Daniel Dennison played basketball for Lipscomb University and he still is an avid supporter of the program and athletics in general. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area and has traveled on the East Coast to see the Bisons play. Daniel answered questions via email this week for Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
“I played basketball from 1989-93. My head coach was Don Meyer. The assistants were Ralph Turner and Mike Roller.”
Why did you choose to attend Lipscomb?
“The basketball program for sure. Most people probably don’t remember, but Lipscomb ran the largest basketball camps in the country with over 5,000 campers per summer. I had attended the basketball camps from the seventh grade through high school. My first year as a seventh grader I got selected based on height alone to go play with the high school juniors and seniors. It wasn’t until my second to the last day that my camp coach figured out why the tall kid was such a gangly dork!
“I would love to write how about how I valued academics, but my world experience was really limited. As a kid from Alabama public schools, I didn’t realize yet what a thrilling learning experience I would find at DLU.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“It has to be the first Battle of the Boulevard played at Vandy! Even though John Pierce, Mark Campbell and myself were red-shirted and did not dress out, it was an amazing experience. Over 16,000 people inside, tickets being scalped outside and a fast-paced game. I just remember the score was in the 120s... Coach Meyer was so intense, he was hammering his head against the concrete wall near the bathroom (like a berserker getting ready for battle)! Talk about an introduction to Bison basketball.
“Other ones include visiting Minnesota-Duluth in February (brrr) and our bi-yearly Hawaii trips.
“If I can indulge in one more, I loved how Coach made us face the other team and take full force charges in warm-ups. I once got to see rugby down under and fell in love with the haka. In our own way, maybe this was our own version. I’m sure other teams thought it was nuts, but the intensity must have put them on edge.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
“It isn’t the who. While it would be easy enough to just say Coach Meyer and leave it at that, what I really remember is what he built. The lessons from how he sculpted a program are true life lessons. No matter how great you are personally, you can’t build a great program (i.e. project, business, church, etc.) without inspiring others to the vision. You have to reach widely, ask for help and never overlook anyone’s “gifts” no matter how meager. Building great is a snowballing effort and has to be built on the weight of multitudes. “
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“The classroom discussions in the poly sci and history department hands down. My own educational background and world exposure was limited entering college. After spending a frenzied first year catching up, I thrived in the higher level classes. I don’t know if they still do it, but my favorite classes were the cross-disciplinary. You could take a politics and literature or history and politics classes taught by a full professor from each discipline reading the same texts, finding different conclusions, and each taking a different path to get there. I have crossed paths with a lot of colleagues who went to “Ivies” and their own higher level classes were a crammed auditorium and graduate assistants.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
“Where do I begin? I loved Craig Bledsoe’s and Robert Hooper’s classes and the passion they showed. Professor Jim Thomas in communication became a mentor outside of class.
“But if I have to name two specifically it would be Richard Goode (history) and Earl Lomax (literature). My own focus in American Studies was in the colonial period. I loved Professor Goode’s enthusiasm for the subject and ability to challenge your preconceived notions. His Christianity was humble and engaging, and I have been unsurprised to learn how much success his prison ministry has had.
“The afternoons I spent hanging out in Dr. Lomax’s office were always engaging. I think he took to me because I would challenge his position in class and start arguing from other books I was reading at the time (much to the horror of the elementary educational majors I might add). Dr. Lomax would just grin like a cat who had just eaten a mouse and relish the argument.”
Where do you live now?
“A colonial town called Leesburg in Virginia. The town is roughly an hour from Washington, D.C., 15 minutes to hiking on the Appalachian Trail and 10 minutes to kayaking on the Potomac River.”
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
“I work in consulting at Accenture. I am a global Delivery Manager for large enterprise projects focusing in supply chain management. My job(s) have taken me all over the world working in large multi-national companies helping to deliver supply chain solutions. Currently, I am managing multiple implementations and travel Monday-Thursday to various locations. “
Tell us about your family.
My wife, Susan, is an outstanding elementary teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia. She and I were married for 13 years prior to having our first child Drake. While as older parents we might lack for energy, but we are having the time of our lives!
“Drake has been a true blessing. While the kid is only three, the poor kid gets dragged all over the country on weekends as we try to maximum family time and Drake’s learning experiences. He has even been to see the Bisons play in D.C. New York City. We also like spending weekends at our Northern Neck hovel (1910 former oyster house) on the Chesapeake Bay.”
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org