Haley Elliott hasn't been afraid to make changes in her life. She chose to play softball at Lipscomb after having committed to another school. At Lipscomb she switched from a pre-pharmacy curriculum to accounting which has become her chosen profession. And in softball she played catcher, first base and designated hitter during her four-years with the Lady Bisons. Her accounting career is keeping her busy, but she spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play softball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 2010 through 2014. I came in as a catcher. I had a couple of shoulder injuries. I played a little bit at first base my sophomore year and caught a little my junior year. But I was primarily a designated hitter my junior and senior years.
"Kristin Ryman was the head coach."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?
"I had originally committed to Central Arkansas. The summer before my senior year Coach Peck (Ryman) reached out to me and asked me to visit the campus.
"I fell in love with the campus. I love Nashville. I am from West Tennessee (Lexington). I grew up playing in Nashville in travel tournaments.
"My Dad and I came to Lipscomb for a visit. We talked about it afterwards. Both of us thought it was a good fit for me.
"The campus was very welcoming with a family feel. The facilities were gorgeous. They do a good job of keeping it beautiful year-round.
"But for me it was more about the people. I really got along with the coaches on the visit. I liked what the school had to offer. I grew up going to church and attended a Christian-based school (Trinity Christian Academy). A Christian school was not a necessity, but given the opportunity I was glad I had it."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"It is hard to just pick one. We had such a tight-knit (recruiting) class. There were a lot of us- Ashley Anderson Mitchell, Kristen Sturdivant, Bridgette Begle, Rena' Cothron, Shelby Cunningham and Geneva Nelson. Shelby and Geneva left the program early.
“We all hit it off right off of the bat. It was Quest Week and we were doing stuff that friends who had been together four or five years might be doing and we had only been together for a week. We got a sense we were going to get along and stay friends. Softball only lasted four years and we are still friends now.
"The NCAA Regional in Knoxville my senior year was a great way to cap off my career. We had worked four years as seniors to get there. We always knew we could. We had played good teams all four years and beat some of them. It was fun. There was no pressure. It was definitely a good way to go out playing as well as we did."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
Coach Myers. She is now Lexi Myers Shrout. She was an assistant coach my freshman and sophomore years.
“She always had a way of pushing me into areas where I wasn't necessarily the most comfortable, but I ended up being better because of it. I also felt like she always had my back. Knowing that your coach does have your back makes it easier to go out and compete because you are not worrying so much about the outcome. I hated to see her go after my sophomore year.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"That is a hard one. I know we would shoot water balloons off of the dorms. We did that our freshman and sophomore years. We felt like it was hilarious and it helped us occupy our time. We got caught a few times so we decided we better hang it up."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"I think it would be both perspective and respect.
"You can be at the bottom or the top, but you still want to treat people with respect. You get the best out of people when you do that. It is something you would expect someone to give you.
"Lipscomb helped me grow the perspective I already had. It helps me be more patient in the workplace. Everybody has busy work lives. You appreciate their help along the way.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I went through accounting and finished the MAcc program, the Masters in Accountancy.
"Dr. Perry Moore was my advisor. He had a lot to do with my going into the Master’s program. He helped me through a lot.
“My first accounting class was Intro to Accounting with Dr. Jeff Mankin. I fell in love with accounting. I loved Jeff. He was funny in class. He cracked me up. We had weights at 6 a.m. and I had his class at 9 a.m. For him to crack me up was a pretty big feat.
“With Charles Frasier we had more life lessons in his class that I still remember to this day.
“Another favorite was Dr. Ray Eldridge, though he didn’t teach accounting classes. He taught business classes.
“They are all genuine, down-to- earth guys. They really care about their students. They care about what is going on with us, even after we are out of school.
“Playing sports, they would keep up with the games. We would get back to class and they would ask us how our weekends were going during the season. Even when school was out we would get emails from them giving their support.”
“I started out in pre-pharmacy. I loved chemistry and anything to do with math but biology wasn’t for me. I switched to math but didn’t want to be a teacher.
“Accounting is like a big puzzle. It is always something different. I never get bored with it. Every day and every week something is different about it. It is an opportunity for me to help people. It is rewarding and interesting for me at the same time.”
Where do you live now?
"I live in Nashville now, but I am building a condo in Spring Hill. I hope to move there two weeks from now."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I started work for the LKQ Corporation in June. I am based in Nashville and work as an accounting analyst II.
“We have different locations we work with. My locations (for clients) are in the northern Midwest and Midwest Canada. I try to be their right hand working with their financials. If they have any questions they call us if they need any advice on anything moneywise. We do things like close out the books for them.
“The companies I work with are great. It has been very interesting.”
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.