DAVID FIPP

  LA LOLLA HIGH

1993

A member of the Secret Society at La Jolla High School from 1991 to 1992, David parlayed his determination and love for the game into one of the most successful careers in Secret Society history. A member of La Jollaís powerful 1991 team, David played a limited role in the Viking secondary as a junior. In 1992 David decided to make the personal sacrifices needed in order to make himself a successful football player. His dedication was a key reason for his outstanding production in 1992. David finished second on the team with 189 total defensive points. In his final game as a Viking David played the finest game ever played by a La Jolla defensive back. In leading his teammates to a 43-15 victory over the University Dons, David intercepted 3 passes, ran one back for a touchdown, broke up four passes and made 5 tackles.

Ignored by college recruiters and wanting to play football and pole vault on the next level (David at one time  held La Jollaís school record in the pole vault with a mark of 15í5Ē) he decided to seek out the challenge of playing on the highest level of collegiate athletics and walked on at the University of Arizona. Following in the footsteps of former Secret Society and Wildcat greats Allan Durden, Chuck Cecil and Jeff Hammerschmidt, David arrived at the U of A campus weighing 147 pounds (two more than Cecil) and embarked on a journey that took him to the greatest heights of PAC-10 success. David became known not only for his on the field accomplishments, but also for a tremendous work ethic that gained him the respect of both his coaches and teammates. Through hard work and determination David gained the physical strength needed to compete against the best players in the nation. By his senior season David was able to run a 4.5 forty, bench press 325 pounds, power clean 265 pounds, squat 485 pounds, vertical jump 40 inches and broad jump 10í4íí from a standing position.

On the football field David became a standout special teams player his redshirt freshman and sophomore years. He moved into the starting lineup as a junior and was an integral part of Arizonaís Desert Swarm defense that was ranked as the best in the PAC-10 and was among the leaders in NCAA Division I football. As a junior David led all PAC-10 defensive backs in tackles. He finished his Arizona career with 160 tackles. David earned a Ball Hawk Award for his play in his first two years at Arizona and was selected to the Bear Down Club for his outstanding special teams and defensive play during his final three years as a Wildcat.

Davidís greatest contributions have come in other facets of life that often go unnoticed in the athletic world. During his stay at Arizona David became actively involved in community service work with at risk children. He spent many hours working with children at the Ronald McDonald House and also worked with troubled children through the Tucson Police Department. Included herein, as part of Davidís file is an article that appeared in the Arizona Daily Star. In the article the writer talks about a fan letter that David received before he played his last game at Arizona. A copy of this fan letter is posted along with the response that David sent to his young fan in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. This letter and Davidís response is part of this file because it is a classic example of why athletes should provide positive role models for young people everywhere. An athlete never knows whose life he may be touching by his actions on and off the field. It is a responsibility that comes with playing the game and playing it well.

Davidís response to the young boy in Kentucky also serves to illustrate what one can accomplish in life and sports even when all the odds seemed stacked against you. Davidís goal when he arrived at Arizona was to some day get on the field and play one play. God reminds us that everyone who exults himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exulted. Davidís humility and perseverance was rewarded with not just one play, but with many plays. In fact, during his four years of eligibility at Arizona, David played in every single game except one. Not bad for a player who only wanted to play one play!  

David, his wife Jenny and their daughters Ashlee and Lilian and their son Tyler live in New Jersey. Since leaving Arizona David has entered the collegiate coaching ranks. He spent two seasons at Holy Cross and in May of 2000 returned to the University of Arizona as an assistant coach. In 2001 he joined the coaching staff at Cal Poly where he served as defensive coordinator. In 2004 he assumed the defensive coordinator responsibilities at the University of Nevada Reno and in 2005 went to San Jose State where he rejoined Dick Tomey his former head coach at the University of Arizona. Under Coach Tomey he served as defensive coordinator and  secondary coach until he joined the coaching staff of the San Francisco 49ers in 2008. In 2011 David joined the staff of the Miami Dolphins and in 2012 joined the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles where is is the Special Teams Coordinator. For stepping into the shoes of former Arizona greats Allan Durden, Chuck Cecil and Jeff Hammerschmidt and thereafter continuing to carry on the great tradition of Secret Society members who have made their marks on and off the collegiate gridiron, the Star Chamber is honored to include David in the Star Chamber Gallery of Stars. 

                       

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