He grew up in Chattanooga, the son of parents who met on the Lipscomb campus, but it took a brother’s influence to get him to Nashville. He’s now an attorney in Chattanooga who married a Bison volleyball standout. He fondly remembers road trips, special teachers, good times in High Rise dorm, and five special teammates. LipscombSports.com sat down this week for a brief conversation with this early member of the Lipscomb soccer program, Jeffrey Maddux.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
I played soccer for Coach John Goad from Fall 2000 through Fall 2003. I transferred to Lipscomb after one year at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and I was able to work out my years of eligibility to play on Lipscomb’s first NCAA Division I soccer team.
What teammates were most memorable?
I have a group of five friends that I count among my favorites because we played together through good times and bad, and we still keep in touch. They are Dustin Walker, Alan Brewer, Denis Kitzinger, Markus Zobec, and Matt Nichols. We were even able to host our own mini-reunion in Boston last year, just to hang out and catch up with each other. One came from China, one from Germany, one from just outside Boston, and Dustin and I both came from Chattanooga.
That group of friends means a lot to me, and the bond we share is one of the very best examples of friendships often formed at a place like Lipscomb.
What degrees have you earned?
At Lipscomb I earned bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Business Finance/Economics. After that I received an MBA and JD from the University of Memphis.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
I have always known about Lipscomb because my parents met on campus when they were students. The main reason I came, however, was because my brother was a student and soccer player at Lipscomb. Jim was part of the first men’s soccer team at Lipscomb, the one that helped start the program. He is three years older than me, so my first year (Fall 2000) I got to play on the team with him. After that, Jim stayed on as an assistant coach for as long as I was there.
I was also attracted to Lipscomb because it was NCAA DI and because of the conference it was in. But really, the opportunity to play with my brother was the biggest pull to get me to Nashville. It was a lot of fun.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
I will never forget the last game my group of teammates played together. We played on the road at Wofford, and we won a very significant game. I have a picture from that game sitting in my office right now – the six of us posed after the game with the scoreboard in the background. That team had gone through a lot – some good but growing years – and winning that game was a nice reward for the end of our competitive careers together.
In addition, I agree with most other student-athletes who will tell you the value of friendships formed on the long bus rides, the pranks you pull together, fun in the locker room, and even practice sessions. I have great memories as a Lipscomb soccer player, and most of those memories involve fun outside the lines.
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
My brother Jim is at the top of my list of “influencers.” First, he got me to Lipscomb – I came primarily because of him. Second, we got to play together for a year, and that was a lot of fun – not something most brothers are able to do on the NCAA DI level. Third, he was my coach, and that wasn’t always an easy thing. It was a challenge for us both. We frequently went at each other, but I always knew – at the end of the day – he had my best interest in mind and he knew how to best direct some of my characteristics for the benefit of the team. While I didn’t always like it at the time, it was the right thing and it’s why I look back and see the impact he made on me through those years.
(Coach) John Goad was a huge influence on me as well. He was a great man and an excellent coach who came into a difficult situation and did things right to grow a brand-new team into a strong program. Few people could have accomplished what he did to build that program, and I love the way (current coach) Charles Morrow has continued the growth to the point that Lipscomb Soccer is a consistent top team in the ASUN Conference.
What’s your favorite non-athletic memory from your time here?
I lived on campus my first several years, like most Lipscomb students, and we had a lot of fun in the dorm. Most of the soccer guys lived on a floor in High Rise dorm near a group of baseball players, and we were able to get into a little trouble without getting into too much trouble. I’m convinced living in the dorm is a valuable part of the college experience.
We also spent way too much time in the cafeteria – it was our informal meeting space, although it was nowhere near as nice as it is now. I go back on campus these days, and I can’t believe how nice the facilities are and how many great food choices students enjoy today. I look around and I’m just in awe. We have great memories, but today’s Lipscomb students have a much nicer campus than we did.
What are the most valuable lessons you learned in your time at Lipscomb?
One of the best things Lipscomb taught me was that with a good work ethic, a person can be successful in what he/she does while at the same time maintaining your own identity, your integrity, who you are, and what values you have. That’s the biggest lesson I took from my time on campus. My professors didn’t try to mold me into someone I wasn’t. They encouraged me to be the best, most successful version of myself while maintaining the God-given characteristics that made me unique.
Who were your favorite professors?
I always loved Lin Garner. Dr. Garner (English professor and Associate Athletic Director for Academics) would frequently travel with us, and there’s no telling what she had to put up with on those bus rides. She went to bat for us on academic issues, and she was great. Every time I see Dr. Garner I give her a hug – she was one of our biggest fans, and we all thought she was awesome.
Jeff Jewell (Professor of Finance) was one of my finance/economics teachers, and I tried to take as many of his classes as possible. He was a great professor, and I still remember sitting in his classrooms.
What do you do now?
I’m an attorney in Chattanooga for Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., and we provide a wide variety of legal services for businesses and individuals in Tennessee and Georgia. Specifically, I do a lot of litigation and risk management work. I also do some educational law for some schools in town, and I really enjoy that practice area. In October, I will celebrate ten years at this firm.
Tell us about your family:
I’m married to a beautiful wife I met at Lipscomb, a volleyball player named Emily (Smith). She graduated a year after me, in 2004. We married a few years later, and our next anniversary will be our 11th. We have two children: Madelyn (5) and William (3).
- Favorite food: a good burger
- Favorite TV show or movie: The Office
- Favorite scripture: Isaiah 40:28-31 – “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
- Favorite sports team: Manchester United
- Person I most admire: My father, Lee
- Favorite season: Fall
- Pick one – salad or dessert: Dessert
- Early morning or late night person? Formerly a late night person, I’ve converted to early mornings.
You can reach Jeffrey by email at: JMaddux@chamblisslaw.com