Charlie Lyle was a four-time NAIA All-American in the 400-Meter Intermediate Hurdles, the Indoor 660-Yard Dash and two relay events at Lipscomb University. His school record in the 400-Meter Hurdles held for 38 years, but was broken by Wayne Newman at the Atlantic Sun Championships this spring with a time 51.59 seconds which also shattered the conference record. Lyle spent some time answering questions this week for Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you run track at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I was on the track team from 1975 -1979. I ran indoor and outdoor track.
"Joey Haines was my coach."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"I have several. As a sophomore running at the University of Florida Relays Edwin Moses, the Olympic Gold Medal winner, was in the next lane in the 400-Meter Hurdles. Even at Lipscomb you could face world class competition.
“Edwin Moses was at the height of his career. It was like the signature/special event for him. At the big prestigious track meets there are usually five-to-six heats based on your best time for each event.
“The first heat was the fastest times and I was in that group because I may have had the seventh or eighth best time going in. Just to be in the same race was a big deal. Edwin Moses blew all of us away. He probably ran 50 flat and I may have run 52.5 and may have finished sixth place.
"At Lipscomb in the mid-70s we were running against local NCAA teams as well as SEC Teams. We had an awesome Mile Relay team. I remember as a freshman we went to Des Moines, Iowa for the Drake Relays and won a lot of races. Additionally, at other times we faced teams from Auburn, Tennessee, Louisville, MTSU, Indiana, Georgia and Georgia Tech and held our own. We went to some of the most prestigious track events available."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"By far it would be Coach Joey Haines - not only for the Lipscomb experience but for the direction he provided in my life although I am sure he did not realize it at the time.
"Coach Haines called me in the spring of my senior year of high school in 1975 and offered me a full scholarship and sold me on the idea of coming to Lipscomb. Lipscomb did not have a track and had limited training facilities.
"I really wanted to save my parents the financial burden of school and during the summers I was a beach lifeguard in Atlantic Beach, Florida to help with spending money. Going from the beach lifestyle with shorts, long hair and flip flops to the conservative Lipscomb culture of the 1970s for me initially was a challenge, but Coach Haines understood and helped guide me along the way."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Being from Florida I enjoyed it when we had a lot of snow. Some of the track guys would load up the cars and go sledding at the Belmont hill.
"I think the track team still holds the record for building the largest snowman ever built on the Lipscomb campus in front of Johnson Hall.
"Also I enjoyed driving with the top down in my old Thunderbird convertible around Percy Warner Park with a full crew. I still have the car in my garage to this day."
How did you get to Lipscomb University from Neptune Beach, Florida?
“A local Florida high school coach recommended me after Coach Haines asked him about me while I was running in high school. Coach Haines kept up with me.
“I ran a 1.54 flat 880 and got third in the state of Florida at the state meet and then he called me. That was a really good time 40 years ago and still is a record at my high school.
“I drove my T-Bird back and forth to Florida for four years. I had never heard of Lipscomb
I was planning on going to Auburn, but the funding was not as good do I decided to go to Lipscomb in June that year.
“I came to visit Lipscomb on a recruiting trip. I had to go to JC Penney at 100 Oaks to get shoes and long pants because all I had were flip flops and shorts to wear around campus.”
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"The Lipscomb University School of Business now ranks No. 77 of all schools in the United States. I majored in Business and minored in Speech. A degree from Lipscomb is huge and I valued my time there and appreciate it more every day.
"I gained several lifelong friends and get together with them several times a year either snow skiing and/or going to a beach. These guys excelled in track and continued that with their lives and occupations. Alan Adams is a premier home builder in Brentwood, Tennessee. Dr. Jim Williams is a dentist in Atlanta. Dr. Will Beyer specializes in Psychology in Jackson, Tennessee and Bob Martin is VP for Advancement at Central Michigan University."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Marlin Connelly was my favorite because he had a great sense of humor was very approachable and he made his classes enjoyable. He sort of took the athletes under his wings to insure we learned.
"I minored in Speech so I had a lot of classes with him. He baptized me at his Bellevue church in November 1980 after graduation."
Where do you live now?
"I have lived in Brentwood, Tennessee for almost 30 years."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work in Sales for the J.M. Smucker Company. Smucker's has a Pet Products division where I sell to Corporate National Accounts, Tractor Supply in Brentwood, Petsupermarket in Miami and Pet Supplies Plus in Livonia, Michigan.
"Our portfolio consists of Milk Bone Dog Biscuits, Pupperoni Dog Treats, Meow Mix, 9-Lives Cat Food, Natural Balance and Nature's Recipe just to mention a few of the brands.
"I have spent the past 35 years working for the company."
Tell us about your family.
"I have been married to my wife, Theresa, for 34 years. I am most proud of my two kids.
Morgan Lyle Turner is a nurse practitioner in Chattanooga and lives in Ooltewah, Tennessee with her husband, Brandon, and our new five-month-old grand-daughter. Blakely Chase Lyle works as a mortgage loan officer in the Nashville area."
My contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org