By Mike Blackerby
Marc Weekly, who guided The King’s Academy to three Division II-A state softball state championships in breakneck speed, announced his resignation as head coach Sunday in a prepared statement.
“I thank the administration, faculty, staff, families and especially the players for allowing me the opportunity to develop this high-caliber program,” said Weekly.
“ I will always be a fan and look forward to celebrating the continued success of these young ladies, on and off the field.”
Weekly, who put a fledgling King’s Academy team on the softball map immediately after taking over as coach, was 207-41 in six seasons with state championships in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Weekly, the son of University of Tennessee softball co-head coach Ralph Weekly, also helped multiple TKA players land scholarships at prominent collegiate softball programs.
“The TKA administration is grateful for the amazing work coach Weekly has done to build TKA softball program,” said school president Matt Mercer.
“His accomplishments as a softball coach have been unbelievable regarding championships and (the) number of players that have signed to play high-level collegiate athletics.”
Mercer said he is glad Weekly will remain at TKA in another capacity.
“His many contributions to our school community go way beyond the field and we are thankful for those as well,” continued Mercer.
“We are happy to announce coach Weekly will be staying on at TKA development to continue to grow us as a school and make a difference in young leader’s lives for many years to come.”
Weekly is replaced by Lady Lions assistant coach Dayna Carter, one of the most respected softball coaches in the area.
Weekly hired Carter as an assistant coach on his staff for TKA’s 2019 softball season.
Weekly said the Lady Lions won’t skip a beat under the direction of Carter.
“I’ve poured the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears into developing this program over the course of the past six years, so it means a great deal to me,” said Weekly.
“I could never leave the program in the hands of just anyone. So, I’m sincerely thankful to have an accomplished coach and friend taking the reins. I’m also grateful that assistant coach Mark Webber will remain on staff.
“Dayna was a true asset to our coaching staff last season. She is a talented
and knowledgeable coach that will continue the TKA Softball tradition of excellence.”
Carter, who racked up more than 500 career victories as a high school coach, has a track record of success in her previous stops at Seymour and Christian Academy of Knoxville, where she won two state championships.
Carter is originally from Northern California.
She began her collegiate softball career as a pitcher at Sacramento City College where she earned Junior College All-American Honors. Carter then transferred to Oklahoma on a full scholarship. Finally, she moved to Tennessee to coach at UT and complete her degree.
“I was thankful to be a part of the TKA softball family last year,” said Carter.
“I am excited to continue with this program and these awesome girls. Marc and Mark (Webber) have obviously built this program to where it is today, and my plan is to build on to what they have already built.
“The four seniors this past year have left such an impact on this team and they will be greatly missed. We will have a brand-new look next year with their absence, but we will work hard to compete and continue the winning tradition.”
Mercer said TKA is fortunate to have a coach of the caliber of Carter follow Weekly.
“Coach Carter has all the tools to lead our program successfully into the future,” said Mercer.
“ She has a unique ability to build excellent relationships with players, a rich championship experience and a focus that goes beyond softball that will continue to positively impact our players’ approach to the classroom, the community and life.”