Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Tom Gutshall retired after this past season at Tucker County, in all collecting more than 500 wins  during his tenure.

HAMBLETON, W.Va. — Dave Kyle is getting set for another head coaching stint at Tucker County after being recently approved as the Mountain Lions’ new boys basketball coach.

After a 16 year tenure, Kyle stepped down as Tucker County’s girls basketball coach back in 2001, ending a run that included 12 sectional titles 11 regional championships and four state championships (1991, 1995, 1996, 1997).

After getting married and then the birth of their first child during his final season with the Mountain Lions, Kyle decided to let someone else take over the reigns of the program – but he kept the door open in the back of his mind for an eventual return to coaching.

“I kind of thought I would want to get back into it, I just didn’t know how long it was going to take,” Kyle said. “I’ve been teaching for 32 years and I could retire, but I do have some young kids in school. So, I’ll be working probably another four years or so. I would have liked to have gotten back into (coaching) a lot earlier, but at this stage, I’m going to be looking at it one year at a time.”

Kyle, who will also stay on as the school’s athletic director, is back to full health after having open heart surgery back this past October.

“I’m doing well now and I’m ready to go,” he said. “The recovery process was pretty tough going through a 12 week cardiac rehab program three days a week. Eventually I started back to work in January half-time and then building up to full-time. I have to watch my diet and have been exercising a lot – I feel great. I feel better now than I ever did.”

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Tucker County fell to Notre Dame in overtime this past season at the state tournament – the Mountain Lions lose 80 percent of their scoring from that team heading into next year.

Kyle takes over the Tucker County basketball program from longtime coach Tom Gutshall who retired after posting over 500 wins in over 32 years at the helm.

“You talk about pressure – a guy who advanced to the state tournament 20 times,” he said. “You take that, and then we’re losing 80 percent of our offense. We have two starters back and one other lettermen – it will definitely be a rebuilding year, but I would love to carry over that tradition that Coach Gutshall has established, having a goal of getting out of the region and getting to Charleston come March.”

As for the coaching style that he’ll bring to Tucker County?

“My philosophy will stay the same from my tenure with the girls team,” he said. “There are a lot of things we will do that Coach Gutshall did with his program, but I’ve been one to play multiple defense, mix things up a lot and try to add a little full-court pressure. We’ll use the full-court and get it out and go. There will be some changes there. I’m going to be a busy guy, but I’m ready for the challenge.”

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  • TCHS Fan

    Helmick would not have gotten the job even if Kyle didn't apply. There were multiple other applications from those within the school system who would have automatically had the advantage over Helmick. Kyle is a very successful coach and anybody who is mad about him having the job doesn't want what is best for the program they are being self centered.

  • EHSalum

    First off, I don't believe anyone is saying that Kyle is not deserving of the job or that he will do a bad job of it. He has won titles in the past (some say that anyone could have won with those teams) but he did win. And yes public schools have the weird way of hiring someone in the school system before anyone outside which coach Helmick is not part of. But, the only things that are upsetting people is that during basketball season and right after it, Helmick asked kyle if he wanted the job. Kyle said no. They then worked together scheduling for next year and getting things started for Helmick. Then the job opens up. Helmick applies and before it closes kyle has put his name in for the job. That is what is shady. Kyle is qualified and will be an amazing coach but why lie to others in the process. If he would have said he wanted it from the beginning everything would be fine.

    • tuck

      Kyle took the job because he knew Daniel wasnt going to get it. Someone else within the system had applied. Daniel wouldnt have even gotten an interview. Even if Kyle hadnt applied. Because Daniel is not in the system. Thats the way it went. Nothing shady about it, just the way the system works.

      • Tucker#1

        Well yeah if I was Klye thats the angle I would have used to!! I had to do it for the kids..LOL I would Like tho here what Tom Gutshall thinks of the whole deal??

        • The Dude

          This whole situation is weird? I'm sure out of respect to the current staff already in place Kyle will ask them to stay/help JV etc.

  • The Dude

    The look on Gutshalls face in the picture will be the same look when Kyle hangs the first banner.

    • Tucker Fan

      Best wishes to Coach Kyle , but so sad that we as Tucker County people who are suppose to stand together for our kids feel the need to bash the good that we have known. Coach Helmick spent more time volunteering for past teams then the small amount of pay he received. As for the negative comments about Gutshall, well it is a shame that every other part of the state sees him in such a different light. Last of it it is the kids that we stand for . Writing such negative stuff is not a great example for our young people. Let's stick together Gutshall is in the past . Let Coach Kyle make his own stats. Tucker County has great kids !!

  • Former Lady Lion

    This is great news!! Glad to see Kyle coaching again. He's a wonderful coach and very deserving of the job!!

  • TC Alum

    I trully appreciate everything that coach Gutshall has done for the program, however I believe that if coach Kyle would have been coaching the boys program over the last several years that there would be a few banners on the wall at TCHS. Coach Gutshall sticks to his ways, while coach Kyle adapts to his players strengths. Coach Helmick should be commended for his service, but is nowhere near as qualified as coach Kyle. Congrats coach Kyle and good luck!

  • TC Fan

    So much turmoil up there on the mountain!!!! I'm sure both coach Kyle and coach Helmick are deserving. I doubt if there was any shady things going on, I mean they're family aren't they? No uncle is going to "steal" a job from his nephew.

    • Tc Fan

      Hey not taking anything away from Coach Kyle . Just heard he went about something's the wrong way. And pretty sure they are not related.

      • TC

        How could anything shady have even went down? That's my question to you. Coach Helmick would probably make a good coach, however everybody that knows anything about TC sports knows coach Kyle already is. There's no way that you could not give this job to coach Kyle if he applies for it, which he did, there is no argument to be made on your part.

        • Tc Fan

          The only thing I am saying is shady is if Kyle tells Helmick he don't want the job. Then steps in and applies for it knowing the hiring practices. All I am saying is Helmick deserved the shot!!!

          • #1 TC Fan

            From what I understand, Kyle really didn't want the job, he was ok with Helmick getting it, until the boys coach at DTEMS who is in the system applied for it. This guy would have gotten the job over Helmick and all others who is out of the system. This is why Kyle threw his name in the hat. Thanks Coach Kyle for thinking about the kids.

      • TC Fan

        I'm almost positive that they are related. Don't know much about how it went down, cause don't hear much about it where I'm from.

        • from TC

          Coach Kyle and Coach Daniel Helmick are not related in any way. The only family connection is that Coach Daniel Helmick's uncle was once married to Coach Kyle's sister. The Coach Helmick that Coach Kyle is related to is Coach Buck Helmick, who is his nephew.

          • TC Fan

            Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn't aware of that many Helmick coaches in the county. Must be a popular name in the mountains.

  • former lady Mt Lion

    As a former player of Coach Kyle, I definitely believe he is the best candidate for this job. He is not only very qualified, but truly cares about his students. I know he will do a great job! Looking forward to watching some Mt Lion basketball next year!

  • Tc fan

    This was a pretty shady deal. Every one knows it. Good luck coach Helmick

    • GoMt.Lions

      Pure 100% B.S. There was nothing shady about this coaching hire. Just gossip and uninformed rumors.

  • Swamp Fox

    I've known Dave for 50! Years and played sports with him for many. I've heard it from many around the state of WV, on campus at FSU, and on the sports fields and courts around Parsons, I believe pound for pound Dave is one do the best athletes to ever live and play sports in Tucker County.

    He did a tremendous job with the girls basketball program and sure he'll show the same level of commitment for the boys program.

    The program is in excellent hands!

  • Lets get it right

    Lets get the facts right - Coach Daniel Helmick
    has only been an Assistant for 6 years not 9 and one of those years he resigned in the middle of the season. There was other applicants that would have also stopped Coach Helmick from getting the Head Coaching job. I put the blame on the system not Coach Kyle. He is a seasoned veteran with a lot of experience and a great resume, the best possible person for the job.

  • Linda

    So happy to see that Dave is getting back into Coaching! As a past lady Mt. Lion player, I wish him nothing but the best as he returns!! Best wishes Coach!

  • Up on the Mountain

    Congratulations to Coach Kile, his reputation preceeds him. Tough break for Coach Helmick though...he has put in 9 years of dedicated assistant coaching under Gutshall. My opinion: Dan waited his time, did everything right to prepare, the kids love him-- the job should have been his. Good luck to Coach Helmick on his future endeavors!

    • TC

      Coach Kyle was the most deserving man in the entire state of WV for this job no if ands or buts about it. This man is a coach in every meaning of the word.

    • GoMt.Lions

      There is a hiring process in place that is mandated by state law. The most qualified candidate gets the job. The good old boy network doesn't work anymore. Good luck to the new coach!!!

      • scott

        @mtlions. That's only partially accurate. There is a process, but that doesn't mean the best qualified person gets the position.

        I know nothing about the coaches, but the law in WV gives preference to school employees rather than simply hiring the best person for the job. That may or may not have happened here. I don't know.