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Where are they now? Kyle Tognazzini

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kyle Tognazzini made a name for himself at Lipscomb as an outstanding pitcher. But, after graduation with a B.A. degree in Oral Communications and a minor in Journalism in 2009, he returned to his native California where he works in various capacities with the sport of soccer. He was in Nashville last week with his wife, Alyssa, to attend the wedding of former Lipscomb golfer John Higgins and took a few minutes to talk with Lipscombsports.com. 

What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?

“I played during the seasons of 2008 and 2009. I transferred from Cuesta Community College. My coach was Jeff Forehand.”

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?         

“Beating Georgia in the 2008 NCAA Regionals in the first round in Athens. They gave me a save in that game. Georgia eventually went on to be the runner-up to the national championship.

“That was a new experience for me. Even in high school and junior college I had never pitched in a playoff game.  There were 5,000 people barking at you because they are Georgia Bulldogs fans. No one was on my side except the few hundred people from Lipscomb. It was kind of one big blur. All I could hear was loud noises.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?     

“Brian Ryman had a big impact. The reason I was here was because I played for him in summer baseball between my freshman and sophomore years of junior college. The team was the Nashville Navigators. We played our home games here at Lipscomb. That is how I heard about the school. I was following a dream to come here and play baseball.

“But Coach Forehand would probably be the person who had the biggest influence on me. He develops you not only on the field, but off of the field as well. He is a good person. He shows you that baseball is not everything. He stresses importance of treating other people the right way and just living your life the right way.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“Developing relationships with my friends in the Communications department. I am still close friends with many of them.

“I got to broadcast the women’s volleyball games on A-Sun TV and that was really fun. I had a great time with Dr. Mac (Jimmy McCollum) and Dr. (Ray) Harris.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“The camaraderie of the people. It is great that it is so close-knit.

It challenges you academically and athletically. It challenges your faith. It strengthens your faith. I really found my faith here at Lipscomb. I am so thankful for my time here and for everyone who helped me develop my relationship with God and Jesus. It was a great experience.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

“I always really enjoyed classes with Dr. Mac and how he really challenged me. His classes were entertaining, yet they were also challenging. It wasn’t miserable to go and do the work in his classes. It was fun and you enjoyed the work you had to put in to earn your grade.”

Where do you live now?

“Paso Robles, Calif. We just closed on a house last Monday.”

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

“I work for a non-profit youth organization called “Kids Love Soccer”. I am the regional manager from Paso Robles to Santa Barbara, Calif. I oversee the youth soccer programs in seven or eight cities.

“I coach five days a week for teams with kids ages 2 to 10. I also oversee a group of coaches with scheduling, marketing and advertising throughout central California.”

Tell us about your family.

“My wife’s name is Alyssa. We got married last June 16. We had a bunch of people from Lipscomb that attended. That was nice to see.

“Alyssa is a third grade teacher. We both work with kids. We really enjoy it.

“I love influencing the kids. I have been playing sports my whole life. And one of the biggest influences in the life of kids, other than family, can be a sports coach. It was for me. It is cool to see it circle back in my life now.”

Kyle’s e-mail address is ktognazzini@gmail.com.