He came to Nashville from Shelby, North Carolina, and she grew up in Valdosta, Georgia. He played tennis and she played basketball. They both had campus nicknames – he was known as “Murdock” and she was known as “Missy.” David Dowdy and Melissa Williams met at Lipscomb in the fall of 1985 and will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in July. They sat down with LipscombSports.com this week to talk about their best college memories, their most memorable teammates, and their favorite professors.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
David: “I played four years on the tennis team for Coach Lynn Griffith from the fall of 1983 through the spring of 1987.”
Melissa: “I played two years of basketball – 1986 and 1987 – for Coach Frank Bennett and Trish Duty.”
What teammate was most memorable?
David: “Greg Chambers is my most memorable teammate, although there were several who were close runners-up. Greg’s work ethic was over the top, but he always knew how to keep the rest of us loose. Plus, he really thought I might be crazy…”
Melissa: “Celeste Peacock and Kim Satterfield were my most memorable teammates. I can envision them nailing three point shots like it was yesterday.”
What degree did you earn?
David: “I graduated in the winter of 1988 with a double major in Business Management and Finance, plus a minor in Marketing.”
Melissa: “I earned a B.S. in Family and Consumer Science with a minor in Science in May of 1989.”
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
David: “I had offers from other schools to play tennis, but I really felt like I needed to be around Christians at that point in my life. I had started down a potential bad path and I thought Lipscomb could help me back on the right path. Plus, I had great parents who had gone to Lipscomb and I saw the benefits of Christian education in their lives.”
Melissa: “I wanted to continue to play the game of basketball and to obtain a college degree. My sisters, Lynn and Jill Williams, and good friends from my hometown, Ginny and Karen Walker, Jerry Bridges, Dale Armstrong, plus several others attended Lipscomb and I was excited to follow in their footsteps.”
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
David: “There are lots of memories from individual accomplishments, but I think a team memory – winning the regional championship and going to the Nationals my freshman year – was the best. We had a close team that year that really enjoyed each other, and we accomplished some great things as a team.”
Melissa: “There is nothing that compares to the closeness of being a part of a team and a basketball family, especially one that spends countless hours working basketball camps together in the summer.”
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
David: “Coach Griffith and Greg Chambers were my greatest influences. Coach pushed me early in my career, probably because he saw something in me and he knew how much I hated to lose at anything. I went from playing #6 my freshman year to playing #1 and being captain my senior year. Greg Chambers was a teammate who pushed me as well. He spent extra time with me and I hated losing to him, but he was a great teammate and friend.”
Melissa: “Coach Bennett and Coach Duty were incredibly influential to me, but I was also inspired by Coach (Don) Meyer, Ralph Turner, Steve Hawley and Mike Roller. Everyone learned from Coach Meyer, and I was familiar with coaches Turner, Hawley, and Roller from their time at Georgia Christian, my high school in Valdosta.
What’s your favorite non-athletic memory from your time here?
David: “That’s easy. I loved my club, Delta Nu, and playing intramural sports with my ‘brothers.’ We had a lot of sports success and a ton of fun putting on Delta NaNaNa every year. I loved the home basketball games and coach Meyer as well.”
Melissa “I must have spent lots of time hanging out in the Student Center or Bison Square, because I have great memories of being there whenever weather permitted. Social club initiation night for my club, Kappa Ki, was also quite a memory.”
What is the most valuable lesson you learned in your time at Lipscomb?
David: “Two quick thoughts – Hard work pays off, and being a Christian is always the right thing to do.”
Melissa: “No matter what you are doing or participating in, give 110%.”
Who were your favorite professors & why?
David: “Dr. (Axel) Swang was my favorite. He pushed us constantly and some of his classes were so tough, but he got us ready for the real world and he played no favorites.”
Melissa: “Nancy Hunt and John Conger were both instructors in Family & Consumer Sciences, and I respected them because they challenged my mind and helped guide me in the direction I needed for my degree.”
What do you do now?
David: “I serve as a Project Manager for Metal Masters Inc. in Newberry South Carolina. I helped build and manage sawmills and wood treating plants for 20 years before going strictly into project management.”
Melissa: “I’m a Career and Technical Secondary Educator at Lexington High School in Lexington, South Carolina. I retired a few years ago from coaching girl’s varsity basketball at the AAA and AAAAA levels.”
Tell us about your family:
Both: “We have one daughter, Alexandra, who has just earned her degree and is a surgical nurse; and one son, Dalton, who is currently in college.”
- Melissa: Filet Mignon;
- David: Pork chops
Favorite TV show or movie
- Melissa: ESPN
- David: Seal Team
- Melissa: John 3:16
- David: Psalm 61
Favorite sports team
- Both: ROLL TIDE ROLL
- Melissa: People touching my hair
- David: Things should ALWAYS be clean
Person I most admire
- Melissa: My Dad, Jimmy Williams
- David: My Dad, Charles Dowdy
- Melissa: Spring
- David: Late fall (Deer season)
Pick one – salad or dessert
- Melissa: dessert
- David: Salad
Dream vacation spot
- Melissa: Hawaii
- David: My deer stands
Early morning or late night person?
- Melissa: Early morning
- David: Late night
You can reach Melissa via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and find her on Facebook at Melissa Williams Dowdy.
David can be reached via email at email@example.com and on Facebook at David Erich Dowdy.