After seven months of searching, Lenoir City High School officially named Bryan Lynn the new volleyball head coach.
The change takes place after LCHS girls basketball coach Tim Smith stepped in midway through last season after the sudden dismissal of four-year head coach Kynette Williams.
Lynn previously served as an assistant coach at LCHS under Valerie Pearce before Williams took over in 2014.
“I know he knows the game and both of his daughters were really good high school players for us,” Greg Boling, LCHS athletic director, said. “I actually reached out to him to see if he would be interested. There were a few things that had to fall into place for him to become our head coach. One, he doesn’t work in the school system and has a full-time job, so he had to clear that with the people he works with. We’re excited to have him.”
Lynn has served as a photographer for the News-Herald and other companies, but has always had an interest in returning to the game.
“I’ve said this a couple of other times to different people, but I didn’t start this year planning to coach the volleyball team — I didn’t even start this month,” he said. “Greg approached me and I told him that I would think about it and told some of my concerns, so there wasn’t much I could do about it except pray about it and think about it. I think they made it official last Wednesday, so it was a pretty quick turnaround. It’s one of those things that I wanted to do, but I wanted to do it in the capacity of an assistant coach. I was more interested in coming into a situation and helping.”
Lynn has experience playing volleyball and has helped coach club teams over the years.
His daughter, Kristen, graduated from Lenoir City in 2018 and was a two-time, all-county player. She will serve as an assistant coach.
“Coach Williams, who has been our coach the last few years, was a fantastic volleyball coach,” Boling said. “I know Bryan has a lot of volleyball knowledge as well. I think what’s unique about this situation is the fact his daughter, who played for us at the high school and is going to be the assistant coach, has coached in Knoxville in club. I think her knowledge is really going to help as well. I think they’re going to be a great team together. He lost a lot of hitters, but we’ve got some returning kids that are young and have some height.”
As a first-year head coach, Lynn knows there will be challenges competing against teams like Maryville, Hardin Valley and Heritage in District 4-3A.
“I think a lot of it will depend on how some of these underclassmen adjust,” he said. “Last year was probably the first year I haven’t watched them a lot. Some of the girls I’ve seen play quite a bit and so I know what they can do. We’ve got some height with girls like Taylor (Pennington) and Olivia (Elliot). This district is brutal. I’ve been trying to prepare the girls. I mean, they’ve seen it, but I think some of the freshmen will be surprised at the caliber of volleyball that they’re fixing to come up against in this district.”
The team recently held tryouts and will practice throughout the summer to prepare.
“I was actually pretty shocked because I thought I was going to keep 18 girls,” Lynn said. “I really thought I would have somewhere between 18 and 21 people try out and we ended up with 28 girls trying out. After the dead period, we’ll try to practice about four times a week and, hopefully, we’ll be able to attend some camps and get some experience. It’s just hard because I’m coming in so late. Kynette always took them to camps at Liberty University and I know those were always good because they got to see really good competition and bond together, so I’d like to try and do something like that if I can.”