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Webb School of Knoxville

Coordinates: 35°55′20.24″N 84°07′3.00″W / 35.9222889°N 84.1175000°W / 35.9222889; -84.1175000

Webb School of Knoxville is a private coeducational day school in Knoxville, Tennessee, enrolling students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. It was founded in 1955 by Robert Webb (1919–2005), grandson of Webb School of Bell Buckle founder Sawney Webb. The President of Webb School of Knoxville is Michael McBrien.[1]

Webb School of Knoxville
Webb School of Knoxville logo.png
9800 Webb School Drive.
Knoxville, TN 37923

Knoxville, Tennessee
United States
Type College preparatory day school
Motto Principes non homines
("Leaders, not men")
Established 1955
CEEB code 431127
Principal Head of School: Michael McBrien
Head of Upper School: Matthew B. MacDonald
Head of Middle School: Valorie Baker
Head of Lower School: Angella L. Crabtree
Faculty 100 teachers
Number of students 1,000 students
Average class size Upper School: 16 students
Middle School: 16 students
Lower School: 22 students
Student to teacher ratio 10:1
Campus 100 acres (0.40 km2)
Color(s) Green and White          
Athletics conference TSSAA
Mascot Spartan
Tuition $10,500 (Junior Spartan Pre-K)
$14,950 (K-5)
$18,420 (6-12)



Sequoyah Hills PresbyterianEdit

In 1955, Robert Webb, then 36, made his way from the Webb School in Claremont, California to Knoxville, Tennessee, with plans to found the third school in his family.[2] Webb's grandfather, Sawney Webb, had established the Webb School of Bell Buckle in middle Tennessee,[2] and his uncle Thompson Webb had started the Webb School in Claremont.[2] During the first school year, 4 students attended the new Webb School, but by the end of the year, the total had risen to 11.[2] The first two school years were held in the basement of Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church.[2] The new school adopted the Latin motto of the Webb School in Claremont, "principes non homines." [2]

Staub SchoolEdit

After the second school year, Webb had found a new location for the school at the old Staub School, a brick building where the University of Tennessee's aquatic center now stands.[2] It was formerly a medical school that was poorly cleaned after its use. It was not uncommon for students of the Webb School to find remnants of the building's former inhabitants. At this time, Webb's first sports teams were still without their own practice places. During its time at the Staub School, Webb admitted its first female students, establishing the affiliate Webb Girls School, which operated from a church building.[2]

West KnoxvilleEdit

In 1959, Webb relocated to the current campus location near I-140.[2] At the time, the Sequoyah Hills location was considered "West Knoxville," and the new campus was beyond the outskirts of the city.


In the 1968 school year, Webb became coeducational and was reorganized into the lower school and the upper school.[2]

Middle SchoolEdit

In 1974, the school added a fifth and sixth grade to meet the rising demand. With this addition, the school was now separated into the Middle School, which consisted of grades 6-8, and the Upper School, with grades 9-12.[2] The current middle school principle is David Nelson.

Lower SchoolEdit

In 1998, the new Lower School opened at Webb. The new building currently houses the Kindergarten and first through fifth grade students. The Webb School of Knoxville now consists of a Lower School (K-5), the Middle School (6-8), and the Upper School (9-12).[2]


In early 2007, Webb's Honor the Tradition, Realize the Vision campaign to renovate and expand the campus began. Phase I included building the new Jim and Kay Clayton Science Center, which was finished in October 2007. The Coleman-Lange International Center for the Study of World Languages and Cultures, a building dedicated to the learning of international cultures, was completed in 2008 as well as the Founder's Commons.[2]


Webb fields teams in several sports, competing in Division II (private schools) of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Webb has athletic facilities, including football stadium, softball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse/field hockey fields, wrestling room, basketball and volleyball courts, outdoor swimming pool, outdoor track, outdoor and indoor tennis courts, and several more practice facilities.

The football team were runners-up in 1997 and 2005[3][4] and state champions in 1981,[4] 1996,[4] 2006,[4] 2009, 2010, and 2012.[4][5] The boys cross country team was the state champion in 1990 and 2009.[6] This achievement carried Webb to the 1990 Pepsi Cup State Championship.[6] More recently the boys cross country team won back to back state championships in 2002,[7] 2003, 2009, 2010, and in 2012.[8] The girls cross country team also took a state title in 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2012.[9] The boys lacrosse team was the 2009 East Tennessee Division II regional champions and acquired the number one ranking in Division II in the state of Tennessee. The girls basketball team won a state championship in 2007 and 2009.[10] Webb Athletics is directed by David Meske, who is also the head coach of the football team.

Sports include: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cheerleading, Climbing, Cross Country, Diving, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Wrestling.

High School FootballEdit

The Spartans hold a rivalry with Knoxville Catholic High School that dates back to the 1970s.[citation needed]

The Spartans' first state football title (TSSAA Class A) was in the fall of 1981, when the team fielded fewer than 20 players in any one game, and most starters played offense and defense. They went 7-3 in the regular season (losing to only one Class A team) and then beat Sweetwater, Coalfield, and Meigs County in the playoffs. Webb won the championship game on December 4, 1981. It was played at Bearden High School in Knoxville, and Webb defeated Memphis Preparatory School.

Webb defeated Goodpasture, 27-20, in the TSSAA Class AA state championship.

The Spartans currently play in TSSAA Division II-A. In 2005, the Webb Spartans were finalists in TSSAA Division II-AA, losing 0-26 to the Evangelical Christian School. The next year, Webb returned to the state championship and again played ECS, winning 17-14. The win was the Spartans' third state title in football, which tied them for 11th in Tennessee for the number of football state championships.[11] Webb's final record for the 2007 season was 9-3. The next season, the Spartans were moved to Division II-AA and made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to Montgomery Bell Academy.

In 2009, Webb moved back down to Division II-Small. The Spartans went 12-1 en route to their fourth state championship. In 2010, Webb repeated as state champions by beating St. Georges, 42-7 and finishing 13-0 on the season. Webb brought home its sixth state championship in 2012 when the Spartans defeated ECS, 47-14.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "About Us: From the President". Webb School of Knoxville. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "About Us". Webb School of Knoxville. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on January 12, 2006. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  3. ^ "2005 Bluecross Bowl Scoreboard". Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Year by Year Results for Football: Team Champions". Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  5. ^ "2006 BlueCross Bowl Scoreboard". Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "School Life: Sports History". Webb School of Knoxville. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  7. ^ Dye, John (2003). "2002 Tennessee Cross Country State Meet". DyeStat. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  8. ^ Dye, John (2004). "2003 Tennessee Cross Country State Meet". DyeStat. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  9. ^ "2006 TSSAA State Cross Country Championship". Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "Division II Girls Basketball State Tournament Bracket". Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  11. ^ "Most State Championships for Football". Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  12. ^ Josh Flory, Work, loss and new joy: Death drew Haslams closer, Knoxville News Sentinel, January 17, 2011