He started playing baseball in Pulaski as a six-year-old, but he picked up golf at thirteen to enjoy time with his friends. As his game improved, Deke Berlin traded his bat and glove for a bag of clubs and began his drive for a college scholarship and life in middle Tennessee. He sat down this week with LipscombSports.com to tell us about his memories, friends, teachers, and his life today.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
I played golf for Coach Ralph Samples from 2000-2005.
What teammate was most memorable?
Jonathan Beck became one of my best friends and eventually a best man in my wedding. I only wish we had pushed each other to be spend more time on the golf course instead of the Student Activities Center playing basketball in our “off” hours.
What degree did you earn?
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Management from Lipscomb in 2005.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
I wanted to play golf in college. Being from a small program in Pulaski, Tennessee, I didn’t exactly have scholarship offers showing up daily in the mail.
My senior year, I was in the “final” group of the state tournament playing with a guy Coach Samples was there to recruit. Meeting him that week gave me hope that I might actually be able to play at the collegiate level. Plus, my mother was thrilled at the idea of me being in a Christian environment.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
It’s very difficult to pick one. Being on the road with the team was always a blast. As an individual, sharing the lead after round one of UT Martin’s tournament is one memory that stands out. It stands out not only because I played well (but didn’t win), but it snowed during that first round – something that really stands out as I look back.
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
Coach Ralph Samples saw something in me and gave me an opportunity. I was thrilled to be a walk-on my first year, and I felt extremely blessed for Coach Samples to put me on scholarship after that. I wasn’t the best on the team – not even close. Coach focused not just on the athletic achievement of his players, but also on us being men of character and faith.
What do you remember about Lipscomb campus life during your time here?
I loved the feel of campus. Even though it was a much larger scholastic environment than I was accustomed to, it felt personal and comfortable. The campus saw a lot of change in the years I was there as a student. Allen Arena was opened and Lipscomb moved from NAIA to NCAA Division I, yet it always felt like home.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned in your time at Lipscomb?
I learned how to be responsible for myself and to prioritize the important things in life. The relationships I formed on the Lipscomb campus still have an impact on me today.
Who were your favorite professors?
I had many great instructors in my time at Lipscomb, but Charles Frasier is the one that stands out the most to me. He conducted class in a way that taught us the technical aspects of the field, and he also framed each lesson with real world experience. I felt very prepared to enter the workforce after being guided in classes by someone who led his own accounting practice.
What do you do now?
I am the Controller at Simplify Compliance LLC.
Tell us about your family
I have been married to my beautiful wife, Lauren, for 12 years. We live in Thompson’s Station, just south of Nashville, with our two daughters, Emery (8) and Marian (4).
- Favorite food: Pretty much any breakfast food
- Favorite TV show or movie: I love movies, so it’s very hard to pick one, but I do love a good superhero movie.
- Favorite Bible scripture: Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
- Favorite sports team: Lipscomb Bisons
- Pet peeve: when people use “like” every other word while speaking
- Person I most admire: My Mother
- Rather ride or drive? Drive
- Pick one – salad or dessert: Dessert
- Dream vacation spot: New Zealand
- Early morning or late night person? Early morning
You can reach Deke by email at email@example.com.