Dennis Weaver, longtime voice of Coffee County athletics, has passed away

January 4, 1962 – July 24, 2020

Dennis Weaver, longtime broadcaster, coach and lifelong Manchester resident, passed away Friday afternoon, July 24.

He was 58 years old.

Below is a column from Thunder Radio ownership about his passing:

Coffee County sports has lost its voice.

Dennis Weaver epitomized sports in Coffee  County. His microphone went silent Friday, July 24, 2020. He unexpectedly passed away after complications from a routine surgery. We loved him. We will miss him forever.

Dennis Weaver spent decades bringing football games and volleyball matches from pastures and dimly-lit gymnasiums to vivid color on a radio – an unteachable art and talent blessed to only a select few. Weave was one of them, although he would say he was no better than anyone else at it.

He loved broadcasting games on Thunder Radio. He carried an overwhelming sense of pride about his sports coverage. This was not pride born from selfishness. This was good pride, it was Raider pride and Rocket pride. It was community and a giving pride – a sense of accomplishment that he was able to broadcast sports for every student athlete in Coffee County to the masses. It was his gift to the world, a gift that will forever be appreciated and certainly reciprocated by the many lives he touched.

Dennis Weaver took sports coverage that was at first built around high school football, basketball, baseball and softball and didn’t only raise the bar, he rebuilt the entire standard to one unmatched by any other market in the state. He took the “minor” sports and made each one as important as the next. He took sports like Westwood volleyball, Coffee Middle soccer, Lady Raider volleyball and so many others into living rooms, car radios and old work shop garage radios across Coffee County. Every game was important to him – because he knew each game was important to every kid, every parent, every coach, every grandparent and fan.

He shied away from any recognition anyone attempted to bestow upon him for the tireless dedication he provided for Coffee County sports. It was never about Dennis Weaver. Instead, it was about the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s, the Sally’s and the Sue’s. He did what he did for those student athletes, for those coaches and for those programs – never for himself.

Many will never know the depths of his generosity. He even aided the “competition,” often giving scores, information and contacts to other sports writers. It was the mentor and the coach inside of him, and it was his desire to see exceptional sports coverage for Coffee County, regardless of the outlet or the person. He was selfless.

He single-handedly launched the Coffee Coaches Show six years ago, offering the opportunity for hundreds of student-athletes to be on the air every Saturday. Weave would cover a basketball game on Friday night, write the story and post it online, be awake for the Coffee Coaches Show Saturday morning (which he undoubtedly organized down to the second earlier in the week), and then drive to Fayetteville for an afternoon of more basketball games on the radio. It was never work to him. It certainly wasn’t for the money. It wasn’t even his full-time job – it was just what he loved to do. He was living his life doing exactly what he wanted to do. Many will never be able to say that.

He loved it until the very end. Thursday afternoon, he sent me a text:

 “Got sick at work. Going to Harton. Can you call Bernard Childress for interview?”

He had scheduled an interview with TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress to record and air this Saturday on the Coffee Coaches Show. Down to the end, he was working on bringing the best sports coverage to Coffee County.

Sadly, I can’t text him back. But If I could, I would tell him: “I’m sorry that the interview certainly isn’t up to your level. But don’t worry, Weave. The interview is done, it’s recorded, and it will air on the coaches show this week.”

Because that is absolutely what he would have wanted.

We will miss his daily sports updates on the air. His excitement before a big game and his adrenaline after his Red Raiders (his Alma mater) beat Tullahoma at anything.

Coffee County will forever miss his voice. But if I know him like I think I do, he’s already set up his new broadcast location. He has his laptop in place and a Facebook post going out with a photo of “his office for the night.”

And he has the best view for the call.

The Best of Dennis Weaver – on the mic for Thunder Radio.