Drabyn, Rutigliano leave Lipscomb for other jobs

Drabyn, Rutigliano leave Lipscomb for other jobs

Before Lipscomb confirmed it was hiring Lennie Acuff as its head coach, the chips started to fall into place Tuesday morning. Bethel College (Ind.) announced the hiring of Lipscomb assistant Steve Drabyn as its next head coach just before 10 a.m. CT. One hour later, Belmont coach Casey Alexander added Lipscomb assistant Sean Rutigliano to round out his new staff. Drabyn was an assistant at Lipscomb for the last six seasons. He built a name for himself as a player at Belmont from 2000-04, leading the nation in free throw percentage (95.1 percent) his junior year. “It has been a dream of mine to lead my own basketball program, and I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to do it as the head men’s basketball coach at Bethel,” Drabyn said in a release. “I am drawn to the mission of Bethel being a faith-based community, its outstanding academic reputation, and the strong tradition of athletics.” Rutigliano spent the last four seasons at Lipscomb after stops at Kean University (NJ), University of Alabama Huntsville, Ouachita Baptist University and Army. He was a key member of the staff that guided Lipscomb to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2018. “It’s hard to put into words Sean’s influence at Lipscomb, and I’m confident his impact will be profound here at Belmont,” Alexander said in a statement. “Sean is among the most relational – and relatable – coaches I know, is a relentless recruiter and has a basketball mind that I will rely on.” Acuff has not named his Lipscomb staff yet. Those plans will likely follow in the days after Wednesday’s...
Lipscomb WBB coach Lauren Sumski: ‘This is just a reset. This isn’t a rebuild.’

Lipscomb WBB coach Lauren Sumski: ‘This is just a reset. This isn’t a rebuild.’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lipscomb announced Monday that Rhodes College head coach Lauren Sumski has been hired as the new women’s basketball coach. Lady Bisons fans were formally introduced to the former D-III coach at a welcoming conference Tuesday afternoon in the Hall of Fame room. “There were many candidates that we had,” Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson said. “High school, college, all levels, people from all over the country who were interested in the job. And I think that’s a credit to the Lipscomb community.” The biggest takeaway from Sumski’s introduction is how noticeably enthusiastic and energetic she was from the get-go. “I’d be remiss to not thank Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, for allowing me to be here,” Sumski said. “I’d be remiss to not thank President Lowry and Hutch, as they affectionately call him.” During what was a brutal 2018-19 season, the Lady Bisons began the year with a 2-1 record. They followed that with 19 straight losses before scraping a couple conference wins to finish the year 4-25. “This is just a reset,” Sumski said. “This isn’t a rebuild. We’re going to take every single day, and we’re going to work to be the best people we can be, the best students we can be, the best athletes we can be.” So how much of this “reset” will affect the current coaching staff? “I’m speaking with [Lipscomb assistant] Hannah Phillips,” Sumski said. “I love her. I just wanna make sure that we gel, and we click. And then outside of that, we’re just kind of taking it day-by-day. I’ve met with Kelsey [Gregory], who’s also been here.”...
BREAKING: Lennie Acuff named Lipscomb men’s basketball coach

BREAKING: Lennie Acuff named Lipscomb men’s basketball coach

Longtime Alabama-Huntsville coach Lennie Acuff has been named Lipscomb’s next basketball coach, the school announced in a release Tuesday afternoon. The news was initially reported by 247Sports basketball analyst Evan Daniels Tuesday morning, and News Channel 5’s Steve Layman later reported that a deal was in place. Acuff will be formally introduced to the Lipscomb community on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT in the Paul Rogers Board Room in the Ezell Center. “I am thrilled, very humbled and thankful for the opportunity,” Acuff said in the school’s release. “I understand the tradition that exists with Lipscomb basketball and I will do everything I can to continue to build upon that tradition.” Acuff has served as UAH’s head coach for the last 22 seasons, growing the Chargers into a national power on the Division II level. He owns a 437-214 record at UAH and an overall record of 554-325 in 29 total seasons as a head coach. Acuff was reportedly a candidate for the Lipscomb job in 2013 when then-Stetson coach Casey Alexander got the nod. Ironically, Acuff now replaces Alexander, who left for Belmont on April 10 after guiding Lipscomb to three consecutive 20-win seasons. “I have always wanted an opportunity to coach at the Division I level,” Acuff said. “I felt like if I were going to do it, it would need to be an institution I felt I was in alignment with from a faith-based and values situation, and Lipscomb had that. “The type of players at Lipscomb are the same type I recruit in Huntsville, high-character kids that they’ve developed. Coach (Casey) Alexander built a great culture...
2019 spring fashion show commemorates graduating seniors

2019 spring fashion show commemorates graduating seniors

Lipscomb’s Department of Fashion and Design proudly presented the annual “Spring Fashion Show” Monday night. Held in the heart of Ezell, many students, staff, friends and family flocked to witness the show. It also happened to be International Earth Day, which fitted the theme of the night — sustainability and supporting the environment through raising awareness. This night commended the seniors in the department and all their hard work throughout individual collegiate careers. In doing so, they showcased their works on the runway with student models. Senior fashion and merchandising student Kayla McEathron shared her story about her love of fashion and how eliminating sweatshops that abused their workers was a strong passion of her’s. According to McEathron, the main mission is not to change the world but to save it. “The seniors and I were very proud with how the fashion show turned out,” McEathron said. “We each had a role in the show to make it happen, and I thought everyone did a great job of coming together to make the show successful. It is a bittersweet feeling for all of us seniors….” The night concluded with an award ceremony and gifts. Donated prizes were provided by local businesses Cabana, Molly Green, Nordstrom, The Perfect Setting, The Escape Game, Jos. A Bank and Gus Mayer. The Fashion Merchandising Award was given to senior Caitlin Nichols, who demonstrated “academic achievement, student leadership and potential contribution to the field of fashion merchandising.” “This award means the world to me, and I am so honored that my teachers chose me to be the recipient,” Nichols said. “It shows how much...
Garrison Mathews begins NBA preparation with strong showing at Portsmouth Invitational

Garrison Mathews begins NBA preparation with strong showing at Portsmouth Invitational

Lipscomb guard Garrison Mathews is quickly gaining attention as he prepares for his professional basketball career. The latest development? He now has his own Wikipedia page. “I didn’t even know I had one,” he said with a laugh. “I guess I’m making a name for myself, huh? Mathews just returned from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, where his Portsmouth Partnership team won the championship with a 90-81 win over Sales Systems, Ltd. on Saturday. He averaged nine points over three games, performed well during agility and athletic tests and spoke with representatives from at least nine NBA teams. “It was overall a really good experience just to spend time with [the other prospects] and to show what I can do against some higher-level guys,” Mathews said. Mathews, who measured at 6-foot-6 in shoes, scored 15 points and made three shots from beyond the arc in his second game, an 83-71 win over Portsmouth Sports Club. He also pulled down 12 total rebounds in his three games, which were attended by Lipscomb assistant Sean Rutigliano and Director of Basketball Operations Adam Notteboom. “I didn’t shoot it as well as I would’ve liked to, but that wasn’t my ultimate goal in [Portsmouth],” he said. “My mindset was to show that I can guard higher-level guys, and that I can rebound and do the little things. If I make it to the NBA, I don’t know if my role will necessarily be as a scorer. But I want to be the guy that can come in and knock down open shots and play some defense.” Portsmouth Partnership runs the inbound to perfection and...
Rhodes coach Lauren Sumski gets Lipscomb women’s basketball job

Rhodes coach Lauren Sumski gets Lipscomb women’s basketball job

Rhodes College women’s basketball coach Lauren Sumski is taking the same job at Lipscomb, athletic director Philip Hutcheson announced Monday morning. Sumski has been head coach at Rhodes since 2017 and compiled a 35-21 record over two seasons. She is the first-ever female to lead the Lipscomb women’s basketball program in the school’s DI era. “I am humbled, honored, and grateful,” Sumski said in a release. “I am excited for the opportunity. I think that Lipscomb has a ton of things in place for us to field a successful women’s basketball program. “More than the things, it’s just such a high-quality type of person there. We’re excited to get to work and start building back up.” Sumski, 27, will be one of the youngest college head coaches in the nation. She graduated from Rhodes in 2014 and also played one year at Tennessee under legendary coach Pat Summit. She was rated the 28th-best high school prospect in the nation by ESPNU Hoopsgurlz, although injuries slowed her time as a Lady Vol, prompting her to return to Memphis to play for Rhodes. Following her graduation, Sumski spent three seasons as an assistant at Union under Lipscomb alum Mark Campbell. Hutcheson said several people highly recommended Sumski for the job, saying that she was “on her way to great things in the coaching profession.” “Those people commented on her energy, her intelligence, her ability to connect with others and her high emotional and basketball IQ, and those involved in the process all found that to be the 100 percent truth,” Hutcheson said. “From the very first phone call to our final...