Kyle Coker played baseball at Lipscomb University from 1988-92. He is a senior technical director for AT&T Mobility and is based in the Atlanta area. He and his wife, Natalie, have two children that keep them busy with sports and other activities. Kyle is this week’s “Where Are They Now” feature.
What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
“I played baseball from 1988-1992 under the guidance of Coach Ken Dugan and Al Austelle.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“There were several great individual moments that I had throughout my years playing baseball like hitting the game-winning home run against Tennessee State or making a diving catch against Belmont. Another memory that I will have until I die is getting hit in the face by a foul ball while standing on deck waiting to bat. The thought of how close this came to doing some serious damage is scary.
“However, one of the most enjoyable times I experienced was being the first team to play on “Ken Dugan Field”. We were so excited to watch the construction crews tear down the married housing projects to make way for the new baseball field.
“We would no longer have to put the outfield fence up to prepare for our games only to tear it down afterwards so the intramural teams could use the field. We would actually have a water fountain and a bathroom in the dugout instead of having to run back to the school between innings. We would get a new press box, concession stand and seats for our fans. The excitement of being the first team to play on a new baseball field was very exciting and a story that I still tell my kids each time we visit Lipscomb.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
“There were several people that influenced me throughout my career and helped provide guidance through all of the ups and downs, but Al Austelle was the person I went to most. Coach Austelle was always willing to lend his ear when I needed someone to listen. He was there to offer suggestions and advice when I was in a slump and was also there to help celebrate the exciting times.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“My fondest non-athletic memory would have to be the engagement to my wife of almost 20 years (Natalie Gibson). We were engaged at Centennial Park on the night of the Delta Sigma formal. I could not wait to spend the rest of my life with her. She was, and continues to be, a very special part of my life.“
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“I learned that you can never underestimate the value of friendship. I made some very good friends while I was at Lipscomb and still stay in touch with several of them today. No matter what you are going through in life, a good friend is always there.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
“All of my professors were great in their own way. I was not anywhere close to being the brightest student at Lipscomb so it took all of my professors to help bring out the best in me for each class. Thanks to all of them.”
Where do you live now?
“My family and I live in Dacula, Ga. which is approximately 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.”
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
“I have worked in the IT department for AT&T for the past 11 years. I lead a group of support teams who focus on supporting the point of sale systems for our AT&T retail stores.”
Tell us about your family.
“My wife (Natalie) and I have two children. Our son (Peyton) is 17 and our daughter (Claire) is 13 and they both attend Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula, Ga. Peyton loves playing baseball for his high school team while Claire enjoys playing volleyball for the middle school team. Natalie teaches first grade at Hebron Christian School as well.”
Kyle’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.