It’s been a busy two days for Lipscomb basketball.
Acuff is the winningest coach in the history of the Gulf South Conference, amassing 437 wins over 22 seasons at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He has a total of 550 wins in 29 seasons.
Acuff said he believes that encouraging those around him is crucial.
“The most powerful thing you can say to someone is ‘I believe in you,’” Acuff said.
Acuff added that he knows there are difficult decisions he’s going to have to make as Lipscomb’s head coach, especially involving players, but he is prepared to make the decisions that bring the most benefit to both the team and the school.
“You’ve just got to get guys that you think are good enough to win, but also guys that are good representatives of the school,” Acuff said. “You get guys that want to work — there’s a real big difference between guys that like it, and guys that love it. You need guys that love it.”
Before college, Acuff attended basketball camp during the Don Meyer-NAIA era at Lipscomb. Today, he was visibly excited about the opportunity to lead Lipscomb’s program, but that excitement didn’t come without some sadness leaving the school and people he loves in Alabama.
“We had a lot of friends,” Acuff said. “We had an unbelievable group of kids, and it’s going to be hard leaving them, but I’m excited to coach these guys and be a part of Lipscomb.”
This upcoming season will bring many changes to Lipscomb basketball compared to previous years. There will be a new coach at the helm. Five seniors are graduating. And at least one other player is transferring to another school. But Acuff said he is prepared to put in the work necessary in order to succeed.
“Well, it’s time to get to work,” Acuff said. “I’m excited that I’m going to be able to do it with these guys, and we’re going to work really hard.”
Acuff has a specific philosophy on how he cares for people. He said that once you’ve got a conviction, it’s important to keep working on it without compromise, and he plans to infuse these principles into his time at Lipscomb.
“Like I told them [the team] this morning, we need each other, and we need everybody in the room,” Acuff said. “That’s what we need. There needs to be a oneness, and we need to be convicted that we’re going to stay the course.”
Photos by Mckenzi Harris