And he grabbed it.
Shively stepped down Tuesday as Dobyns-Bennett’s athletic director, a position he held since May of 2016. He has taken a position as a history teacher at Science Hill.
Shively, who is 45 years old, lives just a few miles away from Science Hill. For the past three years, he made the drive to Kingsport for school and games. He has two kids — Sara, a junior at Science Hill, and Trey, a sixth grader — and his wife, Misty, teaches at Liberty Bell.
“It became increasingly difficult to travel to Kingsport, cover an event, and travel back home,” said Shively. “I felt like I was missing so much quality family time. A lot of times I would come home and Trey would be in bed. I wouldn’t see him the whole day. It certainly took a toll on me. I want to be a great dad and a great husband.”
Shively said he originally went into education to be in the classroom.
“I miss the connections with the kids in the classroom,” he said. “Now the pressure is on to perform in the classroom. Some of these kids have one shot to have U.S. history. I want to deliver the best I can.”
Andy True, assistant superintendent of administration, said the school system was pleased with Shively.
“He has made some important hires over the last few years, and he has done things with integrity,” said True. “And he developed a culture within the athletic programs, stressing the importance of high character with success. We’ve been pleased with the things he has done.
“We hate to see him transition away from D-B, but we are supportive of him in his next steps.”
Shively said there were no negative reasons for leaving Kingsport City Schools.
“There are so many good coaches there,” he said. “I was blessed to be a part of hiring several of them. Several major sports had turnover.”
He said the position of athletic director at Dobyns-Bennett was “taxing.”
“It’s an important job, but it is a taxing job, especially at D-B,” Shively said. “It never turned off. I was on the clock 24-7. I enjoyed it, and it’s a special place and special job. But I needed to invest time with my family. There’s a whole other world out there. Time around family, you can’t put a price tag on that.”
Shively was an assistant football coach at Science Hill before moving over to become Happy Valley’s head coach in 2010. He led the Warriors’ program for four seasons.
Shively said he plans to only teach at Science Hill.
“I didn’t mention coaching at all,” he said. “My plans right now are just to teach. But I never say never.”
Shively said he feels good about his three years in the lead chair at D-B.
“We did some really good things,” he said. “We modernized the athletic department. We now have an assistant athletic director and a sports information director. I believe 75 percent of our coaches were named coach of the year. We’re in really good shape.”
As for the hiring process for the next athletic director, True said decisions will be made shortly on the approach that will be taken.
“We have to get the right people in the room to make those decisions,” he said.