It’s difficult for Shane and Denise Pendley to leave their work at work.

So, they feel perfectly fine discussing the day’s activities at home.

The Pendleys, who celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday, teach and coach at North Whitfield Middle School. Shane coaches the boys seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball team. Denise coaches both girls teams.

And things are going well.

“It’s really been fun,” said Denise Pendley, a former Southeast, Mississippi State and UT-Chattanooga basketball standout. “I’ve had a really good time coaching with Shane.”

Shane Pendley, who attended Rossville High School and played college baseball at Shorter College, says the couple’s two boys — Ty, 8, and Noah, 6 — have become “gym rats.”

“We juggle our time around practice schedules,” he said. “We’re living at the gym this winter. The one practicing late takes care of the kids after school. The one practicing early goes home with them after that practice is completed.”

There is also a pool of eager babysitters at the school: team managers Rachel Sneed, Bethany Kittle, Alicia White and Jessica Gallmon.

“They’re great with the boys,” Denise said. “They’re there for us when we’re practicing and that really helps.”

Shane Pendley, 42, began his coaching career at Fairmount High School. Then he had stops at Westside Middle, Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Ringgold High and Ringgold Middle. Now he’s in his third year at North Whitfield.

Pendley’s college baseball coach, Hamp Alexander, helped him get his first coaching job at Fairmount.

“I went to Fairmount as the varsity baseball coach and junior varsity basketball coach,” Pendley said.

Denise Pendley went straight from UTC to Northwest Whitfield where she coached JV softball and soccer. After a year at Northwest, she went to Southeast as an assistant on girls basketball coach Danny Griffin’s staff. When Griffin was dismissed during the season, Pendley assumed the head coaching position.

“I was very busy in my six years at Southeast,” Denise said. “I went to Ringgold Middle School from Southeast and wasn’t coaching. I missed it pretty bad at first, but I was busy with my two boys.”

She returned to Whitfield County where she taught at Eastbrook Middle for two years. After the 2004-05 school year, she transferred to North Whitfield as the girls basketball coach and seventh-grade science teacher.

“We had never thought about coaching at the same school before this year,” said Denise, a Dalton native. “It never crossed my mind. We had coached against each other. But this has been fun. I come home and gripe and fuss and Shane listens.”

Shane was fully prepared to enjoy coaching with Denise at North Whitfield for good reasons. When Shane was at Notre Dame and Denise at Southeast, they coached twice against each other.

“She beat me twice,” he said. “When we had our boys Denise quit coaching and just got back into it this year. It’s been great.”

And the couple can thank mutual acquaintance Christy Curtis for making it all happen. Curtis, who played basketball at Northwest Whitfield and with Denise at UTC, introduced the two to each other.

“We were talking the other day about how well this has gone,” said Shane, who teaches eighth-grade Georgia studies. “On practice days, we’re right there with each other. On game days, we have to go our separate ways because the girls play at one place, the boys at the other.

“But we’re making it pretty good. Not many husbands and wives could do what we’re doing.”

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