A big month for Amanda Estes just got bigger.
The William Blount ninth grade academy teacher is set to wed fiancée Kent Leatherwood on June 27. On Tuesday, the 24-year-old Maryville College graduate was formally introduced as the new head softball coach at William Blount High School.
Estes takes over for former Lady Governor coach Abbie Rector, who resigned last month to pursue her masters.
Planning a wedding and becoming a head coach can be quite a lot, but Estes has what it takes, William Blount athletics director Mike Brewer said.
Estes came highly recommended by her predecessor, he said. Her work at the freshman academy has been beyond reproach.
“She’s a great teacher,” Brewer said, “not only on the playing field but in the classroom as well. When you’re fortunate to have someone in your building already that helps. Abbie was very high on her.”
A 2003 graduate of Knox Central, Estes spent four seasons as a utility player at Maryville College, where she played every position but pitch. A view of the game from so many angles can only help in directing the Lady Governors as a team.
“When you’re a coach, that’s what you do,” Estes said.
In 2007, Estes helped the Lady Scots to an NCAA tournament appearance. Estes, who hit over .300 in four seasons at Maryville, spent the last two seasons as an assistant to former Lady Scot coach Danny Fish. Fish resigned last month to become the head coach at Union College in Barbourville, Ky. The move left her wondering about her future, Estes said.
“I had some decisions to make,” she said.
Days later, Rector made the decision to return to school.
“You’re not supposed to go to school to be a coach, but, honestly, that’s what I did,” Estes told a gathering parents and players in the William Blount commons area on Tuesday.
While the chance to be a head coach came along sooner than she expected, with a program on the cusp of big things with a freshman and sophomore dominated team a year ago, Estes said she’s up for the challenge. Work ethic and having some fun out there with be the calling card for her teams. It’s what led him to select Estes for the position in the first place, Brewer said.
“I’ve heard nothing but praise for her work ethic and how much she cares for her players,” he said.