When Clay Lehning was in high school Jeff Forehand recruited him to play baseball at Trevecca. But Lehning wanted to play NCAA Division I baseball and he answered the call to play for Lipscomb. Forehand became the new head coach at Lipscomb and got a second chance to coach Lehning his final three years. Lehning was part of the first team to play in the NCAA Tournament, picking up a win over Georgia in Athens. Lehning works in the world of business now and spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played baseball at Lipscomb from 2005 through 2009. I was a second baseman. I played a little bit of third too.
"I played for both Wynn Fletcher and Jeff Forehand as head coaches. I played for Wynn for two years. I redshirted one of those years and had three years to play for Coach Forehand.
"The assistants for Wynn were Cliff Terracuso and Lance Wheeler. With Coach Forehand the assistants were Brian Ryman, Lance Wheeler and Chris Collins."
Why did you choose to attend Lipscomb?
"I started at Lipscomb in the seventh grade. I never really had it in mind to go to college there.
"I actually wanted to go to Belmont. A lot of people don't know that. Thankfully, it worked out for me at Lipscomb and it worked out really well.
"I wanted to stay close to home where my family could see me play. I wanted to play NCAA Division I. Coach Forehand was actually recruiting me pretty hard to come to Trevecca. I know he was also after Blake Bratcher and Caleb Joseph. We all ended up playing at Lipscomb for him which was kind of fun.
"I had a buddy on my summer league team, Jake Barnes, who actually signed with me at Lipscomb. Coach Fletcher wanted both of us. We went fishing one day and talked about it and we decided to sign together. We roomed together our freshman year."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"Winning the conference tournament championship in 2008 and going down to Georgia that same year and beating Georgia in Athens. That was a pretty fun trip. It was a pretty cool two weeks..
"We won the ASUN Tournament (against Gardner Webb, a 10-9 win) in a 16-inning game. I think everybody on the roster played that day. I think every pitcher threw, even the ones who weren't supposed to. It was an interesting day for sure.
"We hopped on the bus and went home. We drove straight through the night and got back to Lipscomb around 6 a.m. the next day."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Coach Forehand. He was the guy we were with every single day. His energy was contagious. It was pretty unbelievable how much energy he would bring to work every day.
"Off the field I got to know his family - Karen, Gant and Brooks. That was really great. It was kind of unique. I don't think everybody who plays a college sport gets that personal aspect with their coach. I had a great relationship with Coach Forehand."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Since I played at Lipscomb high school I had so many friends already when I came to the university. I was fortunate. The opportunity to continue my relationships with my high school friends was great.
"There were a few guys from Nashville on the team but most of them were from out-of-state. It was great to continue my relationships with my high school buddies on campus as well as having an all new set of friends on the baseball team."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Going to Lipscomb since the seventh grade you obviously get the Christian and Biblical background.
"I majored in marketing and minored in finance in Lipscomb's business school. The best thing was learning in the business school how to apply Biblical principles in the business world.
"They did a really good job of setting us up with what to expect. You don't always get a lot of exposure outside of Lipscomb, especially if you have been there for 10 or 15 years. They did a really good job in the business school of showing us what the world was like and how you live in the business world while still retaining Biblical and Christian principles."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
Definitely, Dr. Randy Steger. He was a marketing professor and also my business advisor.
"Everything was so real world oriented with him. Exams were tough because you didn't know whether to study the textbook or what he taught in the classroom. It didn't always correlate. There was so much information and so much real world practical learning there. You can get all the data you want out of a textbook, but it doesn't necessarily teach you how to apply it and what to do with it."
Where do you live now?
"I live in Green Hills in Nashville."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"Willis North America. I am a business analyst. I do a little bit of everything. I am currently working in the IT world. We help manage software platforms across North America for Willis."
Tell us about your family.
"I am single."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.