Scott Owens in an elementary school principal, but he still remains close to his love of track and field as the throws coach on his son’s high school team. The records are a little hazy, but it is safe to say Owens was one of the top javelin throwers in the history of the program. He spent some time talking about his career at Lipscomb and his life after graduation with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
“I walked on at the end of the 1982 season, so 1982-1986. My coaches were Rodney Smith, Kent Johnson and Earl Lavender.”
Why did you decide to play Track & Field at Lipscomb?
“I was an 800-meter runner in high school and placed in the top six in the Georgia State Championships. I came out of high school after playing four sports and really actually walked on the Lipscomb Track and Field team my freshman year.
“I was in the dorm at High Rise and saw Richard Beasley—he was on the team--and I noticed that he had an injury and I inquired as to what happened. He said that he had hurt his back throwing the javelin.
“I had no idea what a javelin was, but I loved to throw things and he took me out the next day, introduced me, and I was hooked. I walked on the team and ended up earning a scholarship.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“I was able to compete in the 1985 and 1986 NAIA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships where I competed in the highest level in the country. Some of these athletes had been in the Olympics.
“I competed against all of the SEC schools at places like Georgia and Tennessee and placed in the top six at the Gatorade Track Classic at the University of Tennessee. I won the TIAC Championships twice in the javelin and had a personal best throw of 190 feet, seven inches.”
Who had the biggest influence on your athletics and how?
“It’s two-fold. I had some tremendous teammates in Joel Kendrick, Flip Jones, Richard Beasley, and Mark Tenpenny. All of the guys on the team were great young men, but the throwers really stuck together and built each other up—not only athletically, but spiritually. We had a really tight group.
“Coach Earl Lavender also had a great impact on me my senior year and helped provide incredible spiritual insights and guidance. I had a great relationship with him, his wife, Rebecca, and their three children. I greatly admired his devotion to God and his family, and have tried to replicate many of the characteristics that he modeled.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“I grew up in a small town of Norman Park, Georgia and went to church with about 80-100 people in Moultrie, seven miles away. The first time I went to Lipscomb’s chapel service, I could not believe how incredible the singing led by Buddy Arnold was and the welcome of the big, booming voice of Willard Collins. I was always greatly amazed at the speakers and how moving the services were!
“I also liked to just have fun and cut up, too! I remember laying down in Bison Square between Willard Collins Auditorium and the Student Center one night when I had my cousin Joel draw around me with a piece of chalk so that I looked like a chalk drawing from a crime scene. It was really funny watching people, as they left chapel, stepping over and around the chalk drawing in the square!”
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned during your time at Lipscomb?
“There are two things, actually. The most valuable things I learned were to have a mission mindset and the life lesson of persisting until I succeed.
“My mindset around missions was first spurred between my junior and senior years when I was able to travel to Italy with Dr. Earl Lavender. That trip led to my return following graduation to work with the church in Cervignano and to play semi-pro, American football in Palmanova.
“I still have lifelong friendships from that experience. It also greatly opened my eyes to more global views at many levels and over time those views have helped me be much more empathetic, non-judgmental, and appreciative of various cultures.
“I mention persistence because all of our athletes always worked very hard in the weight room and with our events, and we prayed together a lot. We set goals, and intensely worked to prepare ourselves to accomplish new personal records at every meet.”
Who was your favorite professor and why?
“I can’t say that I had a favorite; I had so many awesome professor
“I have very fond memories of Lynn Griffith, David Adams, Tom Holland, Earl Lomax, and Keith Nikolaus. I truly felt like these professors cared about me and took great pride in their fields of expertise. Their passion for their subjects was obvious and their abilities to connect spirituality to their daily lessons really inspired me. They walked the walk with Christ.”
Tell us about your family.
“My wife’s name is Paula and she works as a Business Operations Analyst with the American Red Cross National Headquarters. Wer have two sons.
“Nathaniel will be 17 years old in May and is a sophomore at Henry County High School where he is an accomplished football player and track and field athlete.
“Donovan is 19 years old and currently a student at the University of Tennessee at Martin. While in high school, he excelled in football, playing on two state championship teams. We are members of, and worship regularly, at University Church of Christ in Murray, Kentucky.”
Who is your employer?
“I’m currently employed by the Paris Special School District in Paris, Tennessee where I have worked as Rhea Elementary’s principal for the past 17 years. I also currently work as the Throws coach for the Track and Field Team at Henry County High School where I have the privilege of coaching my son, Nathaniel, in shotput, discus, and javelin.
“I began my teaching/coaching career at Christian Academy of Greater St. Louis, later worked with Hickman County Schools in Centerville, Tennessee, and, after that, spent six years with the State Department of Education in Nashville, Tennessee.”
Where do you live?
My email address is E-mail Address: SOwens415@gmail.com.