Where are they now? with April Ezell
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Where are they now? with April Ezell
What sports did you play at Lipscomb?

“I played badminton (yes, it was an official team in 1978), women’s basketball (1978-79 and ’82), and women’s tennis (1980-82).

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

“As a player, I would say it was my first year as a tennis player.  I had walked on that year.  In the tournament draw, I was paired up against a girl from Belmont.  As Coach Trish Duty (Hodgson) was announcing the pairs to individual players, she came up to me and handed me the slip and said, “I’m sorry”.  I couldn’t believe she said that.  I went out the next day and won in two straight sets.  She and I laughed about that for years.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

“Trish was, without a doubt, the biggest influence on me as an athlete at Lipscomb.  She was my head coach for basketball in 1978 and my tennis coach in 1980 and 1981.  

“I was very passionate and competitive.  Trish was a quiet competitor and more introverted.

“I remember the first day of practice when she said, “Under no circumstances will you, as a player, address the official except to say ‘Yes Mam’ or ‘No sir’.  If you speak to an official about a call, you will immediately be pulled.”  I never had a coach who was so disciplined yet committed to winning.  Most importantly, she used athletics as a way of teaching about Jesus and what it meant to be a good teammate.

“As we transitioned to working together, she became my closest friend.  We shared offices next to each other in McQuiddy and then in the SAC for 23 years.  She taught me so much in those years.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“My fondest memories of Lipscomb were the relationships I had with my roommate Sandra (Connell) Jones and our group of friends we hung out together with.

“I remember one time being the person who was responsible for ‘pulling’ the chapel seats for everyone in Alumni auditorium.  (And yes, chapel was required every day and we had three absences allowed).  My friends wanted to make sure I got balcony seats.  I assured them I had it taken care of and when I went to get the seats, I got front row, middle section downstairs right in front of the stage.  I gave them the seats the first day of classes.  Needless to say, my mission was accomplished.  It actually turned out to be the most memorable chapel quarter in five years.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“I believe the most valuable thing I learned at Lipscomb was that you can live in Jesus’ words of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

“I loved Dr. John Netterville.  He taught an Introduction to Chemistry course.  I was fairly hopeless but always came to class.  He went the extra mile in helping several of us who were sophomores to understand chemistry.  We were not majors and yet he spent his time to help us.  His classes were interesting and actually, some of my favorite stories have sprung out of that spring quarter 2 p.m. class.

Where do you live now?

 “I live pretty close to campus here in Green Hills.”
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

“I have taught at Lipscomb University since 1986.  I was an assistant coach with Frank Bennett for 14 years (women’s basketball) and also taught 4-5 classes each quarter/semester.  Those were wonderful years with great student/athletes – many whom I call friends today.

“Since 2000, I have taught full-time in the Kinesiology Department.  I teach first aid, health classes and activity classes including arguably the most popular class on campus, backpacking.”

Tell us about your family.

“Gil and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this May. He is an incredible person and I am so lucky to be spending my life with him.

“He has three daughters and we have a grandson, Luke, who just so happened to be born on my birth date last year.

“My Mom, sister Toni, and her husband Jeff, live in Cincinnati which is my hometown.  My sister’s oldest son, Jon, graduated from Lipscomb and is going to be attending nursing school in the fall.  Her other son, David, is graduating this May from Lipscomb and will be attending medical school at Case Western University.  The youngest, Jessica, will be a freshman this year at Lipscomb.  I can’t believe how lucky I have been to have my nephews and niece live here in Nashville!”