Marc Weekly leaving Tennessee softball to coach The King's Academy
Marc Weekly is taking a step back so he can take a step forward.
Weekly is resigning his position as a volunteer assistant with the University of Tennessee softball team and will become head coach of the new softball program at The King’s Academy in Seymour.
“It was a very difficult decision because I’ve been coaching with my father (co-head coach Ralph Weekly) for almost 20 years,” Marc Weekly said. “We’ve been to six World Series. I’ve learned so much from my dad, (co-head coach) Karen (Weekly) and (assistant coach) Marty (McDaniel)."
Weekly, who is in his second year as athletic director at TKA, said the Lions will play a mix of junior varsity and varsity teams this spring before playing a full varsity schedule when they open play in District 1 of Division II-A next year. They’ll still be eligible for this year’s district tournament, but will be seeded last, he said.
The new softball program is one of Weekly's major projects at the school. The Lions built a new field this winter and have been searching for a coach. Initially, Weekly said NCAA compliance precluded him from taking the job because of his responsibilities in Knoxville.
“If I want to grow the program (at TKA) like it needs to be I want to have more involvement in it," Weekly said. "I can’t be on the coaching staff in a volunteer role (at UT) and be a coach at a high school.”
Last season, Weekly coached first base and worked with catchers and outfielders for the Lady Vols, helping Tennessee reach the championship round of the Women's College World Series. Ralph Weekly said his son, a former Canadian Football League player who also had a tryout with the Seattle Mariners, knows hitting and will be tough to replace in Knoxville.
“He's really good at what he does,” Ralph Weekly said. “It's going to be a loss for us. It's good that he's going to get a chance to start that program over there. He’s going to turn out some pretty good players.”
Marc Weekly has been an assistant since the Weeklys coached at UT-Chattanooga in the mid-1990s. The long-time assistant said he’s not only excited about taking the reins of his own program, but about teaching at the high school level. In addition to his collegiate work, Weekly has coached a travel team his daughter plays on.
““He wouldn't be with us if he didn't know how to coach,” said Ralph Weekly. “He related real well with the kids at Tennessee. … All our girls really liked him when he was there because he could really help them.”
That’s what the younger Weekly is hoping to do with high schools athletes. His college players often just required fine tuning while Weekly can now get back to teaching fundamentals and a love for the game at the high school level.
“The good thing with softball is I’m so used to being around the top teams in the country, I know how to run practices,” Marc Weekly said. “I’m so excited about taking this group of kids. It’s getting back to that grassroots and just teaching.”