Courtney Stewart made the decision recently to resign her position as softball coach at Sequatchie County High School, and her sister, Kelly Somerville, has been promoted from assistant to head coach.
Stewart and Somerville are the daughters of former Sequatchie coach Pete Swafford, who in 1990 guided the Lady Indians to their only state championship.
"I think I've got the coaching gene," said Somerville, who played at UT-Martin after playing at Sequatchie. "I always knew when I got done playing that I wanted to coach on some level, whether that was high school, summer ball, something. It was going to take a lot to get me away from a ballfield."
Somerville has assisted her sister the last four of the six years Stewart has been the Lady Indians head coach. Under Stewart's guidance they won two District 7-AA championships and three times advanced to state sectionals.
Stewart, who has sons ages 6 and 4, said she considered resigning before last season. She will remain Sequatchie's cheerleading coach.
"I'm not going anywhere," Stewart said. "I'm going to be around, but I just need to be a parent."
Somerville had been coaching the middle school team, which plays in the fall, but is not doing that this year. She is due to give birth to her second daughter in early September.
Former Whitwell standout Nichole Henry, who went on to play at Mississippi State, is coaching the middle school team this season.
The bulk of the talent on last season's district runner-up high school team returns in the spring. Only two Lady Indians graduated, and Somerville said a large freshman class includes some who could help right away.
"I'm really excited," she said. "I always get excited every year, regardless of who's coming back. I just enjoy being around the game."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or email@example.com.