Samantha Sullivan Crane moved to Nashville and played volleyball for Lipscomb as a junior and a senior. She also coached for the Bisons as well, eventually being named the first full-time assistant, before returning to her home state of California to live. She and her husband Kevin and their baby daughter Bailey Raelynn were in Allen Arena for the Atlantic Sun Championships and watched the Bisons win the title and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The volleyball team is in Los Angeles, California this weekend to face UCLA Friday night. Samantha spent some time with Lipscombsports.com to talk about the volleyball program and her experiences at Lipscomb.
What years did you play volleyball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
“I played at Lipscomb during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In 2005 we only had Brandon Rosenthal as a coach.
“In 2006 we were coached by Brandon and Jenna Panatier. In 2007, I was asked to be a student assistant to the program.
“In 2008 and 2009, I was a graduate assistant and coached alongside Brandon and Ann Mullins.
“In 2010, I became the first volleyball assistant coach at Lipscomb. I coached alongside Brandon in 2010 and Brandon and Jake Pease in 2011.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“My fondest athletic memory as a player at Lipscomb was making the A-Sun Tournament for the first time in program history.
“As far as my fondest memory as a coach, it has to be the undefeated 2009 season and cutting down the net in 2011 for the conference championship. It was my last match to ever coach at Lipscomb and I was surrounded by a very special group of girls.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
“I would probably have to say Brandon had the biggest influence on my athletic career at Lipscomb. When he first recruited me, he asked me to take a leap of faith and be a part of something special. Little did I know, this something special would last from 2005-2011.
“Brandon is one of the hardest workers I know and expects that from his athletes and coaches. Brandon knew how to prepare you for the real world and I thank him for that.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“I think my fondest non-athletic memories from my time at Lipscomb were the friendships I built with athletes and coaches. Some of these girls are still my best friends today. At Lipscomb, we always call ourselves `a Family’. It means a lot to still have these people in my life.”
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“The most valuable thing I learned at Lipscomb was to always outwork everyone around you. There has always been a quote in the Lipscomb Volleyball locker room that says “The only thing you deserve is what you earn.” I truly believe this. Brandon has used this quote since he first started at Lipscomb and each and every year, team after team buys into this. If you know where the program started and where it is now, you know that we, as a program have bought into it and it has been fun to watch.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
“I would have to say my favorite professor at Lipscomb was Dr. Alan Bradshaw. I wasn’t necessarily close to him and he probably doesn’t even remember me, but he definitely had an impact on me.
“On my very first day of physics class, he took the time to memorize each and every students name in that classroom. This wasn’t your normal classroom, it was a lecture size room. He made learning fun and the idea of physics fun.
“To my surprise, I earned an A in his class and I give all the credit to him. He truly knew how to make his students comfortable and make learning fun.”
Where do you live now?
“I currently live in Monrovia, California.”
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
“I work for a non-profit company called Options for Learning. Our company oversees all the Head Start and State Preschool Programs. I work for the Full-day Preschool division as a Family Service Specialist. My position entails me enrolling families into our program and overseeing their cases throughout their time with Options.”
Tell us about your family.
“I moved from Nashville to marry one of Brandon’s best friends, Kevin Crane. We just welcomed our first baby girl, Bailey Raelynn Crane, in September 2015. “
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.