Tullahoma High School officials announced Wednesday that they have hired a new coach as Dan Lynch will be taking over the Lady Wildcats volleyball program.
“I’m pumped beyond belief,” Lynch said. “I can’t wait for us to get started and hit the ground running. I know almost all of the girls on the team, I’ve coached most of them in middle school. I’m eager to get started.”
Lynch takes over for Lawrence Orr who stepped down from his position late last year. Orr spent six seasons as head coach of the Lady Wildcats.
“During his tenure, Coach Orr displayed an undying commitment to not only the sport but also the program and our school,” said THS Principal Jason Quick. “I think you all will agree with me this past year, his team and players took great strides in developing, both on and off the court, as the season went on. While he has effectively retired from coaching, he has told me he will continue to be the strongest supporter of the THS Volleyball program and we will see his face often.”
Lynch coached in Nashville, before taking over the Tullahoma Middle School volleyball program in 2018. In three years at the middle-school level, Lynch has seen success on the court, including finishing this past season with a 15-3 overall record. The Lady Wildcats finished this past year as the Central Tennessee Conference Runner-Up.
“In all of my years, I have never been more impressed with a candidate that was so prepared, detailed and had a vision for the future of what the program could achieve both on the court and off,” Quick said. “As I have got to know Dan, I am evermore confident he is the right coach at the right time for our young ladies and the future of the THS program.”
Once Orr resigned from his post, Quick said he and THS athletic director John Olive immediately began the search for a new volleyball coach. While looking to fill the vacant position, Quick said there were a few qualities that he and Olive were looking for.
“The characteristics Coach Olive and I were looking for included player development, championship experience and a commitment to both the school and community,” Quick said. “However, and just as important, we were seeking a coach that would serve as a person of character, be an excellent role model for young people, help them mature into outstanding community citizens and reach their fullest potential as a well-rounded young ladies.”
Over the months, the THS principal said he and Olive interviewed coaches from multiple states. While there were several quality candidates, Quick said he felt that Lynch was the right person for the job.
“The search for the right head coach for our program was extensive and lead to conversations with several highly respected coaches in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee that had strong championship pedigrees. Each candidate held the similar view of our program and its potential – THS is positioned to become a perennial championship contender at all levels of competition with the right coach.”
After starting the middle school volleyball program from scratch, Lynch had seen his teams continue to improve every season. Lynch will also be bringing his assistant coach with him to the high school level as Katherine Miller has agreed to continue coaching under the new high school coach. Amanda Baker will also return to the sidelines at THS after previously assisting under Orr.
One of the other advantages that Lynch had over other candidates is the fact that he already has familiarity with most of the players. Because of that, Lynch said he believes that this year’s Lady Wildcats squad will be competitive.
“I think it [that familiarity] allows us to have a jump on the game,” he said. “I know a lot of their strengths and weaknesses already so we can hit the ground running and basically build a solid team quickly.”
With Lynch leaving for the high school level, the search is ongoing for a coach at the middle school level. While he couldn’t say names, Lynch did say that there were some quality candidates for that position. His plan is to work with that coach moving forward and help establish an elementary program.
“I expect us not to just build the team, but the whole program,” Lynch said. “I want us to build from the elementary level through middle and up to the high school level. I want to see us just grow this program and make it a premier program in the state.”