NASHVILLE – The Lipscomb women’s basketball team has announced the addition of two new assistant coaches, Hannah Phillips and Aaron Holland, to its staff.
Phillips, who spent the past two years coaching at Grace Christian Academy in Franklin, is a former Lady Bison. She suited up in the Purple and Gold from 2009-2013, playing three seasons under former coach Frank Bennett and one season under current head coach Greg Brown.
“I played under Coach Brown my senior year, so I know the motion, know the culture, love his philosophy, and I just bought in,” Phillips said.
After her playing career with Lipscomb ended the Brentwood native travelled overseas to Australia to compete professionally, first for the Wynyard Wildcats of the Northwest Basketball Union and then with the Launceston Tornadoes of the Southeast Australian Basketball League.
“I’ve been in a lot of different basketball cultures, and I think playing here at Lipscomb was definitely a huge maturity thing for me, spiritually, emotionally and, of course, physically,” Phillips said.
“I think just getting immersed in the Lipscomb culture, that’s why I loved it so much. I had my own personal struggles that God brought me here for a purpose, and I think I’ll forever be grateful for Lipscomb and everything they have done for me, so I just want to give back.”
Phillips is not only excited to take the skills she has acquired from the variety of basketball ventures she has taken over the past years and apply them to the Lady Bisons, but to reunite with Brown after only playing one season for him.
“I’m giddy with excitement,” Phillips said. “The first couple of practices, I was in awe of everything. I was like ‘I can’t believe I’m on the outside of this.’ I only got one year with him, which was awesome, but I wish I had more time with him, because I love the motion. It’s so intuitive to me. It just clicks. It makes sense, and it’s fluid and creative and these girls can just compete and be free and play by reading screens and reading the defense.
“I love watching it. I get so excited watching them play. It’s just beautiful basketball. And I love that coach Brown is positive in creating this culture that these girls will take past Lipscomb, which is amazing and not a lot of colleges do that.”
Holland also has his fair share of previous basketball experience as well as a few Lipscomb connections of his own.
“When I was in high school, I had actually attended Impact every year, so I was very familiar with Lipscomb just as a whole just because I came here a lot,” Holland said. “I’ve also coached some AAU stuff. We had a player that actually came here, Kaylee Cotton, so obviously I really started following Lipscomb a lot more when she got here because I had that vested interest.”
Formerly an assistant at Florida State College at Jacksonville, a head coach at Motlow State Community College, and a graduate assistant and video coordinator for the Arkansas State men’s basketball team, Holland has made basketball connections across the southeast.
“I believe all that stuff has been great, especially my recruiting ties,” Holland said. “I have recruiting ties all over the southeast, all over the east coast.. I’m super excited to use those connections to get a player who can come in here and really help us turn the corner and win some ball games and build this program and get us competing for championships.”
Holland is looking forward to the upcoming season and believes the Lady Bisons are on the verge of success.
“I think this season is going to be a great opportunity for us,” Holland said. “We have a chance to challenge and compete, which people may not be looking at us, but we have a very experienced team this year.
“I feel like the culture here and the atmosphere here is going to be conducive to success. If we can control what we can control, I think we’re going to be able to win some games and turn this thing around.”
Brown thinks both coaches bring unique and important traits to their coaching staff.
“They’re very comfortable with who they are, and they both bring something different,” Brown said. “Hannah brings the familiarity with Lipscomb having played here. And it’s just a different perspective when you come back to coach. She brings a great feel for the community, having coached high school and played here.
“One of the things she talked a lot about was bringing that spiritual element that she’s enjoyed at the high school level and when she was here as well. And her professional experience is important as well. The competitive part of Hannah is neat to watch.”
“Aaron, just watching him interact with the players and the campers even this week, he brings a big personality to the team. He brings a lot of energy. And obviously the basketball part of it, he brings a lot of that from various experiences coaching college to travel to scouting to junior college. I think all those things will provide a good voice for us.”