Lipscomb, who will begin his 21st season at the Wildcats’ helm this fall, guided the team to a 16-12 overall record and 11-1 mark in Region 5AAAAA while capturing the program’s 12th region title. His teams have made eight trips to the state semifinals and won five state championships.
In 2005, Wheeler became the first boys basketball team in 54 years to win three championships over a four-year span in the state’s highest classification. That year, Lipscomb also coached the East team in the McDonald’s All-American Game.
An all-state basketball player at Gainesville High School, Lipscomb went on to play one season at Middle Tennessee State University, from where he graduated. Lipscomb then spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater before moving on to Wheeler in 1992, taking over a team that had gone 4-20 in the season before his arrival.
In one year, the Wildcats turned things around, going 15-12 his first year en route to a state title in 1994.
Lipscomb’s teams have amassed a 493-111 record under his tutelage and have been nationally ranked by USA Today six teams.
More than 30 of Lipscomb’s players have earned Division I scholarships, and three — Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Jermareo Davidson and J.J. Hickson — have played in the NBA.
“I’m very appreciative for this award,” Lipscomb said. “It’s always nice to be recognized for something, but I couldn’t have done anything without the support of the players, the coaching staff, the administration, the fans and the community. That’s all I have to say.”
The NHSCA selects coaches of the year in 20 boys and girls sports. Executive director Bob Ferraro Jr. said in a release that the honorees “are outstanding examples for successful high school coaches in their sports.”
Ferraro added that “they place a high value on the teamwork skills their players learn for success in the classroom and on the field, and we are proud to be honoring them.”
Lipscomb became the second Wheeler coach to be honored by the NHSCA, joining former Wildcats boys track and field coach Chad Walker (2004).