NASHVILLE - Lipscomb women’s basketball head coach Lauren Sumski announced the members of her coaching staff on Tuesday.
Chris Sumski and Ariel Massengale have joined the program, while Hannah Phillips will remain on staff.
“I am excited to add Chris Sumski and Ariel Massengale to the coaching staff here at Lipscomb,” Sumski said. “I am retaining Hannah Phillips and promoting her to become our program's Recruiting Coordinator this season.
"As Lipscomb is a special place, I knew that my number one priority was seeking out exceptional people that fit the mission and values of the University while aiming to further develop the women’s basketball program and the people that comprise it.
"Beyond their coaching abilities, these three are renown for their character, their energy and their work ethic. Those are all attributes that I believe will elevate our program quickly.”
Massengale joins the staff after a two-year stint as a graduate assistant at the University of Mississippi. The former Lady Vol was a standout collegiate player, garnering SEC All-Freshman Team honors and two conference regular season and tournament titles while playing under the legendary Pat Summit.
“Coach Massengale and I have known each other since we were adolescents playing basketball,” Sumski said. “I loved Ariel’s court savvy and presence that she brings to the court, that I actually helped to recruit her to Tennessee during my freshmen year. Ariel enjoyed a storied career as a Lady Vol and onto her professional playing days.
“As injuries took over, Ariel shifted her focus into pursuing collegiate coaching and spent two years under two coaches at Ole Miss. Ariel has a vibrance about her, and has seen the game at such an elite level having won 4 gold medals. She will really help to develop our backcourt this year, which will also be vital to our program.”
Massengale was drafted by the Atlanta Dream in the third round of the 2015 WNBA draft, but only played one season due to injuries before moving on to a coaching career.
Chris Sumski comes to Lipscomb with six years of coaching experience across the collegiate landscape. After his playing days with D-II St. Andrew’s University, Sumski spent time as an associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater, worked with post players, opponent scouting and film breakdown for two seasons at Union University, and helped lead Rhodes to an NCAA Tournament appearance during his time with the Lynx.
“Coach Chris and I have worked together for four years now, as a part of two different programs,” Lauren Sumski said. “Throughout our time together, he has always been the first guy to arrive and the last to leave. He has an easygoing personality, which enables him to relate to his players, but he is able to challenge them in a unique way to get their best day-in and day-out.
“He has a great feel for the game and excels with opponent scouting and skill development, which will be vital pieces to our program.”
Lauren and Chris coached together at both Union and Rhodes before the wife-and-husband duo made the move to Lipscomb.
Phillips will be promoted to recruiting coordinator in her third year on the Lady Bisons staff.
“Coach Phillips and I got to know each other on the recruiting trail a couple of years ago,” Sumski said. “From the first time I met her, it was apparent that she has a contagious energy about her that allows her to relate to prospects, parents and coaches from all backgrounds, in a genuine manner."
During her time suiting up in the Purple and Gold, Phillips joined the 1,000 point club. She then played professionally in the NWBU with the Wynyard Wildcats and the SEABL with the Launceston Tornados.
“As an alumna, she can speak to the university in the truest sense," Sumski said. "She has also built up a great rapport with competitive high school and exposure programs in the south, especially Tennessee-area programs. Making an imprint on our home state is a great priority for us in this recruiting cycle. I am confident that Coach Phillips will get that done quickly for us.”
A Director of Basketball Operations is expected to be announced soon.