A chemistry and physics teacher at Alcoa High School, Rob Daugherty is well versed at crunching the numbers. With family commitments steadily increasing over the last few years, those numbers no longer add up.
Daugherty stepped down as the school’s athletics director last week, ending a 10-year reign that saw the football Tornadoes claim five state championships, the last four consecutive, with 10 of the 14 sports teams under his administration winning at least one district crown.
Wellness teacher Josh Stephens, 27, has been named as Daugherty’s replacement.
“We’ve had a lot of success,” Daugherty said. “Ten teams won at least one district title. We added two sports, wrestling and girls soccer.
“I’m really proud of the coaching staffs I had. It made life a lot easier. I really enjoyed it. It just takes a lot of time. I was heading toward a crossroads of whether I wanted to be a full-time AD or a full-time teacher.”
Daugherty’s son, Grant, is a nationally ranked junior golfer, competing in tournaments throughout the Southeast every weekend. With class and his duties as athletics director, there simply wasn’t time to do it all anymore.
“My son plays so much golf all over the place, I wanted to watch him play,” Daugherty said. “I can’t keep leaving on Saturday morning. I have to leave on Friday night.”
Stephens said he understands Daugherty’s reasons for stepping down.
“I think it’s just a family decision,” he said. “You’ve got to respect a man who puts his family first.”
Stephens, a 1998 graduate of Maryville High, is a good fit to replace him, Daugherty said.
“Josh will be good,” he said. “He’s young. He’s got the time. One of the things about Josh is he knows how to work.”
He’s also had good teachers.
A former Rebel golfer, Stephens was at Maryville during Jim Campbell’s long and distinguished stay as athletics director. At Tennessee Wesleyan, the new Alcoa AD said he learned much from Wesleyan athletics director Stan Harrison. Stephens is in his fifth season as golf coach at Alcoa, previously serving three years as freshman basketball coach.
“It was my time to achieve one of those things I’ve always dreamed of,” he said. “I’m excited. We’ll just take it, run with it and see what happens.”