Shortly after Frank Bennett was named as the women's head basketball coach at Lipscomb University he selected Nina Pedigo Carroll as his first signee. Pedigo played for some of the top teams in the NAIA era and was also active on campus off the court as well. She has been a leader in organizing a special day of fundraising for former Lipscomb player Kendra Ramsey Jackson this Saturday when the Lady Bisons play North Florida at Allen Arena. She spent a few minutes this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play basketball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 1980 through '84. Frank Bennett was my head coach.
"My claim to fame is I was Coach Bennett's very first recruit. I signed in his office at the high school (Lipscomb Academy). We joke and say we started college at the same time. That is a fond memory for me.
"The assistant coaches were Trish Duty, Shelly Mangrum and April St. John (Ezell). It was a great group of people."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?
"I had some friends who were older than me who went there. My brother, Jim, who was four years ahead of me attended Lipscomb.
"I was thrilled that they offered me the chance to play college basketball.
"I thank my parents, John and Mary Dean Pedigo, for being my biggest supporters and making it possible for me to go to Lipscomb."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"There isn't really a specific game or time. It was about the friends I played with like Rhonda Stewart. Celeste Peacock Middleton is still one of my best friends to this day.
"It was about the adventures we went on as athletes. We took one bus for both the men's and women's teams. When we traveled by ourselves we drove in vans.
"One time going to Chattanooga we crossed over Monteagle Mountain on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of a snow storm. We had to play the next night (in East Tennessee) and Coach Bennett wanted to try to beat the snow. That was quite an adventure. The mountain was covered with snow.
"We were the top free throw shooting team in the country in the NAIA. Coach Bennett was big on that. We did not play with the smaller basketballs. We used the same size basketball the men used. Also, at that time, there was no 3-point line."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Coach Bennett. It was his leadership style. He was always supportive. He always believed in us.
"He pushed us to be the best we could be. He really made us love the game.
"I remember we played at Vanderbilt and he was very excited to play that game. We were very excited to play Vanderbilt in Memorial Gym. But their girls were about six inches taller than us.
"We did not fare so well. Coach Bennett did throw his clip board at halftime to try to get us to play harder."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Living in the dorm all four years and being a part of the Lipscomb community.
"We went to chapel every day. That was such a blessing. It was a part of the college experience that I loved. Chapel singing was amazing. After chapel we would meet in Bison Square and hang out.
"I was Miss Lipscomb in 1984. I was also the James Byers Award winner (given to a graduating athlete who has demonstrated Christian leadership and academic and athletic excellence).
"I was also a member of Pi Delta social club. I loved everything about my four years at Lipscomb."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Obviously, putting God first and the importance of family. We were taught strong values and how to live our lives. We were taught to try to be a good example to others."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Rodney Cloud. He taught Bible classes and he taught them in a way where we could really apply what we learned to our lives.
"Rubel Shelly blew me away with his knowledge. He really got us fired up about the Word and made us want to study it.
"Joyce Rucker in the education department was a good (role) model for us as young women who wanted to be teachers and mothers. She would have the Lady Bisons in her home on Sunday evenings for pancake suppers. That was really fun."
Where do you live now?
"We live in Hendersonville, Tennessee."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I am a school teacher. I have taught for 30 years. I have been a physical education teacher at Beech Elementary for the last eight years.
"I was in the classroom for 22 years. I also coached freshman basketball at Knox Doss Junior High."
Tell us about your family.
"I married Chris Carroll, my high school sweetheart. We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.
"We have four children. Catie is 26. She is a lieutenant in the Navy and a dentist at Great Lakes Naval Base. Ginny, 24, played softball at the University of Kentucky. She is in optometry school in Birmingham, Alabama right now.
"Our son Christopher is 21. He played baseball at Belmont. Our youngest child is John-Parker. He is 16 and is a sophomore at Beech High School."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.