Kayla Kelly Burse, a former Best of Preps girls' basketball player of the year who became a Milligan College standout, is excited for her new opportunity.
Already Soddy-Daisy High School's tennis coach, she also will take the reins of the Lady Trojans basketball program this fall.
While the program's last winning season was in 2008-09, Burse is ready for the challenge.
"I really want to give a name back to Soddy-Daisy girls' basketball," the 26-year-old said. "It's my goal to help build a community where people want to play basketball here again at a high level. Being a three-sport athlete in high school and two-sport athlete in college, I am used to the grind and ready to work."
Burse graduated from Arts & Sciences in 2010 with numerous accolades. As a senior basketball player, she averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists a game while helping the Lady Patriots reach a state semifinal for the first time. In tennis, she won back-to-back state titles in doubles with her twin sister Ahmee Kelly.
At Milligan she was selected to the NAIA All-America third team in tennis, and in basketball she was nationally recognized for her 85% free-throw shooting during her senior season.
Burse was an assistant for Chattanooga Christian's girls' basketball team in 2014 and spent the past four seasons at her alma mater.
"Kayla is a young and talented coach with great experience," Soddy-Daisy athletic director Jared Hensley said. "She knows our students and what we need. She brings excitement to our girls' basketball program and entire athletic department."
Burse also will assist the Lady Trojans volleyball team.
"This is a chance for me to grow professionally and serve the Soddy-Daisy community," she said. "I teach business education, and that's what got me here. I have fallen in love with the staff and the students. I am extremely blessed and excited to get started."