Bryan Skelton chose Lipscomb University to play baseball and study business. He excelled in both areas graduating magna cum laude and earning all-conference as a player. He has fond memories of his time on campus. He spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played baseball from fall of 1991 through spring of 1995.
"Ken Dugan was the head coach. The assistant coaches were Al Austelle, Roy Pardue and Kolin Holladay.
"I signed as a shortstop. I made about 27 errors my freshman year. We signed an All-American shortstop named Chris Gainer and they moved me to the outfield. We laugh about it to this day. It was much better for the team for me to get further away from home plate."
"What attracted you to attend Lipscomb?
"I am originally from Montgomery, Alabama. Two things that drew me to Lipscomb were the chance to play for Coach Dugan and the chance to go to the School of Business. Having been raised in the Church of Christ I was aware of Lipscomb and the strong baseball and basketball programs and the strong School of Business with professors like Dr. Axel Swang and Charles Frasier."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"There are a couple. One is not that specific. I loved the camaraderie and hanging out with the guys in the dorm, in the locker room, the weight room, on the field and on the road. We spent a lot of time together. I developed some pretty deep friendships … guys that I can still call on today for any reason.
"One specific game was in 1995 when we had a really big comeback in a game with Union in the TCAC tournament at Union in Jackson, Tennessee. We were in the elimination game and were down 9-2 in the bottom of the ninth.
"John Boatman, a senior, hit a home run. I was emotional because I thought what a good way that was for him to go out. A couple of more runners got on base. I thought it was going to be my last time at bat and I hit a home run. Then Adam Sullivan hit a home run. Brad Frasier came in as a pinch-hitter and hits a walk-off grand slam.
"It was an interesting last inning. We took Union totally by surprise. I played in more than 240 college games. I don't remember many of them but I remember that one. We won the game 11-9. We lost to Belmont later that day."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Obviously, it was Coach Dugan. He was firm, but fair. There were times when I didn't like him and he didn't like me, but by the end of my career I had such deep respect for him and grew to love him.
"I was one of those kids who came to Lipscomb from a long distance. He would let me go to his house and wash my car there. Little things like that made you love him.
"But more so, after I graduated and he retired, we would get together once a month for lunch. I had so much respect for everything he taught us. He taught us how to be men.
"In Nashville, Tennessee and around the Southeast there are two things that have stuck with me forever. I can say I went to Lipscomb and that means something. It stands for integrity and faith.
"When I say I played for Coach Dugan that is another sphere of influence I have access to. Even guys who played 20 years earlier than me share that bond with me."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Two come to my mind. One is everybody hanging out in the square around lunchtime and around chapel time.
"Another would be just being able to mingle with the professors on the campus outside of the classroom. I have relationships with Dr. Perry Moore, Mr. Frasier and Dr. Bill Ingram and Dr. Jeff Mankin. They are still there today. I still get to see them on a regular basis."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"No. 1 would be to work hard and be prepared in whatever you do. There is no substitute for proper preparation. That came through my classes and through Coach Dugan and the notebooks and meetings.
"Coach Don Meyer and Coach Dugan were a lot alike. Everybody remembers Coach Meyer and his notebooks with the basketball team. He and Coach Dugan shared ideas especially early on.
"The other would be trying to make a difference with the people you work with, the people you worship with, the people you coach with and those you just hang out with. Lipscomb hones you and strengthens your faith. Even in life when your faith feels dormant you can always come back to that."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Three that pop out are Charles Frasier, Perry Moore and Bill Ingram. I double majored in accounting and finance. I had all of three of those guys.
"Charles Frasier personifies success and humility. He is a very humble guy. He has such a good presence about him. I thought when I was a student if I could be anything like him when I was older that would be great.
"Dr. Moore has such a passion for his students. He will do anything he can to help you take the next step in your career development.
"Dr. Ingram brought a different element with finance and economics. He would challenge us. He would ask us a lot of questions. He would almost force us to develop confidence and thought patterns and be able to prove our points. It was more about developing critical thinking."
Where do you live now?
"I lived for 20 years in Franklin, but recently moved to Nashville."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I started in public accounting. Then I worked in health care and behavioral health. In the last couple of years I have started the Skelton Advisory Group, a consulting company in healthcare, finance and commercial real estate development."
Tell us about your family.
"My wife, Jennifer, and I have been married almost two years. I have three children - a daughter Taylor, Caleb, a son, and Kendall, a daughter. I have a bonus son, Gavin O'Heir."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.