things come to mind. Obviously, my year with Coach Meyer was special. We had such a history. Dad coached for him. When I was a kid I remember watching his teams play with some of the great teams with players like Philip Hutcheson, John Pierce and Marcus Bodie. Getting to play for Coach Meyer was something I had always thought about and really dreamed about. It was nice to be able to do that.
"We ended up having some good teams with coach Sanderson. The inaugural game at Allen Arena when Clayton Osborn hit the last second shot to beat North Texas is obviously a great, great memory. That was a fun game and a fun time with the new arena and all the excitement that surrounded us going to NCAA Division I."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"My Dad. He has been involved with Lipscomb for 27 years. He coached me and taught me, but because of Dad I got exposure to guys like Coach Meyer, Ralph Turner and Frank Bennett.
"I think Dad would be the first to admit that working with Coach Meyer helped him as a coach. He certainly had his own style. Coach Meyer rubbed off on everybody.
"The thing I remember is my Dad always taught values and life lessons before he taught wins and losses. He always wanted the wins and losses to take care of themselves and be a by-product of the hard work, the team work, the servant-leadership aspect of sports, playing as a team and loving your teammates. The team first approach was what he taught. That is something difficult to teach and learn in a classroom. It is applicable to so many things that you do now, even outside of sports."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"I remember a lot of the events like Singarama and all of the drama stuff.
"I was really excited about getting into the master's program while I was playing. I was able to take those classes without any work experience. That was an exciting opportunity. It was a really challenging program."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"To center whatever you are doing around Christ. No matter what you are working toward you should be grounded around Christ."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I don't know if I want to name just one. I really enjoyed my business classes. I think those guys do a great job. That's a really strong department.
"I never felt like I was just being graded by our business department. The teachers challenged me while they taught me."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I am the assistant head master for marketing and admissions at David Lipscomb Campus School.
"I've worked at great places like Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Tractor Supply. Everywhere I've gone there has been a Lipscomb presence.
"I remember seeing that the position was available at Lipscomb while I was working at Tractor Supply. It dawned on me that I might be qualified for this. I had worked in marketing at Tractor Supply and Cracker Barrel. If I had not seen the ad I would have been happily employed at Tractor Supply.
"I love Lipscomb. It has been a huge part of my life. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I am here at Lipscomb now and I am really enjoying it."
Tell us about your family.
"My wife's name is Melia. Her maiden name was Cotham. She is also a Lipscomb graduate in 2001. We have been married almost nine years. We have two little boys. Hudson is 5 and Warner is one."