New leadership model announced for Athletics

MC announces new leadership model for Athletics

Sept. 10, 2020


Maryville College is transitioning to a full-time Athletic Director model, citing plans to utilize its sports programs to position the College for greater visibility, growth and advancement.

The move was explained in a letter emailed Thursday to faculty, staff and students and jointly signed by Maryville College President Dr. Bryan Coker and Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Melanie Tucker.

In the letter, Coker and Tucker explained that the need for a full-time Athletic Director (AD) had emerged in recent years and that many other Division III schools had transitioned to the full-time model, which prioritizes external relationship-building, fundraising and overseeing compliance matters.

“For MC specifically, strengthening our Athletics programs will be a crucial piece of raising our institutional profile and strategically increasing enrollment in the coming years,” the president and VP explained in the letter. “Attending to Athletics’ facility needs also will be a top priority, and the cultivation of donor support and other resources in that regard will be crucial.”

Since the introduction of athletics at Maryville College in 1876, only eight persons have held the title of Athletic Director, and all had additional responsibilities – often coaching, teaching or both.

Kandis Schram ’85, the College’s current AD, was promoted into the position in 2008 and has continued to serve as head volleyball coach, a role she has held since 1985. In addition to her work on campus, Schram has served in leadership positions within the USA South Athletic Conference and the NCAA Division III Management Council.

Effective Nov. 30, she will step aside as AD but retain her head coaching responsibilities.

“We appreciate [Schram’s] dedicated service to the College as an administrator and her commitment to hundreds of student-athletes over the last 12 years,” Coker and Tucker wrote. “We are fortunate that she will be adding more volleyball seasons to her already 35-year career and look forward to celebrating many more wins with her.”

Assistant Athletic Director Sara Quatrocky will become an interim AD on Dec. 1, with some job responsibilities shifting now to ensure a smooth transition. The College intends to conduct a search for a full-time permanent AD in the future.

Calling the Athletics program an “integral part of the Maryville College community,” Coker and Tucker wrote that sports were “interwoven with [the College’s] history, traditions and identity.

“We are excited about the future, as we endeavor to see these programs realize their full potential,” they added.

Schram calls AD service ‘a tremendous honor’

The College’s Athletic Department has experienced many successes during Schram’s 12-year tenure. Among the accomplishments:

  • Achieving full sports membership within the USA South Athletic Conference
  • Establishing men’s and women’s golf as varsity sports
  • 25 USA South Athletic Conference regular-season titles
  • 12 USA South Athletic Conference tournament championships
  • 27 bids to the NCAA national tournament
  • Renovation of the softball complex
  • Construction of a new baseball clubhouse

“It has been a privilege to have a front seat in the many victories, championships, milestones and, most of all, academic achievements,” Schram said. “Serving Maryville College along with some of the most dedicated coaches and student-athletes has been a tremendous honor.”

With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing the USA South Athletic Conference to postpone fall sports seasons (including volleyball) until the spring, Schram has begun practices with her team and said she looks forward to giving her full attention to the College’s volleyball program.

“We will continue to build on a solid foundation of hard work, striving for excellence, and commitment to each other,” she said.

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”