Levister leaves WV post; tennis, girls’ soccer open
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Westview Athletics Director Jeromy Davidson truly has a full plate as the 2012-13 school year winds down.
Davidson is looking to hire head coaching replacements in three sports with the recent resignations of Chad Levister (baseball), Matt Cupples (girls’ soccer) and Chad Johnson (tennis).
While Cupples has accepted a teaching position at UT Martin and Johnson is leaving the education business, Levister simply said, “It’s somebody else’s turn.”
Davidson said he had four teacher openings to match with the coaching responsibilities and hopes to bring in certified classroom personnel both knowledgeable and experienced in their respective sport.
“We want to be and expect to be successful in everything at Westview and, using baseball as an example, I believe the pieces are in place for us to do that with us losing just one senior this year,” the Charger AD said. “Coaching is like teaching: You try to take someone with some knowledge and skills and maximize those things.”
After four seasons in charge of the Charger baseball fortunes, the 46-year-old Levister confirmed widespread speculation that this year was his last in that capacity when he told the eam Thursday he would not return next spring.
Westview teams went 37-68 during his tenure and won just one district tournament game.
“The program is just not headed in the direction I wanted it to, and it’s time for somebody else to try,” Levister told the Press on Friday.
While there had been unrest with the coach and among the players — especially earlier this season — Levister said “no one thing or incident” prompted his resignation.
“It was more of a collection of things,” he said. “It was a real struggle for me, I feel, getting the guys to buy into what I thought was important for this program to be successful.
“I’m not perfect, but I think it’s been 28 years since they’ve won a district baseball championship at Westview, and I believe part of that is the mindset that is here. I couldn’t get through to them.”
Levister, who handles his school responsibilities in the Weakley County System in Sharon, wouldn’t rule out returning as a head baseball coach somewhere different in the future, but right now intends on returning to his role of an assistant girls’ basketball coach to Sean Stephenson at Westview in 2013-14.
“It would have to be the right situation, but I’m not saying ‘never again,’” he stated. “I coached baseball a long time at the youth league level — even before I had kids — and enjoyed it and was successful.”
Davidson said he had no timetable to hire replacements for any of his three vacancies, surmising that he expected a new principal to be hired first at WHS with the recent retirement of longtime administrator David Byars.
“As soon as that person is in place, I expect those openings to be filled fairly quickly. If it’s one thing I know, it’s that principals like to tie up loose ends like that sooner rather than later as we head into the summer,” he said.
The Charger baseball program had just one senior on this year’s roster — Nick Hart — and returns their top two pitchers (Houston Haag and Jordan Long), both of whom earned all-district honors, for the next two seasons.
Published in The WCP 5.14.13