Barry McGraw ran track and cross country at Lipscomb in the early 1990s. He is still running to this day. He works as a tax attorney in Atlanta, but can also be found training for appearances in marathons. Last year he ran in marathons in New York City and Paris. This year he will travel to Berlin to participate in a marathon. McGraw majored in business management at Lipscomb. He received his J.D. from the University of Memphis, cum laude, in 1998 and his LL.M in taxation from New York University. He has been admitted to the bars in Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. McGraw was able to take a brief break from both his legal practice and marathon training to talk with Lipscombsports.com.
What years were you at student-athlete at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I ran track and cross country from the 1990 through 1993 seasons.
"I was coached by Kent Johnson."
Why did you choose Lipscomb?
"I had offers from a few schools like UT-Chattanooga, Belmont and Austin Peay. Lipscomb gave me a pretty good financial package. It was in Nashville which was close to Murfreesboro, my hometown. I liked Nashville as a city."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"We were in the NAIA back then and we played in districts. We won the district championship over Belmont two of the four years I was there. That is my favorite memory. Belmont and Lipscomb were always the best teams so it always came down to us."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I guess it would have to be Kent Johnson. He would typically go out and run with us. He always pushed us to do better in both athletics and in life. If we weren't on a fast run he would be out there right with us for eight or 10 miles.
"On those runs sometimes we would get into arguments about politics. We didn't always see eye-to-eye on political issues, but that was fun."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"That is a tough one. There is not one thing that really stands out. I was in Dean Dennis Lloyd's reports a lot.
"We did a lot of horsing around and goofing around. We probably had more fun at Lipscomb than we should have had. I got my money's worth."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"The ability to think critically.
"I always try to be ethical in my thinking not just with my client, but with other lawyers. I got that ingrained in me at Lipscomb. I learned not to take shortcuts. Lipscomb laid a foundation for doing things right and ethically."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I had Jeff Mankin for some accounting classes. He was always relaxed in class. He taught accounting which you think would be a very boring subject. He made accounting bearable and even made it interesting. I am a tax lawyer and he introduced me to accounting. He led me down the path to being a tax lawyer.
"I also liked Randy Harris. I had him for only one class, but I was really impressed by him. He taught an advanced Bible class. We had between 12 and 15 people in an advanced class instead of around 100 like we had in the core Bible classes.
“Instead of lecturing for an hour and telling us what he thought, and what we should think, he called on us to question traditional Church of Christ thinking and why we believed what we believed. It wasn’t spoon fed to us. He made us think about it and examine it. He would talk with us and ask us what we thought. That is why I enjoyed the class.“
Where do you live now?
"I live in Atlanta, about one mile from Turner Field (home of the Atlanta Braves). Yes, I did purposely buy my house to be close to Turner Field. I am very disappointed that the Braves are going to be moving (to Marietta)."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I am a partner with Schreeder, Wheeler and Flint, LLP. I have been with them for just over seven years. They are based in Atlanta. I have more than 12 years of legal experience.
"I advise my clients, but I don't do the tax returns for them. I don't do what a lot of people think I do. I am not any busier in April than I am in any other month.
"A lot of what I do is conceptual. I focus on taxation, estate planning, business entities and mergers and acquisitions. I look at transactions and see what someone will owe in taxes, what is taxable or not taxable and the difference in capital gains and ordinary income. It is more conceptual than figuring out exact amounts. "
Tell us about your family.
"I am single."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.