Skip to main content

This lunatic is crazy for Lipscomb Athletics

The most recent iteration of Bison super-fandom has been dubbed the Lippy Lunatics, bringing their current brand of fan enthusiasm to the athletics venues.

Jackson Gibree in Allen Arena

The Lippy Lunatics began as most things involving young people in the 2020s do: with the launch of a social media page. A Group Me page posted by Jackson Gibree, a sophomore sports management major from Cumming, Georgia, and a student coach for the men’s basketball team, combined with a Lippy Lunatics Instagram page sparked the latest student-led effort to organize Bison fans into a cohesive group.

The former high school athlete was drawn to Lipscomb for its small school feel that provides big opportunities within a tight-knit community, he said. He is also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and intramural sports.

During his orientation week at Lipscomb as a freshman, he attended a Lipscomb volleyball game against national powerhouse Stanford University. Even though Allen Arena was packed for this highly anticipated matchup, Jackson says, “You could hear a pin drop.” He wanted to bring more energy to support the Bisons and used social media to rally other students.

Lippy Lunatics at a soccer game

The Lippy Lunatics bring their latest brand of enthusiasm to basketball, soccer (shown here) and volleyball games.

This fall, the Lippy Lunatics organized as an official student group, with Gibree as president. Other Lippy Lunatics coordinators include RJ Trail as vice president, and Tyler Jorden, Mason Swiggart, Ellie Moen, Will Sprayberry and Carter Gilbert as directors of gameday operations.

The coordination of the Lippy Lunatics fan group, “goes so much deeper than I think a lot of people would realize,” Gibree said. “What different strategies should we use to draw people in and keep people engaged the whole game? What order do we do the chants? What chant do we start with? How often do we do them?”

Gibree says he even had the Ole Miss volleyball coach compliment the student fans at one match-up. “He said, ‘I wish our students were as loud as ya’ll, because you all made a difference in the game’,” said Gibree.

Leaders of the Lippy Lunatics at Lipscomb Lights Out pep rally

Jackson Gibree (L) and RJ Trail (R), student leaders of the Lippy Lunatics, played host at the university's new Lipscomb Lights Out pep rally in 2023.

The September 2022 Battle of the Boulevard soccer match marked the first big success of the Lippy Lunatics, who spurred more than 100 students into the visitors’ stands at Belmont’s E.S. Rose Park. “It was the best 0-0 draw ever!” Gibree told Lipscomb student news outlet HERD Media at that time.Not long after that strong showing, Lipscomb Athletics contacted Gibree with an offer to help spur fan enthusiasm, and the Lippy Lunatics found themselves empowered with the university’s NCAA Division 1 staff and resources to up their game.

The number of Lunatics continued to grow once the 2022-23 basketball season got underway, and a down-to-the-buzzer victory against longtime rivals Belmont University at the Battle of the Boulevard in Allen Arena sparked students to storm the court to celebrate the victory.

“Everybody went nuts… That was probably the highlight of my year,” Jackson recalled.

Lippy Lunatics fans at a game with flag.

Today’s Lippy Lunatics, who use all the tools of the trade: face paint, T-shirts, coordinated cheers (including the horns-up symbol), theme nights and giveaways to pump up the crowd.

Over the summer of 2023, Gibree and his fellow students continued to market the Lunatics specifically to the freshman class in hopes of building longevity. “This place is like a family,” he said. “People here obviously care about each other. I don’t feel like anybody gets lost here. I feel like everybody has a purpose and a place on this campus.”

Gibree wants The Lippy Lunatics to contribute to that family feel and welcoming spirit of the Lipscomb community. “The whole goal of Lunatics is to create a place where everybody feels welcomed and everybody feels like they can be a part of something because it's really easy to get involved. You just show up to a game and end up in the stands,” he said.

And it doesn’t hurt that the Bisons compete to win in every sport, said Gibree. “If you want to come to Lipscomb, now is the time because the sports are at the top of their game—every single team.”

Read about Bison super-fans through the decades.

Lippy Lunatics in the stands at a soccer game

The Lippy Lunatics impact has helped the nationally ranked men’s soccer team to have one of the best home field advantages in the country. The Bisons have gone 16-2-1 over the last two seasons with an 86% winning percentage.