He came to Nashville from Texas more than 15 years ago, and he hasn’t left yet. Mike Sherman both played and helped coach tennis for Lipscomb, and he’s one of the most praised student-athletes we have found. Teammates, coaches and professors compliment his ability to cultivate relationships. This week we learned about his personal values and his Bison memories when he took a minute to sit down with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
I played tennis from the fall of 2003 through the spring of 2007. Lynn Griffith coached our team the first three years, and Andrew Harris took over for the last year.
What teammate was most memorable?
This is probably a politically correct answer, but it’s also true … I can’t name just one. Several of them are still my best friends now, and I talk with them daily, ten years after graduating. I consider Andrew Harris, my first roommate, to be a significant mentor in my life. My best friend and best man at my wedding, Colten Jones, is also my lifetime rival in a friendship that spans multiple sports, bets, and general life. We even have kids who were born three weeks apart, so our rivalry will obviously extend to multiple generations. I also remember Craig Dobson, the ultimate friend, who is extremely different from me (in pretty much all the best ways) – patient, thoughtful, service-oriented, witty, and a great family man. I find so much to admire and aspire towards in him. I’ll never forget David Carrillo, who makes me laugh the quickest. Jeff West is one of the most focused and motivated people I have ever met. And finally, I need to give special shout-outs to tennis guys who weren’t even my teammates, but I still love: Dustin Overbeek, Mario Hernandez, and Joe McArdle.
What degrees have you earned?
I earned my BS in Computer Engineering from Lipscomb in 2007, and I added an MBA while serving as assistant coach on the tennis team in 2012.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
I knew coming out of high school that I wanted to play tennis at a smaller Christian school and to earn an engineering degree. Being from Texas, I had never heard of Lipscomb, but I knew after my recruiting trip it was the perfect fit. Meeting all the players at the time, I was floored at the relationships that were in place on the team. I really wanted that.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
I was extremely competitive on the court, and our team had a few solid wins, but I’ve mostly forgotten the matches at this point. I think my favorite athletic memories are mostly embarrassing moments for either Colten Jones or myself, and I’ll decline to speak of those.
However, as an alternative, I’ll come clean about one trip to Florida getting stuck in traffic next to an orange orchard. The men were in the front van and Coach Griffith was driving the women’s van behind us. When traffic completely stopped, I sprinted out of our van, picked up a few of the juiciest oranges I could find, and smashed them on the windshield of Coach Griffith’s van. Surprisingly, I didn’t get in trouble.
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
The two primary influencers were Coach Griffith and Andrew Harris. Coach Griffith was already a legend before I arrived at Lipscomb, but I still try to model my life after his. He is the pinnacle of discipline, not above doing any kind of work or job to benefit others. He calls everything how he sees it, and he is a great Christian man who is consistent in all aspects of his life. He is a solid husband, father, grandfather, coach, teacher, and I’ve even heard he swims in his unheated pool during the winter … maniac.
Andrew Harris taught me there is a lot more to the world than being decent at tennis. He taught me how to be more proactive in daily life, how to model leadership, the importance of fellowship and of being involved in your church. Most importantly, he taught me that serving and volleying is not a completely outdated style of play. Never stop believing, Andrew….
What do you remember about Lipscomb campus life during your time here?
I spent a lot of time studying when I wasn’t playing tennis, which means I probably didn’t have the most active social life. Nonetheless, I loved being a student at a school where I knew almost everyone I passed on sidewalks, I enjoyed all the intramurals, and I still chuckle at the spontaneity of entertainment being available at all times. Cafeteria memories were probably my favorites – something funny happened during practically every meal – plus we did our best to eat everything in sight. (Can’t do that anymore.)
Most notably, I met my future wife – Kristen Blake – at Lipscomb.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned in your time at Lipscomb?
I think the value and importance of having meaningful relationships is my most important lesson. More than ten years removed from college, it is much more difficult to get together with friends and former teammates. It takes real work to organize. We encounter so much difficulty and surface-level interaction in our daily lives, it can be very easy to feel alone. Having longtime friends who truly know you and value your strengths and weaknesses is a gift that cannot be bought. I am thankful every day for all those people who instilled that mentality into me at Lipscomb.
Who were your favorite professors?
John Pettit and Greg Nordstrom were my two favorite instructors and biggest advocates while I struggled through engineering. If I hadn’t had them, there’s no way I would have made it through. They gave me motivation and accountability to push through classes that I probably would have given up on without their influence.
On the MBA side, Perry Moore and Jeff Jewell were influential in what I pursued.
What do you do now?
I work in healthcare for the Saint Thomas hospital system in business development and strategy.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to Kristen (Blake) Sherman for six years, and we live in Nashville. We recently had a baby boy named Jack, who is nearly four months old. We also have two golden retrievers, Archie and Gracie, who cause a lot of trouble in our neighborhood.
- Favorite food: bananas
- Favorite TV show or movie: The Simpsons
- Favorite Bible scripture: James 1:2-3 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
- Favorite sports team: Dallas Mavericks
- Pet peeve: Blaming others
- Person I most admire: Dirk Nowitzki
- Favorite season of the year: Summer
- Pick one – salad or dessert: Dessert
- Dream vacation spot: New Zealand
- Early morning or late night person? Nothing better than early morning workouts.
You can reach Mike by email: email@example.com