Aaron Everett graduated Loudon High School with an impressive career on the mound — good enough to earn him a spot on the University of Tennessee baseball team. He pitched three years for the Volunteers before suffering an arm injury.
He then transferred to Lee University and pitched his senior season with the Flames in 2010. He then became the second player in program history to sign a Major League Baseball contract, joining the San Diego Padres farm system.
Last year, Everett served as head baseball coach at Altha (Fla.) High School. He said he didn't want to stray too far from the sport.
"When I was released by the Padres, I decided me and baseball, that's all I knew," he said. "I figured I would go back and teach kids what I've been taught. I teach them what other people taught me. I teach what I've been taught by what I consider some of the best people in the game."
Everett said he has been fortunate to be around a number of strong coaches in his career and feels he can pass on what he has learned to help players coming up.
"My two pitching coaches that I had at the University of Tennessee, one of them is a pitching coach at Georgia and the other is a pitching coach at Florida State," Everett said. "That's pretty much what I base all my stuff off of, those two, coach Mark Brew down at Lee and coach Travis Watson. Then, in pro ball, I was taught by some of the game's best."
Everett has made the decision to return to Loudon as an assistant coach to Bill Thompson.
"My wife and I were both offered jobs at Loudon," Everett said. "Just the opportunity to come back home, get back towards family. We decided to take it and get back up here. I knew the ball team was traditionally always good. Coach Thompson's always produced a really good program."
Thompson said he's happy to have his former pitcher joining the staff and looks forward to what he will bring to the team.
"He was an extremely smart pitcher in high school," Thompson said. "He had a lot of good ideas and knew what he was doing when he got to high school. Then going through high school and going to UT, going to Lee and going to San Diego, he's had a lot of good coaching. With his experience coaching in Florida last year, it just helps us here. I'm really excited about this."
Loudon's long-time coach has had a number of former players return to his side through the years, including Jack Hewett and Josh Millsaps, who have assisted the team in recent years.
"I figure I'll be mostly with pitchers," Everett said. "But also helping out with a little bit of everything. Just come in and bring a lot of energy, that's what I like to do — just encourage the kids and motivate."
Everett also hopes to be helpful in helping Trent Elliott return from shoulder surgery, saying the senior's rehab is very similar to what Everett went through in college.
"I think I'll be able to help him a lot," he said.
Loudon finished last season with a 22-12 record, losing to Pigeon Forge in the regional tournament. The team lost a large senior class, including the team's top three starting pitchers. But coaches expect a deep sophomore class to be a positive for the team's future.
"It's a really good sophomore class and there is supposed to be some young pitching that is very good too," Everett said.