Larry Striplin, the first-ever Belmont athletic director and founder of the Belmont men’s basketball program, died at a Birmingham, Ala. hospital yesterday.
Betty Wiseman, current assistant athletic director said in a statement: “We are all deeply saddened to hear of Larry’s passing. Belmont University has lost a dear friend. Our history in Belmont Athletics will always be traced back to the hiring of Larry as our first athletic director and basketball coach in 1952. We will forever be grateful for his life and legacy in our history and heritage. Larry Striplin will always be remembered as the ‘patriarch’ of Belmont Athletics. I have been deeply moved through the years by his players who continued to show deep love, respect and gratitude for their Coach and the impact he had on their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Rhonda, and the family.”
Striplin posted a 58-42 record and landed three winning seasons in the four years that he served at Belmont. Both the Striplin Gymnasium and the Striplin-Wiseman Athletic Office Complex in the Curb Event Center were named in his honor. He was also one of the first three members inducted in the Belmont Athletic Hall of Fame.
A native of Selma, Ala., Striplin was known as both a businessman and philanthropist. After attending Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. for two years and earning his bachelor’s degree in education from Birmingham-Southern College, he moved to Nashville to earn his master’s degree in education from Vanderbilt (formerly George Peabody College).
Details of Larry Striplin’s funeral service are not yet available.