Saturday, March 08, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the Lipscomb athletic department Jeff Spivey was the ultimate utility man.
During his time with the Bisons he wore a number of hats ranging from operating a campus print shop to starting the volleyball program.
Spivey passed away Friday.
“I lost a really good friend, but a lot of people did because that friend was Jeff Spivey,” former Lipscomb men’s basketball coach Don Meyer said. “He was a friend to all. Jeff had the gifts of being a good listener and bringing out the best in others.
“Jeff was a camper at our first Bison Basketball Camp. The following year he enrolled at David Lipscomb College and after graduation took over the duties in the print shop. That is why I always called him Xerox.”
Much of Spivey’s work in the print shop centered on motivational cards for Meyer.
“Jeff did one print job that will last forever......the example of a real servant leader who counseled countless students without any thought of remuneration,” Meyer said. “Xerox, we miss you and will always be encouraged by your kind and selfless spirit. “
Spivey also served as sports information director, tennis coach and softball coach. But his biggest legacy will be his work with volleyball.
He coached the Lady Bisons from the inaugural 1994 volleyball season through 1999. He posted a 109-98 record. His best season was 1998 when the Purple and Gold finished 30-12.
“I am thankful for him leading the way and giving us all an opportunity to make Lipscomb volleyball what it is today,” current Lipscomb volleyball coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “Jeff will always be family…LUV.”
Jonathan Seamon, former Lipscomb athletic director and the “Voice of the Bisons”, oversaw Spivey in his various capacities.
“Jeff was a friend and he loved being part of the Lipscomb family,” Seamon said. “I have known Jeff since he was a student.
“He worked in the print shop, and as sports information director I was always getting Jeff to help us with printing. He developed a friendship with Coach Meyer and printed all of his motivational cards.”
After graduation Spivey went to work as intramural athletics director and then he got involved with athletics.
Spivey helped with tennis and became the tennis coach working with George McIntosh and others.
“Whatever we needed - help with tennis or softball or starting a new sport like volleyball - Jeff was willing to help,” Seamon said. “He knew the budget limitations, but it didn't stop him from getting the program started and he did everything to promote and grow the program.
“He really cared about the student athletes. He coached when we had limited funds and limited scholarships. He believed in the term "student-athlete”. “
Seamon also remembers Spivey as a person who was a pleasure to work with on a day-to-day basis.
“Everyone liked Jeff,” Seamon said. “As an administrator he was one of those coaches that you could ask to do anything and he would do the task. He was a dedicated employee.
“He had a great sense of humor. He was a fun guy to be around. Jeff was a true friend. You could always count on him. “He was a servant-leader.”
Former Lipscomb basketball player Richard Taylor was a close friend of Spivey’s. Spivey was heavily involved with the Bisons’ basketball team as a fan and worker and was a familiar face in the stands both at home and on the road.
“As a former player, Jeff was a part of our inner circle,” Taylor said. “He played an important role on all of our teams, traveled with us to virtually every location we played including the National Tournament, Hawaii and Japan. He even helped with our camps during the summer.
“He was more than just a great fan, he was a teammate. He was committed to serving wherever he was needed and that made him a great leader. He was a Bison and we love him.”
Taylor points to Spivey as a person who truly reflected what Lipscomb University stands for.
“Speaking on behalf of many Bisons and former students, it is difficult to express how big a loss it is to lose our friend,” Taylor said. “Jeff was a long-time employee, coach and friend to many many people who walked on Lipscomb’s campus. Lipscomb has personally always been such a blessing to my life and it was because of people like Jeff.
“Jeff was a great example to everyone he touched. I remember Jeff as incredibly humble, always thankful and a great encourager to all of us. This describes who Jesus wants us all to be. Jeff was simply an incredible role model for everyone who knew him. His generous spirit and loyal friendship will be greatly missed. Today we lost a great Bison and a great friend. God Bless Jeff Spivey.”
There will be a Celebration of Life for Jeff on Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m. at Granny White Church of Christ.
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