Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Joey Haines ran track for Lipscomb University and later set many records as a coach at Lipscomb. After coaching at Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri State he is now retired in Missouri with his wife, Jane. This week he took some time to talk to lipscombsports.com about his time here at Lipscomb.
What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?
“I was on the track team from 1967-69. Bailey Heflin was my coach.”
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
“It was all good. We had a very strong program. We were NAIA at the time and we competed all over the Southeast and Midwest. We were in the Tennessee Intercollegiate Athletic Association at the time. I competed in the javelin event in the indoor and outdoor season. I have many fond memories of winning championships.”
On the track program during his time at Lipscomb:
“We had a pretty well kept secret on how good we were. We competed with everybody from the SEC to the Big 10. Always played the OVC schools and the smaller schools got together for meets. I couldn’t tell you how many times, but we won a lot. We had a lot of athletes that competed on a high level. They were very good and that’s why some records still stand.”
“Lipscomb was also very much at the forefront of recruiting African-American athletes. My junior year we had two at Lipscomb, one of the few in the Southeast. We were able to get some really outstanding athletes before major schools started recruiting.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
“A lot of people, but also Coach Heflin. The great thing about Bailey was that he was not afraid to try to be good. He looked beyond Belmont and Trevecca and so we didn’t look at ourselves as being low level. We looked at ourselves as recruited athletes who tried to compete with everybody. We always thought when we went to meets we belonged there, we had the confidence. We recruited good people and were able to convince good athletes that Lipscomb was a good place for them. I’m real proud of all of them.”
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
“Well back then we used to have Tuesday devotionals and I loved the singing. It was every Tuesday night and several hundred students would come together. It was always nice to go to those with my wife.”
“As a coach, I used to go to the faculty lounge. It was nice to sit around and talk to everyone and listen to what they had to say, and I like to eat too so it worked out real well.”
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“No matter what, you always aim high. You can compete with everybody. We may not have been the same depth wise, but the people we had were as good as them. Always try to be better, and do things people think you can’t do.”
“Track is great in that you can lose a team sport, but have a lot of individual wins. We were always looked at as very competitive in events, and we were successful. It lasted into my coaching years. Always want to do your best no matter who you’re going against. Hard work is most important. It’s always more fun when working with good people.”
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
“Eugene Boyce, who was in the education department. There were so many good teachers who just loved Lipscomb. Other schools didn’t love like those at Lipscomb. Everybody was there because they wanted to be there. They loved where they were and that’s what separates them from everybody else.”
Tell us about your family
“My wife Jane is a Lipscomb graduate. My daughter Jennifer is a nurse, who is married with four kids in Macon, Ga. My son Talley, played ten years of professional baseball and is now the head baseball coach at Mobile Christian High School in Mobile, Ala.”
“My times at Lipscomb were good years and I miss them. It was a big move when I left. I left Lipscomb loving it, and I always will. Being at Southeast Missouri State was good also. We had great athletes, won a lot of OVC championships, coached one world championship and gold medal winner. I had a good career, but it all started at Lipscomb."