Craig Harris/Macon County Times Wes Clayborne led the Macon County Junior High boys basketball program to back-to-back James C. Haile State Tournament titles in 2014 and 2015.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Wes Clayborne led the Macon County Junior High boys basketball program to back-to-back James C. Haile State Tournament titles in 2014 and 2015.

Wes Clayborne's wardrobe will soon be overhauled.

The long-time Macon County Junior High boys basketball coach Wes Clayborne recently resigned to take a position as the head coach at Watertown Middle School.

"These coaches that we would play, that we'll still play at Watertown … if they don't know any different before we get there, they're going say, 'Hey, you're in purple,'" Clayborne said. "This is all I've known. Blue is all I've ever known. Over half of my closet is Macon County (attire)."

Clayborne -- a 2001 Macon County High graduate -- has coached the Tigers since 2003, beginning as an assistant for his father (Eddy Clayborne) before taking the reins.

"Macon County is where I grew up," Clayborne said. "This is where I've gone to school. It's where I've coached. It's where Gavin (Wes Clayborne's son, a rising sophomore) has gone to school.

"For this opportunity to come up, it's hard to pass up. For it to work out like it has, it was like, 'This is it. This is what we're supposed to do.' I didn't lose a lot of sleep over it."

Wes Clayborne is actually accompanying his wife, Whitney Clayborne, to Watertown. Clayborne first received an offer from former Roane State Community College teammate Paige Sevier to come to Watertown as an assistant coach for Sevier's high-school and middle-school girls basketball programs.

"After Christmas, the girls head coach (Sevier) came to Whitney and offered her to be a high-school assistant and offered her to be a middle-school assistant knowing that she would be the next middle school head coach," Clayborne said. "They had played ball together in college. They knew each other and had been around each other. For Whitney to get that opportunity, it was almost too good to pass up. You're getting the opportunity to go coach middle school and be an assistant on the high school team. It was one of those things to where we'll do what we can to make that work … if we have to, I'll stay here (and continue teaching and coaching).

"Then, we got a call a month or a month and a half ago saying the middle school coach has resigned. Then, it was, we have a special-education position at the middle school open. Whitney's thing fell in place, and then, everything fell in place for me. We'll be in the same spot. We're not at Macon County one night and Watertown the next night. It all worked out for us."

Whitney Clayborne will be a non-faculty coach. She has served as the Macon County girls fifth and sixth-grade coach for two years and the boys fifth and sixth-grade coach for five seasons.

Whitney Clayborne - a 2006 graduate of Red Boiling Springs High - has also coached an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball team, the Macon Shooters.

Wes Clayborne has compiled more than 200 victories at Macon County Junior High, having won James C. Haile State Tournament championships in 2014 and 2015 and finishing as the state runner-up in 2018.

"It's been good," Clayborne said. "I had some good people to work with, some good athletic directors. I look back and had maybe two or three losing seasons since I've been here. We've always had good talent, good kids to work with. You know everybody here. It's almost like a high-school program. You have kids for four years. I can remember games that stick out. That's part of what I'm going to miss. It's the kids you see coming back that you see out in town. It's been a good (experience)."

Clayborne was also an assistant coach at Macon County High School (from 2010-14), and he coached the girls fifth and sixth-grade team for three seasons (2014-17).

Adam Bandy - who was recently named the Macon County High boys head coach after serving as the program's assistant for 13 years - also served as Clayborne's assistant for 10 years. However, Bandy will focus his efforts on the high-school program going forward.

Gavin Clayborne - a point guard - will be transferring to Watertown.

However, the family's other two school-aged children - Greenley (a rising seventh-grader) and Reagan (a Kindergartner-to-be) - will attend Lafayette schools as the family doesn't plan to relocate.

"It's not cutting ties completely," Wes Clayborne said. "Greenley is here. Reagan is here. Our family is here."

Wes Clayborne completed his eighth year as a special education teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, after two years of serving as a countywide behavioral instructor.

"I feel like Watertown is excited to have us there," Clayborne said. "I think they won two or three or four games last year. I know I have work to do. I'm eager to do it.

"It's going somewhere different, to where we want to go build this program back up."