The King’s Academy seeks to provide spiritual growth and academic empowerment for promising students. Our students come from around the globe—an average of 17 countries are represented—and they leave profoundly changed by the welcoming culture that we call “family.”
Information of Interest
THE KING’S ACADEMY NAMES MARC WEEKLY ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
He was enjoying a very good life. He had a rewarding career selling cutting edge technology that helped lots of medical patients. He coached softball at the highest level. He and his wife were raising three wonderful children in a great home, lived near relatives and good friends, and enjoyed their church. With so many things going so well, why would anyone mess with that and change careers?
But Marc Weekly has done just that. He has taken the helm of the athletic program for The King’s Academy, a 132-year-old Christian day and boarding school in Seymour. Dan Kirkpatrick, who directed athletics for most of his nineteen years at the school, was named the academy’s Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events this past summer, Weekly, whose children attend the school, was tapped to fill the vacancy.
“My wife, Cheryl, and I enrolled our children in 2010,” he explains. “Through our experiences in the school, we wanted to be more involved. I also knew that I wanted to move into a sports-related career. When the opportunity was presented for me to be the Athletic Director, I knew that this was the path the Lord was providing for me and my family. I am thankful to have been blessed with this opportunity to influence students’ lives, and to work alongside people who promote my own spiritual growth.”
Weekly readily acknowledges the challenges in his new position. While the academy has a very good reputation, and a significant number of graduates have received athletic scholarships to play at the college level, it isn’t known as an athletic powerhouse. His goal is to raise the level of competitiveness. “My vision is for the academy to develop a mindset to win and not just compete,” he says. “Change takes time, but with better facilities, and with coaches who implement discipline and strong game plans, it can happen.”
Weekly is appealing to every academy constituents to share his vision. “We need parents to ‘buy in.’ To move to the next level takes a different type of commitment. We need to utilize the talent we have. Once this starts happening, people around will take notice, and they will want to be a part of it too.”
He also has an overarching agenda. “The sports arena can be a strong platform for spreading the Word of Christ,” he says. “Few venues draw as many people as sports. Society as a whole reveres sports and its athletes at all levels. Christian athletes can be a powerful voice. When people see a team that plays with a ‘servant warrior’ mentality by giving all they have for Christ, their team and their school, it is contagious.
“Winning is a by-product of many little things,” he adds. “Are we willing to make the sacrifice, to put in the time and effort toward the goal? Are we prepared to outwork our opponents? Plus, a successful athletic program requires good communication and good management—these two will make or break you.”
In the first few weeks on the job, he has focused on facilities. “We are a little under the gun, but we are working hard to make some changes,” Weekly says. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the replacing the football field fence with shrubbery. Two major projects on the table now are an indoor athletic training facility and air conditioning in Stokely Gymnasium. He has also been able to secure an exclusive Adidas contract with significant benefits to the student-athletes and coaches.
“We have some loyal donors who have stepped up, but we need more to join in. I spend a good portion of my time raising monies for these projects.”
That role relates to Weekly’s other title—Development Officer. Academy President Walter Grubb plans to involve him in campus wide advancement programs, especially the academy’s capital campaign. “Marc Weekly brings a lot to the table for us,” Grubb says, “and he knows a lot of people. I am excited about working with him in both athletics and development.”
Weekly’s other top priority is coaching coaches. He says being a great coach requires being coachable, willing to learn all the time. His philosophy: “Check your ego at the door and learn from others who have done it longer or better. No set of adjectives describe a good coach. If coaches have respect and dedication from their players, then they have the makings of good coaches.
“Of course, in youth sports, you must also have good parents. Sadly, some parents today are distractions. They feel they need to dictate what goes on and often have a biased view of their child’s skill level. If they are not happy, they may start the grumbling that can undermine a sports program.
“As a boy, if I had come home complaining about a coach, it would not have been a good night for me,” he affirms. “This isn’t to say that coaches are right all the time either, but if we want our children to understand fair play and striving for excellence, parents cannot impede that process.”
Marc’s Weekly’s father and step-mother, Ralph and Karen Weekly, are well known as the co-head coaches of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols softball team. Marc coaches with them in a volunteer role. Around East Tennessee, the father may be better known than the son. In the Pacific Northwest, that may not be the case.
In 1993 Marc Weekly was First Team All American quarterback on his Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Washington) football team. He led the “Lutes” to the national championship that year accumulating 46 touchdowns and 4,065 total offensive yards. He had a career offense total of 10,977 yards.
Following his collegiate career, he signed a deal with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League. After two years with the Eskimos, he worked with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterbacks and kickers while earning his master’s degree in education.
He was also an Associated Press Blue Chip Pick in baseball, and declined an offer to sign as catcher in the Seattle Mariners organization.
Ralph Weekly also served at Pacific Lutheran, coaching softball there from 1986 to 1994, leading his teams to two national titles. Interestingly, father and son will both be inducted into the Pacific Lutheran Athletic Hall of Fame for their separate accomplishments during a special ceremony in Tacoma, September 28, 2012.
“I was lucky to have a dad and mom who supported me in every aspect of my life,” says Marc Weekly. “We grew up on a military base where the sports were fantastic. I enjoyed football, baseball, and basketball. Living in Hawaii during my youth allowed me to play every season. You had to be tough in that environment and I look back on that as a pivotal part of my young athletic life.”
Weekly credits his college coach Frosty Westerling for challenging him to always be learning and improving. He quotes Westerling, “When you’re green, you’re growing, and when you’re ripe you’re rotting.” Westerling’s career mark of 305–96–7 is aNational Association of Intercollegiate Athletics record for most coaching wins, and he ranks ninth in wins among all college football coaches.
Weekly adds, “I have been affected by every coach and player I have come across, in some way, good or bad.”
Cheryl Weekly has also joined the academy family. She serves as Assistant to the President, with administrative duties that include donor relations. On most days, except for field trips and away games, their three children, Jake, Regan and Garrett are never very far from their parents.
“Family is why I am here,” he says. “We made the decision to join The King’s Academy Family for many reasons. Being together in this setting on a daily basis is very appealing to us.”