Brandon McWhorter – More Than a Coach

by | Mar 2023

CO-ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, head softball coach, and math teacher Brandon McWhorter, with Coffee County Central High School, graduated from Coffee County and played college football in West Tennessee. He landed his first job as a coach shortly after he graduated. 

Eventually, he decided to pay it forward and returned to his alma mater to coach football and softball. He later decided to explore the sports world a little more and earned his master’s degree in Sports Administration at Belhaven University. 

He said, “A couple of years after I finished my degree in Sports Administration, our athletic director position opened. Our principal approached me asking if I was interested, and I’m thankful he did.” McWhorter has served Coffee County Central High School for 14 years. 

His service is not exclusive to himself but also spreads to his softball team and the entire school district. As a coach, McWhorter encourages his team to serve their community as much as possible. “This year, the team participated in our school system’s Angel Tree Program. The girls and coaches went out to shop and wrap gifts for two angels in our community.” 

Photographed by Ashleigh Newnes.

McWhorter said his athletic director role helps him stay active in the community. He is currently involved with the Dream for Weave Foundation, which gives back to athletes of all ages in the community. “Hopefully, one day, the kids involved in our youth programs today will play for us here at the high school. So we want to make sure that every kid has an opportunity to play as many sports as possible and can do that no matter their situation.” 

McWhorter enjoys wearing multiple hats and interacting with different athletes and students. Coaching softball means more to him than winning championships. Through the softball program, McWhorter can build relationships that lead to lifelong bonds. 

“You know you made an impact when you are two years beyond graduation and girls come back, and they invite you to the weddings, or they reach out to you to tell you about how they’ve been. That family atmosphere will teach these girls stuff that will help them on the field, but hopefully will help them outside of softball and beyond graduation to make them well rounded.” 

McWhorter’s roles as coach, athletic director, and teacher have each inhabited a unique impact. McWhorter said he often has students in his class talk to him about joining a sports team. “Sports is a huge thing for high school kids to be part of because it helps them learn some life lessons that the classroom can’t teach.” 

Photographed by Ashleigh Newnes.

McWhorter said sports teams teach students responsibility and time management. Coffee County Central High School’s softball program has been running since 1990 and has had many successful seasons and a history of winning district and region championships. They’ve been to the state tournament seven times, and just two years ago, they earned “runners-up” in the 2021 state tournament, finishing second in Tennessee, the highest position they’ve ever had in the program’s history. 

McWhorter said softball is considered a minor sport, but it could be considered a major sport in Coffee County. 

“It’s a program with great tradition and success every year. Softball, in this town, is a big thing. We have had many great athletes come through our program, and many have gone on to play in college.” 

The athletic department has a wall of names of students who have graduated and gone on to play softball after college. 

Photographed by Ashleigh Newnes.

As exciting as his positions are, McWhorter’s biggest challenge is time. He teaches four classes, handles athletics and softball program activities, and works around the clock to ensure the math and athletic programs run smoothly. 

If he isn’t filling out paperwork or attending meetings, he’s scheduling games and coordinating referees. 

“On a typical game day, I arrive at school at 7:20 a.m. and do not get home until sometime around 10 p.m., anywhere from 1-3 times a week during the fall and winter. As you can tell, this usually means a good morning is about all I get with my family on these days.” 

McWhorter said his wife and daughter are his biggest supporters, and he couldn’t do what he does without their sacrifice and support. 

McWhorter said that over the past 16 years that he’s taught, technological advancements and a supportive group of co-workers have helped him manage his jobs as effectively as possible. 

“We work at a great school with a lot of good people, which makes coming to work enjoyable.” GN 

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