Madison Maples is coming home — and she can’t hide her enthusiasm for the game of basketball.
“I’ve always had a passion for the game and I’m excited to be coming back to coach at my alma mater,” said Maples, a two-time All-Region 2-AAA and District 4-AAA guard at Farragut High School (Class of 2014) and two-time Second Team All-South Atlantic Conference guard at Maryville College who recently was named as an assistant coach for the Lady Admirals basketball team.
“I’m excited to work with the girls and show them what it takes to get to the substate,” she added. “I want to be there for the girls. I want to be the one who opens the gym for them when they want to come in and shoot.”
Maples, who was part of four FHS teams to make substate appearances, also will coach the Lady Ads junior varsity team.
“I think this will be a great experience,” said Maples, who recently graduated from Maryville College.
Having played for Lady Admirals skipper Jason Mayfield, the coach said of Maples’ return, “She has the respect of the younger players — and she knows what she’s doing.”
Mayfield said he always knew Maples wanted to be a high school coach. He followed her collegiate career after she left Farragut.
“Coach Mayfield kept up with me,” she said. “I was at Farragut when coach Mayfield came and I played for him my junior and senior years.
“I’m excited and I’m looking forward to being back at Farragut and coaching with him.”
Maples always had a passion for coaching.
“I’ve coached for years. I started my junior year in high school,” she said. “I started coaching for CBFO and that helped me work my way to AAU, where I’ve coached the Tennessee Fury.”
After leaving FHS, Maples began her college career at the University of North Georgia. But she would eventually return to East Tennessee and head to Blount County to play for the Lady Scots.
She noted that Mayfield helped facilitate her return to the Volunteer State.
“He helped me transfer to Maryville, and I came back in the middle of Christmas Break and I started playing immediately because I didn’t want to lose any eligibility,” Maples said about her sophomore season coming back to the Knoxville metro area.
Her return home didn’t go exactly as planned — she sustained a torn meniscus and ACL at Maryville.
“It was a struggle for sure,” Maples said. “But it was big for me to work and overcome that.”
She also encountered some personal adversity in Blount County when her friend, Brittany Johnson, was killed in a car accident.
“Brittany and I were friends and we hung out a lot at Maryville,” Maples said.
While Brittany graduated from William Blount High School, her sister, Hailey Johnson, currently plays for the Lady Admirals.
Maples will fulfill her student teaching requirement during the upcoming academic year. She will be assigned classroom duties at Heritage High School and Farragut Middle School.
She will pursue a teaching credential in health and physical education.