Lisa Limper answered the question with a question when asked whether she coaches any sport other than football?
“Is there anything else?” Limper replied with a sly grin.
Limper is a veteran assistant high school football coach at Glencliff who blazed a trail in a sport dominated by men when she arrived in Nashville in 2005.
She’s in her eighth season on the sidelines with the Colts, who kicked off the season Friday night at Whites Creek.
Limper’s hope since she started out on the staff at Hillsboro has been that other female coaches also would break into the sport.
Brittney Garner was named the head coach at Pickett County in 2014, and on a larger scale, Jen Welter became the first female coach in the NFL this year when she became a training camp and preseason intern for the Arizona Cardinals.
“It’s very significant to have a woman coaching in the NFL; I never thought I’d see the day, to be honest,” Limper said. “There aren’t very many in college, and so for her to be up at that level is great. She’s got lots of playing experience, like 10 years in the women’s league, and has definitely earned her place.”
Having a female coach in the NFL, Limper said, could inspire others to try what had been considered taboo in the past.
“(Welter) absolutely is a role model for me and I would hope for a lot of young girls that wanted to do that and were told no lots of times,” Limper said.
Limper, a graduate of Florida who coaches quarterbacks, running backs and receivers at Glencliff, said it took great confidence for a woman such a Welter to break the gender barrier that existed for so long in pro football.
In her case, however, once Limper decided to coach football, she was readily accepted by the players.
“Both of the head coaches who hired me (former Hillsboro coach Dennis Moreno and Glencliff coach Brandon Easley) were so matter-of-fact about it, they just said, ‘This is Coach Limper. She’s going to be working with us. She worked for the University of Florida, and we’re happy to have her.’ They didn’t make a big deal out of it, so the kids didn’t, either,” Limper said.
There was no big deal to be made, Easley said.
“Football is a game about information, and it really doesn’t matter who’s giving the information,” Easley said. “Someone who knows that a defensive back or a running back needs to do this, this and this, and then that’s what that person coaches; it doesn’t matter if that person is a male or a female.”
Former TSU center ignited Rams-Cowboys fight
Former Tennessee State center Demetrius Rhaney could see plenty of action Sunday night when the Rams play the Titans in a preseason game at Nissan Stadium.
Rhaney is in his second season with St. Louis and locked in a battle with former Alabama standout Barrett Jones and Tim Barnes for the starting job.
TSU coach Rod Reed and offensive line coach Russ Ehrenfeldwill be at the game and hope to visit with Rhaney afterward.
Rhaney was in the spotlight earlier this past week when he got into a shoving match during the Rams’ joint practice with the Cowboys.
It triggered an all-out brawl between the two teams that made national news.
NASA astronaut to speak at Wilson Co. FCA banquet
NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who played football at Mt. Juliet and Tennessee Tech, will serve as the featured speaker for the Wilson County Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Banquet on Sept. 10.
The banquet will be at Victory Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet.
Wilmore traveled to the International Space Station on Sept. 25, 2014, and returned on March 11, 2015.
He grew up in the Una community before moving with his family to Mt. Juliet when he was in the fourth grade.
He started at offensive guard and linebacker at Mt. Juliet High (1978-80) and then went on to play at Tennessee Tech, where he recorded 143 tackles as a senior, which ranks third on the school’s all-time single-season tackles list.
WKRN-2 meteorologist and Mt. Juliet native Lisa Patton will serve as emcee.
Tim Bryant, who played football at Mt. Juliet, Vanderbilt and Southern Mississippi, is the director of the Wilson County FCA.
For more information, email Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin Peay to honor best OVC teams
Members of the 1964 and 1965 Austin Peay football teams will be honored at the Governors’ home opener Sept. 5 against Mercer.
Those were the two most successful years in the OVC for Austin Peay. The two teams coached by Bill Dupes combined for a 15-3-1 record overall and 11-2-1 in the OVC.
Some of the notable names who played on those teams: former Brentwood Academy coach Carlton Flatt, former Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State assistant Ed Bunio, OVC Hall of Famer John Ogles, All-America defensive back Tim Chilcutt, longtime OVC official Bobby Byrd and Robbie Parson.
There also will be a reunion for members of the former players and coaches on Sept. 4 at Swan Lake Golf Course.
U.S. Open champion saluted at Father Ryan game
A salute to golfer Lou Graham took place before kickoff of Father Ryan’s home opening football game against Hillwood on Friday.
Graham, a 1956 Ryan graduate, won the 1975 U.S. Open.
This school year marks his 60th high school reunion year and the 40th anniversary of his U.S. Open win. Graham was named the football team’s honorary captain for the game.
Battle of the Boulevard moving to December
The Battle of the Boulevard is bouncing to December.
The annual men’s basketball games between Lipscomb and Belmont, schools located three miles apart on Belmont Boulevard, have been played mostly in November the past three seasons.
Lipscomb released its 2015-16 schedule earlier this week revealing the first game against Belmont will be played Dec. 1 at Curb Event Center. The second will be Dec. 7 at Allen Arena.
The time for the first game has not yet been set. The second will tip off at 6:30 p.m.
Former Pearl-Cohn kicker preseason All-American
Former Pearl-Cohn kicker Ryan Deising, now a senior at Jackson State, was named a Preseason All-American for historically black colleges and universities by Boxtorow this week.
Deising already had been named to the Preseason All-Southwest Athletic Conference First Team after making the second team in 2014.
Jackson State opens the season at Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 5 and then plays TSU on Sept. 12 in the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis.
Lincoln County coach to be honored
Legendary Lincoln County football coach John Meadows will be honored at the school Saturday.
The Falcons’ stadium is named in honor of Meadows, who is 92, and fellow former coach Louis Thompson.
Meadows built Lincoln County into a football power, which won the 1982 state championship with a 13-10 win over Gallatin in the first year of the TSSAA’s state playoffs.
Midstate rivalry ranked among the nation’s best
The Coffee Pot Game, which was played Friday night, is 90 years old.
The Great American Rivalry series is featuring 100 must-see match ups across the nation throughout the season.
Longtime Hohenwald coach to be honored at park
A pavilion at Lewis County Memorial Park has been proposed to serve as a tribute to longtime Hohenwald coach Eugene Grinder. Grinder spent 44 years as a teacher, coach and park director.
The pavilion will be named “Coach’s Corner.”
Blue Raiders go unbeaten in the Bahamas
The MTSU men’s basketball team returned from a trip to the Bahamas last week after posting a 3-0 record against three pro teams.
It was the first time the Blue Raiders have made a preseason trip since 2011.
Sophomore guard Giddy Potts averaged 17.0 points and forward Reggie Upshaw averaged 7.7 rebounds in the three games.
Former Clarksville football star dies
J.M. Ditmore, a Tennessean All-Midstate running back in 1955, died July 21 after suffering from a lengthy illness. He was 77.
Ditmore, who also was the most valuable player in the Clinic Bowl in Clarksville’s win over Montgomery Bell Academy, went on to play at Tennessee, where he made the All-SEC team as a sophomore center.
Former Ryan track star dies
Father Ryan great Tommy Curley died Tuesday. He was 72.
Curley played football, basketball and ran track in high school. He helped lead the Fighting Irish to a second-place finish in the state track meet as a senior.
Fellow Father Ryan great Boots Donnelly, who went on to coach football and serve as athletics director at Middle Tennessee State, was a pallbearer.
Ingram Cup set for Aug. 31.
The 25th annual Ingram Cup Golf Challenge will be Aug. 31 at The Golf Club of Tennessee.
There will be a shotgun start at 11 a.m. for the tournament, which benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.
Lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks will be served. Registration is $1,500 per team.
For more information, contact Deniece Dykes at 615-983-6804 or email@example.com.
If you have an item for Midstate Chatter, contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 and on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
SPORTS ON NASHVILLE TV
The top five ratings for local sporting events on television for Aug. 10-16.
1. NFL: Titans-Falcons preseason, 15.6 rating
2. PGA: PGA Championship (final round), 6.2 rating
3. NASCAR: Michigan 400, 4.4 rating
4. PGA: PGA Championship (third round), 3.6 rating
5. NFL: Packers-Patriots preseason, 3.4 rating
Each rating point is equal to 10,028 Nashville households. Local ratings for the SEC Network not available.
Source: Mark Binda, WTVF-5 program & research director