Lenoir City High School removed its head volleyball coach late last week and made a change at the position over the weekend.
LCHS girls basketball coach Tim Smith will replace Kynette Williams after four seasons.
Smith takes over immediately and will remain the head girls basketball coach.
“Coach Williams’ volleyball knowledge is very extensive,” Greg Boling, LCHS athletic director, said. “I said this to her the other day, but she has forgotten more about the game of volleyball, more than I have ever known. Her knowledge of the game is just better than anyone I’ve had the privilege of being around. We wish her the best moving forward and hopefully everything will work out well for her.”
Boling came to Jeanne Barker, director of schools, Friday with the decision to remove Williams from the position, Barker said.
“That’s something the athletic director handled with the coach,” Barker said. “By the time he talked to me to give me an update where we needed to go with the situation, I was in agreement.”
Barker said the decision was what Boling viewed as “best for the team.” There was no disciplinary reason for the change, Barker said.
Boling declined to answer multiple questions regarding the reason for Williams’ removal as head coach.
Williams led the team to a 46-14 record in 2017. The Lady Panthers were 6-4 under Williams this season. They were 1-4 at a tournament over the weekend without Williams.
Smith agreed Saturday to take over as volleyball coach.
“Greg asked me Saturday morning if I would be interested in it,” Smith said. “I wanted to talk to some people because I’m more of a basketball coach, even though I coached in middle school. I told him that I would do it for the kids and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Boling said the decision to make a move came quickly and he felt Smith was the best option.
“He’s got 10 years of experience coaching volleyball in the Cumberland County area,” Boling said. “With the job he does with our girls basketball program, and I have used this term to his face and behind his back, he just gets it. The camaraderie he has with players, parents, administration, fellow teachers and the community, it just seems like a natural fit. When I approached him about it, it took him all but about 45 minutes to accept it. He wanted to talk to his wife and assistant coaches about it to make sure it was all right and that just shows what kind of person he is — he cares more about others than himself.”
Smith has not coached volleyball in more than a decade, but is eager to get back on the court and help the Lady Panthers any way he can.
“It’s been a while and I’ve got a lot to learn,” Smith said. “Coach Williams is very knowledgeable and has built this program up, so I’m just going to try and continue what she’s done. I’m not going to bring any new knowledge that these girls don’t have. I’m really going to have to rely on these seniors.”
There is no decision on whether Smith will take over as the full-time head volleyball coach. The administration will wait until the end of the season to make a decision, Boling said.
“We haven’t really even discussed that,” Boling said. “One of the girls on the team asked that question and he and I kind of looked at each other. That’s just something we’ll discuss when the season’s over. One thing I don’t want to do is for him to be burning the midnight oil all year long because that’s tough on somebody.”
Smith held his first practice with the team Tuesday afternoon and will make his debut at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against district foe Hardin Valley High School.
“I’ve got to rely on these seniors and what they’ve done,” Smith said. “I want them to feel comfortable, so I’m not going to change anything that makes me feel comfortable. I have to learn what Coach Williams did and keep pushing that forward. I think Coach Ashton (Oody) is going to stay as far as I know. We’re just going to keep moving forward and doing what they’ve been doing.”
Williams could not be reached for comment.