Cody Church led the Maryville College baseball team to unprecedented success during his tenure, but another opportunity has come his way so he will pass the reins to somebody else.

Church has resigned as the Scots’ head coach after five seasons to take an athletic sales job in the area.

He led the Scots to at least 20 wins in all five seasons — a streak unmatched in program history. Maryville won 61% of its games under Church and twice was ranked in the top 25 nationally.

In 2018 the Scots reached their highest national ranking at No. 18 by the American Baseball Coaches Association. In 2015 Nick Dean became the only Maryville player to be selected in the MLB Draft.

Church’s exit ends a circuitous route through baseball. The Seymour High School graduate played at Roane State Community College and Lincoln Memorial and coached at Tennessee Tech and Presbyterian College before coming to Maryville.

With a wife and son to care for, Church said leaving coaching “lined up with what I thought I needed to do.”

“I am excited about staying in the area,” he said. “In college coaching you have to be willing to bounce around a lot. We love Maryville, and we love East Tennessee. It checked all the boxes of something I would consider getting out of coaching for.”

In a university release, Maryville Director of Athletics Kandis Schram announced that associate head coach Clint Helton will be the interim coach while the school conducts a national search for a full-time replacement. Helton has played a pivotal role in recruiting during his tenure.

“We look forward to finding a leader of young men who will teach life lessons on and off the baseball diamond while developing student athletes to their fullest potential during competition,” Schram said in a release. “This program has a tradition of excellence, and we look forward to seeing what the next leader of the program can accomplish.”

The next leader will inherit a Maryville team that expects to win, but that’s not the only advantage. Facilities have been upgraded, including the batting cages and a new team building.

Church said it’s bittersweet to walk away because of the great personal relationships he has built, but he’s also confident the Scots are headed in the right direction.

“Five years ago it wasn’t the same program,” Church said. “The administration has really stepped up and helped out. Even though we never quite accomplished what I think will be accomplished there I think we’re a lot closer than we were five years ago.”

This story has been modified to include a correction.

Sports Editor

Corey is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and spent six years at The Houston Chronicle before joining The Daily Times in the summer of 2018.

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