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Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Many former athletes from Lipscomb have become successful coaches in a variety of sports on both the high school and college levels. The latest athlete to become a full-time coach is Mollie Mitchell, a former All-Atlantic Sun catcher for the Lady Bisons, who has been named the pitching coach at Harding University. Mitchell spent some time with Lipscombsports.com this week to talk about her new job.
What years did you play softball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played for Lipscomb from 2008-2012 for Coach Kristin (Peck) Ryman and assistant coach Lexi (Myers) Shrout.
"I was a graduate assistant coach in 2013."
Why did you decided to attend Lipscomb and play softball?
"As a kid growing up I always wanted to play softball in college. I wanted to go to Lipscomb. I had my heart stuck on Lipscomb. No matter what happened my mind was set that I was going to go to Lipscomb and play.
"My older brother, Brett, went to school there and graduated in 2010. I would visit him and I would go see Coach Peck. I pestered her all of the time. I sent her things about me all of the time. I would go down to her office and say, hi, every time I visited campus.
"Luckily, it worked out. I didn't really have any back-up options."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"In 2010 we won the Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship and went to the NCAA Regionals at Alabama. That was a really special team. That year was the most fun I ever had playing softball."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Coach Peck (Ryman). Her patience with me was great. As a coach now I understand and appreciate her so much more than I did when I was there.
"Coaching from an outsider's perspective may not seem that difficult. But then you start dealing with the day-to-day aspects of it. You start dealing with stubborn players. I was that stubborn player and Coach Peck (Ryman) showed me how to handle those situations.
"I learned so much about coaching from her. She knew that I wanted to be a coach one day. She took the time to talk softball with me. I would go into her office all of the time and learn and learn and learn. She did the best she could to pour her knowledge into me while I was there. I appreciate that so much."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"It is not a specific memory. It is more about the friends I made there and going out with them. When we had off days we would go bowling, play Frisbee or do fun things around Nashville. The bonds and the friendships I made there are so important to me.
"Softball is over. But those things stay with you and continue on. That is almost more important than playing softball."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"I learned a lot at Lipscomb. You go to college at 18 and you grow up a lot while you are there for four years.
"I went there to play softball, but I left there with more than just softball. The spiritual examples that are set by people every day and the education I received there have made me who I am. I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for Lipscomb and the people there who genuinely invested in me and cared and helped make me into the person I am now."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Doy Hollman and Dr. Anna Rose Anderson.
"I was a math major my first year at Lipscomb and I had Dr. Hollman. He was my calculus teacher.
"He is the most spiritual man. We would do a devotional before class every day. He is such a great example.
"He genuinely cared about us. He went to so many softball games. He was the most supportive professor I had as far as softball goes. I only had class with him my freshman year, but throughout my career he was always there and always supporting me. He was like our No. 1 fan and that was really cool.
"Dr. Anderson was also my advisor in the physical education department. She was tough, but I appreciate that now. She made me do the work and made us do extra things. I learned so much from her. All of the things she taught me have helped me in graduate school. She does as much as she can to make her students the best they can be. I really appreciated that.
"I graduated from Lipscomb with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. I went to graduate school at Lipscomb and at Harding. I went to my last class last week, but I won't graduate until December. I will have a Masters in both secondary education and kinesiology"
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"Harding University. I am the pitching coach.
"People ask me how I can be a pitching coach when I wasn't a pitcher. But Lexi (Myers) Shrout taught me so much when I played under her at Lipscomb. I had to catch in the bullpen every single day. I was there when she was teaching our pitchers. I listened and listened for four years in the bullpen. When you do that you are going to learn something.
“I was nervous at first to be a pitching coach, but the more I work at it the more I realize how much I actually know that I didn't know that I knew.
"Whitney Kiihnl (former Lipscomb star pitcher) was here with me last year. I worked with Whitney on pitching. I continue to learn things from Whitney. You don't get set in your ways as a coach for the rest of your career. I read a lot. I watch a lot of videos. I text and call other pitching coaches. I get information from all of the people I can and do the best I can."
Tell us about your family.
"I am single."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org