Trish Hodgson-Carruth, a former coach, teacher and student at Lipscomb University passed away Thursday night, Jan. 8, after a long battle with cancer and complications.
She was surrounded by family and friends in her native country of Canada. She was married to Ted Carruth, a member of the Bible faculty at Lipscomb.
She was known for her professionalism, honesty and integrity. She was inducted into the Lipscomb Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.
No formal funeral arrangements are planned. Her body was to be cremated Saturday. A memorial service will be arranged sometime in the future.
“Trish was very conscientious,” said Lady Bisons basketball coach Frank Bennett. “She always wanted to do the right thing. She always looked out for the interests of others, not just her own interests.
“There are a lot of people here at Lipscomb who were very close to her and will miss her. Lipscomb athletics owes a great debt to her.”
When she came to Lipscomb as a student from Canada in 1971 the only sports for women were tennis and badminton. She played for the badminton team, but she made her biggest mark on the Lipscomb athletic program in basketball.
She served as coach of the women’s tennis team and also served as director of women’s intramurals sports at Lipscomb. She often heard requests for new sports for women.
"Trish was such a special lady and loved by so many," said Stephanie Shouse Lane, a Lipscomb Athletic Hall of Fame member who played tennis for Hodgson-Carruth from 1987-91 and also was one of her students. “Just like she did for me, she became to so many people more than just a teacher and coach, but a dear friend and mentor. She impacted my life in so many ways and will be greatly missed here on earth, but God is welcoming home one of HIS most special angels."
After coaching an exhibition game between Trevecca Nazarene and Lipscomb, she was asked to coach the first ever women’s collegiate basketball team for the 1977-78 season.
“When Trish started the team the gym was only available for practices at 6 a.m.,” said Bennett. “She had to go to Monroe Harding School a mile away for practices. She only had a couple of scholarships.”
She served as head coach for two years and then worked as an assistant basketball coach for five years under Bennett.
"Trish taught all of us that instead of saying "Why, we can't do that," we should say, "Why CAN'T we do that?," said Karen Wallace, a member of the 1977-78 team. “If we had never learned that lesson, where would the women's athletic program be at Lipscomb? I feel so very fortunate to have been able to know Trish and have her be such an important part of my life."
Hodgson-Carruth and the 1977-78 team were honored last year during basketball season with a 30-year reunion.
"We made it through the growing pains,” said Hodgson-Carruth at the reunion. “We had a lot of heart and desire and players with a love for the game. We had players with wonderful personalities who were also excellent students. That first year was a lot of fun." In the spring of 2000 Hodgson-Carruth stepped down as women’s tennis coach to concentrate on teaching in the Kinesiology department.
“Trish was the ultimate teacher,” said Bennett. “She took great pride in teaching her classes. She had a great interest in her students.
“She was one of the best advisors in the school. She would lay out semester-by-semester what a student’s schedule would be for four years.”