Lipscomb University officials currently approach it with the idea that if they never ask, they won’t know.
Given the undeniably high profile of those who have agreed to serve as keynote speaker for the Don Meyer Evening of Excellence, it seems reasonable to assume that eventually big-name personalities from athletics — and possibly beyond — will be the ones who ask if they can take part.
Mike Krzyzewski was the latest to agree.
Lipscomb announced Thursday afternoon that the legendary college basketball coach will headline the third annual event April 16 on the Lipscomb campus. The first two events showcased Meyer himself (2009) and quarterback Tim Tebow (2010).
“I would hope as we go on, there will be those who look at those who have appeared and infer it must be a pretty good evening,” Lipscomb Athletics Director Philip Hutcheson said. “… Plus, we hope the combination of what Lipscomb is about and the connection with coach Meyer is appealing.”
This year the event, which serves as an athletic department fundraiser, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on April 16.
“When we first approached [Krzyzewski], we weren’t sure he would be available at that time of the year because it’s just a couple weeks after the Final Four,” Hutcheson said. “Then we got word that he might have a small window where he might be able to do it.
“… With guys like that, there’s no shortage of people who want him to do something with them. We couldn’t be happier. … When you think about the qualities associated with excellence, someone like Mike Krzyzewski is right at the top of the list.”
Hutcheson said organizers of the event initially considered any number of luminaries in athletics as well as other fields before they approached Krzyzewski, who has won four national championships with Duke and led the 2008 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Beijing.
“You just start thinking about people who are excellent in their fields, whether it’s athletics or not,” he said. “We also have to consider that at Lipscomb, we’d like to have an event no one would hesitate to bring their 12-year-old to, and there may be some people in athletics who don’t exactly fit that bill. So that narrows the field a little bit.”
It has not, however, stopped the list of notable participants from growing.
Tickets for the third annual Don Meyer Evening of Excellence are on sale now at lipscombsports.com. Prices range from $25 to $300.