Ralph Weekly believes timing is everything, and when one considers the path that led him to the University of Tennessee, that would be hard to argue.
But on Friday, it was time for UT softball co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly to be inducted into the Pacific Lutheran University Hall of Fame in Tacoma, Wash. Marc Weekly, Ralph's son, also was inducted.
"It's a fantastic honor, and it's rare three members of one family be inducted for three different things,'' Ralph Weekly said in a phone interview from Seattle on Thursday.
In addition to winning two NAIA softball national championships (1988, 1992) and running up a 310-93 record from 1986-94, Ralph Weekly served as special teams coach for a PLU football team that won two national championships (1987, 1993) during his nine-year tenure under Frosty Westering.
"I met Frosty at a banquet before I retired from the federal government, having just coached the Armed Forces' world-wide softball team, and he's a former marine and offered me a job,'' Ralph Weekly said. "If I hadn't taken the football job, I wouldn't have been offered the Pacific Lutheran softball job. And if we hadn't won the 1992 national championship, I wouldn't have been in the pool of coaches selected to coach the first USA Olympic softball team (1996).
"Obviously, if I wouldn't have coached the Olympic team, I might not be at Tennessee.''
The Weeklys have amassed a 566-177-2 record since taking over the Lady Vols program before the 2002 season, including five trips to the Women's College World Series with four Final Four finishes.
Karen Weekly (formerly Karen Kvale) was PLU's first All-American, starting at shortstop from 1984-87 while also playing three seasons of basketball.
Marc Weekly, current athletic director at The King's Academy in Seymour, starred at quarterback for PLU from 1990-93.
A four-year starter, the 5-foot-11 Marc Weekly turned down scholarship offers from BYU and Oregon State, choosing instead to stay at home and lead PLU to 41-6-1 record that included the 2003 NAIA Division II national championship and a runner-up finish in 1991.
Marc Weekly went on to play in the Canadian Football League before suffering a career-ending knee injury.
Marc Weekly still holds PLU records for career and season touchdown passes and career and season passing yardage.
Ralph Weekly reiterated it all started with Frosty Westering, for him.
"Frosty has always been my mentor,'' Ralph Weekly said. "He's the one that taught me many of the same concepts we still use today at Tennessee.''
Westering finished his career with a mark of 305-96-7, an NAIA record for most victories.
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee athletics. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32