Lenoir City's Wells to coach CAK
The 34-year-old got his second chance Monday.
Wells stepped down as boys' basketball coach at Lenoir City to take the same post at the Christian Academy of Knoxville.
He replaces Knoxville basketball coaching staple Johnny Darden, who was let go after six seasons.
"I got my start in a Christian school, which a lot of people don't know," said Wells, a 2002 Tennessee Wesleyan graduate. "When I was in college, I coached (middle school girls' basketball) at a Christian school (Highland Hills in Lenoir City).
"It's something I've been praying about getting the opportunity to do again. And it came open."
Wells coached the Loudon boys' team for two seasons before his stint at Lenoir City.
Prior experience of leaving a team didn't make Monday easier for Wells. He described it as "a very hard day." He announced his decision to players he led to two Region 2-AAA tournaments and a combined 31 wins against 24 losses in his two seasons.
He also leaves behind rising senior Tyler Hood, a 6-foot-6 college recruit who averaged 23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks this season.
"They were very understanding of my reason, because they're good kids," said Wells. "They were hurt. But they were very supportive of my decision. A couple of them, Tyler Hood included, came by before I even announced and said, 'We support you.'
"It was hard, because I made a faith-based decision. It wasn't about basketball. All components would tell me to stay: a great team coming back, good kids, great administration support. I had great administrative support while I was there. I just felt called to do it."
Wells will get the chance to live out another dream at CAK: teaching elementary school children. He will be a physical education teacher.
Wells will finish out the school year at Lenoir City before taking full control of a basketball program that hasn't had a winning season since 2004-2005.
"I really don't know how I'm going to go into it, to be honest," he said. " I've never seen those kids play.
"I've heard some good things about them, how they were really young. Obviously, we're going to have to get them believing that they can win."