Ralph Weekly Co-Head Coach
At 1,212 career victories through 28 years as a collegiate head coach, Ralph Weekly continues to set the standard for success that his teams have championed through the years. The 2011 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee just completed his 14th as Tennessee's head coach in 2014.
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) honored his efforts throughout a distinguished, three-decade career that has spanned from his time in the U.S. Air Force through stops at Pacific Lutheran, Chattanooga and now Tennessee, with a 2011 induction into the NFCA Hall of Fame. Voted in by his coaching peers and with the organization consisting of just 49 previous inclusions, Weekly joined Ithaca Head Coach Deb Pallozzi in ceremonies at the annual NFCA Convention in Las Vegas, Nev., in Dec. of 2011.
Karen Weekly Co-Head Coach
An 18-year collegiate softball head coaching veteran boasting 921 career wins, Karen Weekly and her husband Ralph just completed their 14th season at the helm of the Tennessee softball program. Having guided UT to a staggering 664 victories and five top three national finishes (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013) and six appearances (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013) in the annual Women's College World Series since arriving to resuscitate the program prior to the 2002 season, Karen and Ralph have made it evident that tireless recruiting and solid coaching by the experienced Weeklys and their staff can produce huge dividends to the UT softball program.
The Lady Vols enjoyed another strong season in 2014 with a roster comprised of accomplished seniors and a slew of young rising stars. UT went 46-12 in 2014 and made its seventh trip to the NCAA Super Regionals. Tennessee went 17-7 in SEC play to finish second in the conference in the regular season.
Marty McDaniel Assistant Coach
Lauded for his teaching ability and his overall knowledge of the game, Marty McDaniel continues to provide his outgoing personality and boundless enthusiasm to the Lady Vol softball program. McDaniel has just completed his 11th season as assistant coach on the staff of Tennessee co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly. A former head coach at Division II Armstrong Atlantic State University (Ga.), McDaniel's experience as both a coach and as a men's fastpitch veteran has been invaluable to the UT efforts.
During his time on the UT softball staff, McDaniel has been vital to the program's stunning success. His pitching pupils such as standouts Monica Abbott, Megan Rhodes, Ashton Ward, Cat Hosfield, Ivy Renfroe and Ellen Renfroe have helped extend Tennessee's streak of 40+ win seasons to 12 following the 2014 campaign. During his 10 years at Tennessee (2005-14) his pitching staffs have led the nation in ERA and strikeouts (2007), set a national record for shutouts (51 in 2005) and helped the Big Orange to 529 total victories, an average of 53 wins-per-season.
Madison Shipman Volunteer Assistant Coach
Tennessee softball legend Madison Shipman joined the coaching staff as its volunteer assistant coach in the fall of 2014. Shipman will work with hitters, supervise infield defense and serve as the first-base coach.
Shipman enjoyed one of the finest careers in Tennessee softball history, hitting .348 with 44 homers, 55 doubles, 207 RBIs, 177 runs and 58 stolen bases from 2011-14. She had one of the greatest single-season performances in 2014 when she hit a career-best .417 with 18 homers, 16 doubles, 54 RBIs, 56 runs and 13 stolen bases. Shipman won the 2014 SEC Player of the Year award and was recognized for her excellence on and off the field, winning the 2014 Honda Sports Award for Softball and the 2014 Senior CLASS Award for Softball. She was also a three-time NFCA All-American (2012, 2013, 2014) and a two-time Capital One Academic All-American (2013, 2014)
Patrick Lawson Director of Softball Operations
The Tennessee softball program announced Patrick Lawson as its new director of softball operations in July of 2013.
Lawson previously worked in Tennessee event management for five years, overseeing game days and managing events for UT's softball, soccer and women's golf teams.