Dan Wilkerson helped build Middle Tennessee Christian School into a Class A girls basketball power, evident in four sectional game appearances over the past six seasons.
However, the search has begun to replace Wilkerson after he resigned this week and accepted an assistant girls basketball position at Brentwood Academy.
“It was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do,” Wilkerson said. “I know people change jobs often. But this was my first professional job.”
Wilkerson said leaving the girls on the team is the hardest part of resigning because of the relationships he has built over the years.
Wilkerson finished 122-68 at MTCS in his six years.
Wilkerson, a David Lipscomb High graduate, started at MTCS after he spent a year in China following his graduation from Samford University. He was at the school for six years, coaching junior high and as an assistant before replacing Lynn Tate prior to the 2006-07 season. The Lady Cougars went to a Class A sectional game in his first season.
MTCS has played in five girls basketball sectional games in school history — only the 1992 sectional appearance came without Wilkerson on the bench. MTCS had five 20-win seasons under Wilkerson. The 1991-1992 season was the only other year MTCS won 20 or more games.
However, the school is 0-5 in sectional appearance and has never reached the TSSAA Class A Girls Basketball State Tournament.
Wilkerson’s resignation comes after MTCS president Lynn Watson announced his retirement. And MTCS baseball coach Alex Roberts resigned and accepted a teach position at Eagleville last month. Wilkerson, who was a Spanish teacher, was the school’s foreign language department head. He had been the school’s athletic director the past seven years.
Wilkerson said the sudden departure of Watson was a factor in his decision to take the BA position.
“I think (Watson) was a tremendous asset to the school,” Wilkerson said. “That was a factor. I’m not sure it was a deciding factor. I greatly respect his leadership. I think the school will sorely miss him.”
Wilkerson said the school has started a search for a replacement. He acknowledged the timing wasn’t good as teams usually go to team camps during June. He said there have been some that have volunteered to help the team during the transition in regard to camp.
MTCS finished 20-13 this past season, falling to Loretto in a Class A girls basketball sectional.
— Tom Kreager, 615-278-5168