Blake Fonfara came from Rosemont, Minnesota to Nashville to be a part of the pitching staff for the Lipscomb Bisons baseball team. He was a regular on the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team as an accounting major. He has been working in Indianapolis, Indiana for the past three months for KPMG. He spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play baseball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I came to Lipscomb in 2009 and played the 2010 through 2013 seasons. Jeff Forehand was the head coach. For the first half of my career Chris Collins was an assistant coach. The last year for me Paul Phillips was an assistant. Tyler Shrout was also there for four years."
Why did you want to attend Lipscomb?
"It was the only opportunity I had to play NCAA Division I baseball. I had some other opportunities to go play D-II or D-III but I decided to take a chance and take my only Division I offer.
"It was an awesome choice. It was definitely the right choice."
Did you have any reservations about competing on the NCAA Division I level?
"I was a little bit scared that I wouldn't be able to compete or that I would be overpowered.
"It turned out the coaches were awesome and they developed me to where I needed to be.
"It was scary at first, but I think I was able to fit in pretty well. I was able to grow into it."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"My senior year we went to the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament for the first time in like four or five years. We won one game and lost two.
"It was something we had been working for all year long. It was something I had been working for my whole career at Lipscomb. To finally be able to do it my senior year was awesome."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Brandon McClurg, a former Bison baseball player, is my brother-in-law. He took me under his wing and coached me on weekends. He had `been there and done that’. He was always giving me tips.
"He helped me mentally prepare and physically prepare and taught me how to be ready in certain situations. Off of the field he was a mentor of mine.
"On the field Chris Nunn and I were always really close. We are both tall lefties. We always worked out together. We always threw together. We did all of our baseball activities together. Chris Nunn was my counterpart on the field."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"My senior year I went on a mission trip to Honduras with Brent High and a group of Lipscomb students. I think there were 12-to-15 of us.
"That was definitely my favorite non-sports memory of Lipscomb. It was my first mission trip and it will definitely not be my last.
"It really opened my eyes as to how blessed we are here and how much we take for granted.
"The kids there don't have shoes. They are wearing torn up clothes. They live in little tiny shacks. And they are the happiest people on earth.
"We come back here and complain about our car being a few years old or having a certain thing for dinner two times in a row. You realize how blessed we are. I learned I don't have to complain about the things I have or don't have because I am better off than most people."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"I grew up in a Christian home. Going to Lipscomb wasn't a big shocker for me. It wasn’t much of a lifestyle change. It was the way I had been living pretty much my entire life.
"It wasn't like the values at Lipscomb were anything different than what I was doing before. But being at Lipscomb strengthened my values and strengthened my faith. Those are two things I still hold on to each day."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I really liked Charles Frasier and Joe Ivey.
"I was an accounting major so I had a lot of classes with Charles Frasier. I had him weekly every single year.
"Mr. Frasier did such a good job of teaching the fundamentals and basics of accounting. I was in engineering for one semester and transferred into accounting.
“It was a very complex course. Mr. Frasier made it seem so simple. I had heard that accounting was so hard, but Mr. Frasier was able to break it down where a freshman could understand what was going on with debits and credits and things like that.
"Mr. Ivey was full of wisdom. He was really personable. He was always there for direction. He was super nice. He had the class over to his house for dinner once or twice. I will remember him as a professor for the rest of my life."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I took a job with KPMG, a top-four accounting firm worldwide.
"I am an associate auditor. I started at the end of July."
Tell us about your family.
"I am getting pretty close to getting married. Faith Fallin, my girlfriend, also went to Lipscomb and graduated in December of 2013. We have been dating for two years and plan to tie the knot within the next year.”
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org