Dan Turner, PT, DPT, COMT; ran cross country and also served as a graduate assistant coach at Lipscomb before embarking on a career in physical therapy in 2007. Much of his work centers on runners and cyclists and he is a Level 3 Certified U.S.A Cycling coach. from 2004-2007 he completed his doctorate in physical therarapy at Tennessee-Chattanooga. He spent some time this past week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you run cross country at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I was on the team from 1998 through 2002. It was during the transition from NAIA to NCAA. We only had cross country when I started, but we added indoor track and some outdoor track before I left school.
"Lynn Griffith was my first coach and then it was Clay Nicks after that."
Why did you choose to attend Lipscomb?
"I went to high school at Lipscomb. I had always been around the people involved with the school. I enjoyed being around the people. I really enjoyed the community we had there. I knew a lot of the professors already because I had been in school with their kids. The quality of the teachers, the quality of the education and the experience I would get running were all big draws for me.
"I told myself I would never go to college at Lipscomb. I was recruited by some NCAA schools and I thought I would probably never get to run for those schools in four years. At Lipscomb I knew I would get to run. I would be around good, quality people. It worked out great."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"Running in the NAIA National Cross Country Meet in 1998, my freshman year, was pretty cool. That was pretty eye-opening. We had small schools, but they recruited runners from overseas. A lot of the teams were stacked with runners from other countries like Kenya and Ethiopia.
"Once we started making the transition to NCAA we were running against bigger schools. I think it was the Auburn race where we lined up in the box (to start the race) next to Alabama, the defending NCAA National Champion in Cross Country. That was pretty cool."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Earl Lavender was my high school coach. He really instilled in me a work ethic to do what I needed to do in college.
"When I got to Lipscomb my roommates - David Scott and Keith O'Neal - really pushed me to be more than I thought I could be.
"Early on we had a pretty small team. You had to have five runners to place. Usually you run with seven so you have a couple of extras, but in a lot of meets we barely had enough people to place. We had to be as tough as we could be. We all had to finish the race. Even if you weren't feeling good or we weren't ready to run we pulled together and sacrificed for the team."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Meeting my wife, Amanda. That would definitely be my fondest one. We ran together. I met her and the rest is history."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Going the extra mile for people. That is one thing Lipscomb instilled pretty well. It was about having a good balance between being a hard worker and being a good, giving and caring person."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"My major was exercise science. Kent Johnson, Ruth Henry and `Doc' (David) Adams were three professors I really enjoyed.
"Dr. Henry's classes were enjoyable but challenging. It was hard material, but she made it fun. We would laugh about stuff, but we learned the material.
"Dr. Johnson's classes were also challenging. He was good at pushing us. I enjoyed the challenge. He ran cross country so he took a liking to us.
"Doc Adams was a character. I remember one of the first days I walked into his class he was on a table next to the podium. He was in a lotus-like yoga pose with his feet crossed and something like a turban on his head. He was up there with his eyes closed and doing the `oms'. Then he opened one eye and said, `oh, you guys are here.'
Where do you live now?
"We live in Brentwood, Tennessee."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work for Results Physiotherapy in Smyrna. I am the clinic director.
"I work as a therapist full-time and do the business part of it as well."
Tell us about your family.
"My wife is Amanda. We have two daughters. Belle will be six next month. Ava is 2 1/2."
My email address is email@example.com