Maryville College left the Great South Athletic Conference two years ago for the U.S.A. South.
It would have been hard to predict the level of success MC’s athletic program has experienced since. Last fall was arguably the most successful season in school history. The football, volleyball, cross country and soccer teams all brought home trophies. In large part, the credit for this broad level of success can be attributed to one thing—the coaches.
Maryville had four coaches bring home U.S.A. South Coach of the Year awards, as voted on by their peers in the conference. MC hosted an event Friday, Feb. 28 to recognize this unprecedented achievement.
The banquet was hosted in the Cooper Athletic Center and was a celebration of our coaches’ and college’s success.The college board, coaches’ familes, friends, MC students and student athletes were all in attendance to hear Wayne Kramer, chair of the board of directors, acknowledge our coaches.
Coach Pepe Fernandez was named both men’s and women’s Soccer Coach of the Year, while leading the women’s team to a regular season U.S.A. South Conference Championship.
Coach Tyson Murphy was named Cross Country Coach of the Year. Coach Murphy has won the award five times out of the last eight years.
Coach Mike Rader was named football coach of the year, while leading the football team to back-to-back conference championships.
Coach Candace Schram was named Volleyball Coach of the Year, while leading the volleyball team to a regular season USA South conference championship. This was the 12th time Coach Schram has won the award.
The coaches were given certificates to formally show the college’s appreciation of their success. U.S.A. South assistant athletic director Mike Christie also spoke and lauded Maryville’s success in the conference, thanking the administration for raising the bar in the conference.
Kramer, the keynote speaker at the event, spoke on the importance of our coaches to the conference and to the college.
“Championship programs and championship teams don’t happen by accident. It happens because people work hard. They’re dedicated to it. They understand what’s going on, and in Division III it’s even more that way. You have got to be committed in a way that is special,” Kramer said. “The coaches and administrators at Maryville College get that, and not everybody does. Whether it’s football or basketball, it makes a difference in the lives of young men and young women in ways that none of will ever really know or appreciate.”
“We love this place,” he concluded.
It’s truly a great time to be a Fighting Scot.